8 phrases only people living in denial tend to use, according to psychology

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If you’ve ever had a conversation with someone living in denial, you’ll know that it can be a perplexing experience.

Denial isn’t a simple choice you make; it’s a psychological defense mechanism.

People using denial often express certain phrases that are indicative of their state of mind. These phrases can seem confusing and sometimes even frustrating to those on the receiving end.

Conversations with someone in denial can be particularly difficult, but understanding the psychology behind their words can make it easier.

This article aims to decode some of these phrases that people living in denial tend to use. The goal is to provide you with insights into what’s really going on beneath the surface.

1) “It’s not that big of a deal”

One phrase that’s often heard from people living in denial is “It’s not that big of a deal,” which they use as a way to downplay the reality of a situation.

For instance, if they are faced with a health concern and choose to ignore the severity of it, they might say, “It’s not that big of a deal; I feel fine.”

This phrase helps them create a sense of false comfort, allowing them to avoid confronting the issue at hand.

Psychologically, it serves as a protective shield, keeping them from feeling overwhelmed or anxious about the situation.

However, to those on the receiving end, it can be frustrating. They may see the gravity of the situation and want the person in denial to acknowledge it too.

Despite their intentions, pushing too hard can often result in further retreat into denial.

Understanding that “It’s not that big of a deal” is more about self-preservation than disregard for reality can help you approach these conversations with more empathy and patience.

2) “I’m just very busy”

Another phrase often used by those living in denial is “I’m just very busy.”

It’s a common retort when they are confronted about neglecting certain aspects of their life, such as relationships, health, or responsibilities.

On the surface, it might seem like a legitimate excuse. After all, who hasn’t been too busy at times?

But in the context of denial, it’s often a way to justify avoiding difficult situations or emotions.

The person in denial isn’t necessarily busier than anyone else. They are using their perceived busyness as a smokescreen to evade confrontation with the problem at hand.

Ironically, by constantly claiming to be too busy, they may end up creating more stress and complications for themselves in the long run.

3) “I don’t want to talk about it”

“I don’t want to talk about it” is a phrase that’s commonly associated with those in denial.

This phrase allows them to shut down any conversation that brings them closer to acknowledging the reality they are trying to avoid.

While it may seem like a clear attempt to dodge the issue, what’s interesting is that the act of verbalizing our experiences and emotions has been shown to help in processing them.

In fact, ‘talking therapies’ like counseling and psychotherapy are built on this premise.

Therefore, the reluctance to discuss the matter at hand can actually prolong the period of denial and impede progress towards resolution or acceptance.

It’s like being in a maze with your eyes closed; without confronting the problem, finding a way out becomes much more difficult.

4) “I’m fine, really”

When people in denial say, “I’m fine, really”, it’s their attempt to reassure others and themselves.

They use it as a blanket statement to cover up their true feelings or the reality they are struggling to accept.

Underneath this phrase, there might be emotions or a challenging situation they’re not ready to face.

It’s not that they’re trying to be dishonest. It’s just that they’re trying to maintain control and keep the peace.

When you hear “I’m fine, really,” it may be a silent cry for patience, understanding, and space.

It’s okay to gently remind them that it’s also okay not to be fine all the time. Sometimes, acknowledging that things are not okay is the first step towards healing and growth.

5) “Things will get better”

“Things will get better” is a phrase that many people use, including those in denial.

There is a sense of hope attached to it, a belief that the future holds something better. It’s a way for them to cope with their current reality without actually addressing it.

We all have probably used this phrase at some point in our lives, especially during challenging times. It’s a testament to our resilience and optimism.

But when used by someone in denial, it can also act as a delay tactic, pushing the need to deal with the present issue into an undefined future.

While it’s important to have hope, it’s equally important to remember that getting better often involves confronting and resolving our current issues.

It’s a delicate balance between hopeful optimism and practical realism.

6) “I can stop anytime I want”

This is a phrase commonly used by people in denial, especially those dealing with addiction.

It’s a form of self-assurance that they are in control of their situation, even when evidence suggests otherwise.

For instance, a friend once told me, “I can stop anytime I want” when confronted about their excessive drinking habits.

Despite the impact it had on their health and relationships, they held onto the belief that they could stop instantly if they chose to.

This phrase allowed them to maintain an illusion of control and avoid accepting that their drinking had become a problem.

It was only when they were able to move beyond this denial and confront the issue directly that they began to make progress on the road to recovery.

7) “I don’t need help”

“I don’t need help” is a phrase that individuals in denial resort to, in an attempt to assert their independence and control.

But let’s be real here—it’s okay to need help. Life throws curveballs at us and sometimes we can’t handle everything on our own.

Take it from someone who’s been there—refusing help doesn’t make you stronger or more independent. It can actually lead to unnecessary struggle and prevent you from moving forward.

Admitting you need help isn’t a sign of weakness, but a recognition of your own humanity.

It’s okay to reach out. We all need a little help sometimes, and that’s perfectly fine.

8) “Everything is just perfect”

Lastly, the phrase “Everything is just perfect” is often a glaring sign of denial.

Life is full of ups and downs, and claiming everything is perfect all the time is often a way of masking underlying issues.

The most important thing to remember here is that it’s okay not to be perfect. Life isn’t about achieving perfection, but about learning, growing, and embracing the imperfections that make us human.

When you hear “Everything is just perfect,” keep in mind that it might be used to hide their struggles.

And if you ever find yourself saying it, remember, it’s okay to admit when things are less than perfect. That’s how we start making them better.

Final thoughts

Recognizing denial in ourselves and others is the first step towards understanding and resolution, and it all starts with being aware of the phrases we use.

This article aimed to shed light on the common phrases used by individuals in denial, but the journey doesn’t end here.

Remember, patience and empathy are key when dealing with denial. It’s a defense mechanism, not a personal failing.

And truly accepting yourself and the reality of the situation means being insightful enough not to judge but to empathize and offer support where needed.

Here’s to fostering better understanding, healthier conversations, and ultimately, stronger relationships!

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

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