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Transcript of Defense Mechanisms
Regina takes out her innermost emotions on others, such as her insecurities with her weight, and other flaws. Regina projects on the other plastics the day she wears sweatpants and gets kicked out of their lunch table
Throughout the movie Janis ignores her past with Regina. She "pushes down" her unpleasant memories into her unconscious, which will eventually be brought back up, worse than they were before.
When Regina tells Cady that she likes her bracelet, and the random girl that she likes her skirt, it is an example of reaction formation because she then confesses in secret that she does not actually like the skirt.
Intellectualization & Rationalizing
Cady uses intellectualization by telling Janis and Damian that she had to pretend to be plastic. This is also an example of Cady rationalizing why she couldn't invite them to her party, and Janis tells Cady that she is no longer pretending, but is now actual plastic.
Gretchen’s speech about Caesar and Brutus is an example of displacement against the class. She is expressing her true feelings toward Regina. We then see Gretchen “crack,” after having repressed all of her negative feelings about Regina, and she spills Regina’s secrets to Cady.
Compensation & Regression
Regina's mom compensates for being old by making herself a "cool mom" by regressing to a earlier psych stage, pretending to be young.
Cady procrastinates admitting that she wrote the Burn Book.
Throughout Mean Girls, Cady is in denial about her new identity as a Plastic. She intellectualizes her plastic behavior by convincing herself she is faking it. It is only after Janis tells her shes a true plastic that Cady steps out of denial and begins to see what she has become.
To repress is to "push down" unpleasant feelings into one's unconscious.
Taking out frustration and anger on a safer target.
hiding one's true unacceptable feelings behind a smokescreen and devaluing one's true desires.
Intellectualization is to use intellect to cope with a deeply emotional response.
Rationalization is to make an excuse for choices and or behaviors.
Reaction Formation is taking authentic feelings and turning them into the polar opposite.
Procrastination is avoidance of a situation or task.
Compensation is making up for a perceived deficiency through some behavior.
Regression is reverting to an earlier psych stage in order to avoid the reality of one's present stage.
Denial is pretending that something hasn't happened.