Thursday, August 25, 2016

15 Common Defense Mechanisms/Displacement

Displacement is very similar to projection, except for one key difference. Instead of the person projecting an attack that would more accurately describe their behaviors, they displace the anger towards one person by targeting an unrelated individual. Displacement can come from a variety of different scenarios, and can be both good and bad. One of my favorite positive forms of displacement is paying it forward where someone in front of you will pay for your items without you knowing. This good deed is designed to start a chain effect where one person engages another person with a nice gesture which in turn leads the new person to displace good energy to another unrelated individual.

Displacement: Displacement is the redirecting of thoughts feelings and impulses directed at one person or object, but taken out upon another person or object. People often use displacement when they cannot express their feelings in a safe manner to the person they are directed at. The classic example is the man who gets angry at his boss, but can’t express his anger to his boss for fear of being fired. He instead comes home and kicks the dog or starts an argument with his wife. The man is redirecting his anger from his boss to his dog or wife. Naturally, this is a pretty ineffective defense mechanism, because while the anger finds a route for expression, it’s misapplication to other harmless people or objects will cause additional problems for most people. (

Have you ever been out in public and had a random person provoke a fight with a stranger? Maybe you are at a bar and a local drunk is outside starting trouble, or a person in the check out line at a grocery store begins to fight with the clerk when their coupon doesn't work. In these scenarios, it is never about the person they are instigating an issue with, but rather an unrelated event that has been causing inner turmoil throughout the day. People can displace anger on different individuals as well as themselves. Instead of dealing with the problem directly at the source, they will repress the issue until it has to come out.

Displacement in MLM is dangerous!!! MLMers have a very difficult time dealing with the negative emotions they are repressing, because it is forbidden to show any form of negative emotion when they are in public or doing business related activities. This leads to potentially dangerous displacement as they release their anger upon unsuspecting targets. There are many stories of MLMers coming home and verbally or physically abusing their children and wives, or vehemently attacking a prospect or downline when they aren't following upline's commands properly, or even come onto a blog and write a particularly nasty note that has nothing to do with the article. In any case, there is one main response to displacement.

You can remove yourself from the situation. You might be able to walk away, but you might also need to get the police involved. Either way, this is the best way to handle an MLMer that is displacing their anger.

Do not engage them!!! If you try to be rational with an irrational person, it will be equivalent to banging your head against a brick wall, and if you try to respond to their anger with your own anger then you will only escalate the situation. It is important to let the MLMer calm down, and then approach them in a regular tone of voice with specific points about your concerns. If they begin to displace more anger, then you must remove yourself from the situation until they are able to listen. This process will repeat until the MLMer learns and preferably leaves the business, or you may have to consider making a permanent exit. Either way, you must look out for your own well being first and foremost.

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