In IFS, the job of a protector is to keep you from feeling pain. Some protectors block off pain that is arising inside you so that you can't feel it at all. Others try to arrange your external world so that nothing happens to trigger pain in the first place. And some do both.
Protectors try to arrange your life and your psyche so that you are always in a kind of comfort zone and you never feel hurt, shame, or fear. They attempt to protect you from hurtful incidents or distressing relationships in your current life that could bring up buried pain from childhood.
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