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Defense Mechanisms: Why They May Be Necessary Online

Defense Mechanisms: Why They May Be Necessary Online

If you spend a lot of time online, whether it be when you are gaming, checking out news articles, or even looking at social media profiles, you may notice that individuals are not always on their best behavior. This is why it may be necessary to utilize defense mechanisms whenever you can, especially if you have to interact with others online. Here’s a look at defense mechanisms and how to use them. 

What is a Defense Mechanism?

In general terms, a defense mechanism is a behavior you may adopt, whether on purpose or subconsciously, that is able to protect you from feeing anxiety or stress, in a particular situation. 

Have you ever found yourself experiencing a great amount of stress but inside you felt calm enough to get through the task that you were trying to complete? This calmness may have been a type of defense mechanism that prevented you from having a panic attack or feeling the full effect of your anxiety. 

Defense mechanisms are not always something that can benefit you, but they will protect you, in certain circumstances. For more information on defense mechanisms, check out BetterHelp. There are articles that explain the different types, which you may want to view. 

Should I be Worried if I Have Them?

A couple of defense mechanisms that you may need to utilize when you are online are intellectualization and avoidance. Both of these allow you to change your perspective, so you are able to concentrate on details that don’t cause you anxiety or stress. 

If you find that you experience these mechanisms, you don’t need to be concerned about it. Research indicates that anyone may experience defense mechanisms sometimes. 

Protect You From Feeling Vulnerable

One way that defense mechanisms might be able to help you online is when it comes to humor. When you are feeling vulnerable or don’t know what to say, you may adopt to tell jokes or make another person laugh. 

This may be able to benefit you when it comes to online dating or when you are playing games online. 

If You Are Being Bullied

Utilizing humor may also be helpful if you are ever bullied online. Another mechanism that you may adopt is being passive aggressive or ignoring them. While these mechanisms might not always be ideal for your mental health, they may protect your feelings for a bit. 

When you are being bullied online, you may want to report a player’s behavior to the game, developer, or site that you are using. Moreover, you might wish to talk to a therapist for further guidance.

Other Things to Consider

When you are online, no matter what you are doing, it is important to keep yourself protected. While you don’t have control over how others will behave, you do have control over what actions you take. 

See Also

Only Visit Sites or Play Games Where You Feel Comfortable

There may be certain sites that you like to frequent or games you play online that have a community or players that you feel comfortable with. Do your best to stick to these places and games, so you will be less likely to be bullied or ridiculed. 

If friends suggest that you play a game where you are unsure about the other players or community, it may be okay when you are playing with friends you trust. When you have friends that you play with consistently, it might be helpful to keep your squad together for specific games. You should stick to single player games when you friends aren’t around.

Reporting Toxic Behavior

In addition to reporting toxic behavior on websites and when online gaming when you are affected, be sure to keep an eye out for any type of behavior that seems inappropriate. Sending a report to a website or game server can let their moderators know that users are not always safe. This can lead to changes in the platform or misbehaving players being banned. Essentially, it can make the site or game better for everyone. 


Using defense mechanisms when you are online may be necessary, especially when it comes to playing games. Keep this in mind when you are trying your best to stay safe and be sure to report toxic behavior whenever this is possible. If you are concerned about your defense mechanisms, you can talk to a therapist for additional support at any time.