In my experience I find that when Person A is hurt by Person B, then Person A tends to angrily withdraw love from others, such as Persons C, D, and E, who were not involved in the hurtful event. Do you see this happening? If so, then why does this happen?

Yes, I do see this happen.  It is not an inevitable occurrence in most people, but it does happen with some. I think this occurs because of the psychological defense of displacement, which is transferring one’s angry feelings and behaviors, meant for a particular person, onto others as a way of trying to manage the anger.  In other words, suppose Person A was hurt by his boss, Person B.  It is too threatening for Person A to express that anger toward the boss.  Yet, Person A still tries to release the pent-up anger and so it comes pouring out on others who will not threaten Person A once the anger is expressed.

An example of this is Person A displacing that anger onto his own children, who take that anger and learn to become angry.  The children, then, once they grow into adulthood might end up displacing their anger onto their partner or their own children.  This is one reason why forgiving is so important.  It stops the unfair transmission of anger through the generations.

Please follow and like us:
Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *