How Intellectualization Prevents Us From Dealing With Our Difficult Emotions

Are You Using The Defense Mechanism Of Intellectualization?

3 min readSep 3, 2022
Photo by Brock Wegner on Unsplash

The defence mechanism of intellectualization

An intellectualization defence mechanism is often used to steer clear of any unpleasant emotion or circumstances. In other words, the person using this defence mechanism frequently uses reason, logic, and facts to avoid dealing with their feelings.

“Being overly intellectual to cope can help avoid feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, and depression. Staying too cerebral in the long run, however, can minimize and even deny the important emotional components of the situation.” — Carla Marie Manly, PhD


  • A student may explain cheating on an exam by saying that they are required to get the grade to graduate. Here, the student is justifying his/her wrongful conduct to avoid guilt.
  • A 17-year-old daughter loses her father by actively participating in the funeral arrangements rather than grieving her father’s death. Here, the daughter avoids the sadness…




Ph.D. (Management)| Educator | Content Writer | Writing about things that intrigue my curious mind |