Safeguarding refers to those mistaken behaviors in thought, feeling, and action of the discouraged person in response to perceived threats to his or her self-esteem.  They may reflect a standing in place, hesitation, or backward movement, or an exaggerated claim to being above others.  They may be understood as similar in function to the defense mechanisms later posited by other psychological systems. From the subjective sense of the individual, they serve to protect him or her, to safeguard a position, rather than to move the individual forward to meet the challenges of life.  They may be more or less severe, relative to the individual's degree of discouragement or degree of social interest and connectedness.

Excerpted with permission from Griffith, Jane & Powers, Robert L.: An Adlerian Lexicon: Fifty-Nine Terms Associated With the Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler

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