Category Archives: definition of “denial”

Who is in Denial?


My friend, Anna, who is on an online dating service discovered my

friend, Peggy’s boyfriend on it. I entitled that post, “Moral Dilemma.”

The follow up is going to include an update on that situation along

with all the meanings of the word “denial” and how, in one way or

another, we all are in some form of denial. That is just my opinion,


The four meanings of the word “denial” can be found in my home copy of

the Brittanica hardback version of a dictionary. It has a “gold leaf” edge

to the pages and golden embossed letters on the front cover, establishing

its “importance”and significance. I used this throughout my college years,

(received it from an English teacher when I graduated from high school).

This came in handy during my child rearing years, and finally, my brother,

Randy and I use it often while we play either Boggle or Scrabble.

This second meaning encompasses Peggy’s situation, “refusal to admit

the truth of a statement.” When faced with her boyfriend’s photograph

on the website, Peggy first denied it was even him! There was his birthday

and horoscope, his work or occupation, and even his income was accurate.

She admitted the facts were correct but here were her first three “excuses”

given for the situation.

First, Peggy said, “Anyone can cut and paste a picture of Tim and put it

on a dating website.”

Second, Peggy said, “Tim doesn’t have that much interest in dating but

maybe he paid to look at some of the local single women. It is better

than finding out he was on a porn site!”

Thirdly, Peggy said, “My sister Patty put me on last year,

I didn’t do much but look, maybe his mother or sister put Tim on it?”

When we showed her the fact that the person, (whoever it may be??)

was “Active this week” and “Could be contacted on email or IM” she

was sure that if Anna set up a date, he would not come or answer her.

We did not press the issue. Peggy’s denial was in refusing to see that

there may be a possibility of a problem.

At least we felt we had done our “duty” as a friend, telling her we

would want to knowif someone we had dated and lived with for over

fifteen years… Maybe those who said to mind our own “bee’s wax”

were right!

The first choice definition in my dictionary for “denial,” happens quite

often in families. This meaning is the “refusal to grant something asked

for.” Well, that happened two Fridays ago to my grandkids who were

in “hot water” and facing “punishment” of being grounded. They could

not go to the Splash Pad with Nana! Permission denied! (Due to the

extreme severity of removal of Nana priveleges, I pleaded with the

grandkids to be very good the following week.) Thus was able to have

a splendid afternoon, with Mommy and Nana at Powell, Ohio.

The third definition of denial is a little sketchy, as far as, how many

of you will fall into this category. But I am trying to “build my case”

(not in a court of law, mind you!) that we are all in denial, in one way

or other! This is “refusal to acknowledge something. A state of disbelief,

or rejection.”

My biggest example I could think of, not in the dictionary, was how our

society as a whole has embraced the term, “Mid Life Crisis” as a real and

serious conflict to be met at varying times in our life. Some think it will

occur at age 40 and some think anytime a man or woman goes out to the

automobile showroom and drives off with a flashy red car, they are in a

mid life crisis! I have had many of my friends, in “denial” of their aging.

They are still wearing cute and appropriate clothes, moving gracefully

along into their firties and sixties.

The last and fourth meaning of “denial” is more often met during the

after holidays’ season of January through the rest of winter until we

unveil our lighter and healthier selves in the summer… “Denial” means

“cutting back or restricting or limiting” something…. like calories or

appetite. I am not too great at denial of chocolate, donuts, cake, pie,

chips, pizza, or almost any other things that should be limited after the

holidays. I am blessed with a great job that is like running a marathon

every day, that the calories don’t stick. But going back to that mid life

crisis, I had a doozy of one, gained almost 40 pounds and that has been

covered, I am sure somewhere else in this blog!

Denial never seems to be a positive word, whether a person is denying

their children from fun with their Nana (ha ha! Just teasing, Trista, my

dear daughter in law!) or if one is denying that the spouse or partner

has changed their habits drastically. Denial of a promotion is also a big

“bummer.” Denying there are shortages of water in the world, pollution, or

global warming (to me) are serious choices that could amount to limited

resources for our generations that follow us.

Denial can have serious repercussions or consequences when taken to


I would like to ban the practice of denial! Does this sound a little like Peter Pan?

In his words, “I won’t grow up!”

Yes, you are correct, we need to accept denial as part of all our lives. Hopefully,

in moderation or in limited amounts!