Displacement can behave in a domino effect , with individuals unknowingly becoming both the target and predators of displacement. In reproaching hostility is displaced onto people with little or no bond with what is causing anger.
There are many examples of psychological displacement. For example, a woman is confronted by her boss. Her boss begins yelling at her in front of other employees. Rather than, confront her boss about the outburst, she returns home and spews at her children. She enters the home in a bad mood. Even though the children had nothing to do the situation, she feels more comfortable expressing her frustration to them. This kind of conduct is not beneficial and can be quite harmful to the children.
A young man may exhibit aggression when he comes home from school. This is because he was picked on all day. Since he did not express his emotions to the people who were picking on him, he has built up anger. By the time he gets home, he is very angry. The moment his mother asks him a question, he feels the need to displace his anger on her. For example, she asks him ” How are you?” He replies by saying ” How do you think?” ” That is a stupid question.” His mother may be perplexed by his sudden rudeness, but once he explains what he went through at school, she will understand.
Displacement is a defense mechanism we all use to cover up what is going on. It is also a way for many people to protect certain peolple from sudden explosions of anger. As people, we choose who we want to express ourselves to. If we are in a position of employment, very rarely do we want to get irrate with the employer. This would be risking too much.