The Fourth Method: Projecting Your Anger

Method four is project‑your‑anger‑onto‑someone‑or‑something‑else might look like this. When you get back to your office after the meeting where your co‑worker criticized you, you scream at your administrative person over some minor oversight. In the parking lot situation, you might go over to the Mall Information Desk and give that poor clerk a piece of your mind regarding nervy people who go around stealing other people’s parking spaces.

Let’s look in on what happens when Joe Husband uses his wife for project-and-deflect after really bad day at work.  Joe has had a series of really unpleasant occurrences happen to him today. The company canceled the project on which he’s been working for the past several months. His boss gave him an unsatisfactory performance appraisal. On his way home from work, he got a traffic ticket. He walks into the house bellowing, “You know what happened to me today?”

Wife:   Why are you yelling at me?  What did I do?

Joe:     Don’t start with me. I’ve had a really miserable day.

Wife:   So why take it out on me?  If you’re going to come home in a lousy mood, maybe you shouldn’t come home at all.

Many people use sports for deflecting and projecting their anger. Think of the guy on vacation playing golf. As he’s teeing off, he has a major heart attack. Obviously he was thinking of the golf ball as his adversary and kaboom, he blew out his aorta.  If you have runners in your office, recall what they are like during a stretch of bad weather when they cannot get out for their daily run. They’re wild; the least little thing sets them off.

“So”, you ask, “if I ‘m not supposed to…”

turn my anger inward against myself;

grit my teeth and bear it now but look for an opportunity to get even later;

be cynical and sarcastic; or

project my anger onto someone or something else

“What should I do?”

The answer to this, and more in tomorrow’s post…

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