Masks of Fear 3: Implausible Denial

When faced with shocking or emotionally painful information, one of the most common reflexive responses is “no!” — or “you’re kidding me”. It’s a way of stepping back from the initial impact.

This response (called “denial”) is the first of the five stages of grief™ — a standard psychological defense mechanism. It is among the most primitive defense mechanisms, mimicking behaviors created in early…