Intellectualization is a defense mechanism where thinking is utilized to impede conflict with an insentient confrontation and its linked emotional anxiety. It includes taking one's self, emotionally, from a stressful situation. Intellectualizing is often achieved through rationalization, instead of accommodating reality, one may clarify it away to detach one's self.
This defense mechanism takes place when a person evades distressing feelings by focusing on logic and information. The situation is managed as an interesting dilemma that involves the person on a sensible level, while the emotional factors are basically ignored as being invalid.
Intellectualising guards against stress by suppressing the feelings associated with an experience. It is also known as isolation of affect as the affective elements are taken away from the occurrence. It permits to logically deal with a situation, but many bring about suppression of emotions that need to be recognized to move on. This defense mechanism helps to lower anxiety by meditating about situations in a detached, scientific way. It allows us to evade thinking about the taxing, emotional characteristics of the experience and concentrate only one the logical factor.
There are many examples of intellectualizing. For instance, a person could be dealing with a divorce. Instead of wallowing in the emotional despair, the person chooses to understand the nature of a divorce. In some cases a person will seek to understand themselves better. This can be done through post divorce counseling. Talking to someone about your feelings is beneficial.
Some men use intellectualization quite often to express deep emotion. Men do it more because they are not as good at conveying feeling directly than women are. A man could expain his feelings for a woman by utilizing different terms. For example, instead of saying things like " I like you". He might use the term " fond" or " enjoy being in your presence". He may indirectly clarify how he feels about a female just to avoid the chance of rejection.
A man may deal with the grief of losing his wife to cancer by seeking to understand the origins of it better. He may do some research that brings him a sense of solace. This activity is engaging and constructive. It helps a person come to a conclusion and put the grief to work.
This defense mechanism is not harmful however if a person does not deal with the feelings, they could cause problems in the future.