Why do people cling so tightly to their beliefs, in the face of incontrovertible evidence that they are wrong? Why do they get so angry when others point out that their arguments are factually and logically incorrect? Some of these people are the so-called "peaceniks" who believe that violence is never the answer, no matter the circumstances.

How may you communicate with these people who seem to be out of touch with reality and rational thought? One way is to understand their psychological processes. Once you understand why these people behave so irrationally, you may communicate more effectively with them.

Defense mechanisms are unconscious psychological mechanisms that protect us from feelings that we cannot consciously accept. They operate without our awareness, so that we do not have to deal consciously with "forbidden" feelings and impulses.

Nowadays, children are taught not to express negative emotions or aggression. Instead of learning that such emotions are normal but need to be controlled, children now learn that feelings of anger are evil and dangerous and deserve severe punishment. To protect themselves from "being bad," they are forced to use defense mechanisms to avoid owning their own normal emotions.

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