Tidal Fish Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,432 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Reaction Formation

Description
Reaction Formation occurs when a person feels an urge to do or say something and then actually does or says something that is effectively the opposite of what they really want. It also appears as a defense against a feared social punishment. If I fear that I will be criticized for something, I very visibly act in a way that shows I am personally a long way from the feared position.

Example
A man who is gay has a number of conspicuous heterosexual affairs and openly criticizes gays.

Discussion
A cause of Reaction Formation is when a person seeks to cover up something unacceptable by adopting an opposite stance. For example the gay person who has heterosexually promiscuous may be concealing their homosexual reality. This may be a conscious concealment but also may well occur at the subconscious level such that they do not realize the real cause of their behavior. Reaction Formation thus can turn homosexual tendencies (love men) to homophobic ones (hate men).

Freud called the exaggerated compensation that can appear in Reaction Formation 'overboarding' as the person is going overboard in one direction to distract from and cover up something unwanted in the other direction.

Reaction Formation goes further than projection such that unwanted impulses and thoughts are not acknowledged.

Extreme patterns of Reaction Formation are found in paranoia and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), where the person becomes trapped in a cycle of repeating a behavior that they know (at least at a deep level) is somehow wrong.

Reaction formation is one of Freud's original defense mechanisms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,905 Posts
See George I'm glad it exactly explains you and fool.

Glad you could clarify it for the world.

Once again you bore the hell out of me!


Hows Tyrone ******?
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top