Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Psychological Displacement is defined as:

The separation of intense emotion from its real object and its redirection toward someone or something that is less offensive or threatening in order to avoid dealing directly with what is frightening or threatening. The purpose of displacement is to avoid having to cope with the actual reality that is too painful. Instead, by using displacement, an individual is able to still experience his or her anger, but it is directed at a less threatening target than the real cause. In this way, the individual does not have to be responsible for the consequences of his/her anger and feels more safe.

Here is a recent example of this defense mechanism in action.

Here are two more.

I also wrote recently about displacement's role in the etiology of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

As you can see, it is an all-purpose type of defense that protects the user from having to deal with a painful reality or from questioning cherished beliefs. By blaming Bush and America, one does not have to take either the moral or physical responsibility for dealing with the real evil that has been unleashed upon the world.

Standing up against those who kidnap and behead innocents; blow themselves and others up in the name of God; and have openly and without a lick of shame discussed the annihilation of millions--now that would require real moral courage.

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