Psychology in Writing: Pathological Defense Mechanisms – Writing Prompt

Writing Prompt

Cover of "In Cold Blood"

Cover of In Cold Blood

“Two features in his personality make-up stand out as particularly pathological. The first is his ‘paranoid’ orientation toward the world. He is suspicious and distrustful of others, tends to feel that others discriminate against him, and feels that others are unfair to him and do not understand him. He is overly sensitive to criticism that others make of him, and cannot tolerate being made fun of. He is quick to sense slight or insult in things others say, and frequently may misinterpret well-meant communications. He feels the great need of friendship and understanding, but he is reluctant to confide in others, and when he does, expects to be misunderstood or even betrayed. In evaluating the intentions and feelings of others, his ability to separate the real situation from his own mental projections is very poor.” Truman Capote in “In Cold Blood

Write about psychological defense mechanism might your antagonist use?  Why is this the preferred defense mechanism?  What happened in their past that made them unable to cope with reality that they had to develop a pathological defense mechanism?  What is going on now that created or continues the use of the defense mechanism?  How do others around the antagonist act?  Do they stay away, foster the defense, or confront it?  And how does the antagonist react?


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