The mechanism of displacement
by Atman Nityananda
This mechanism causes the redirection of an impulse, i.e., desire from one object or person to another and the redirection of anger from one person to another (usually onto a powerless substitute target) or an object.
For example, we desire sexual pleasure and since we do not have the opportunity to enjoy it at that moment the desire for pleasure is directed to another object that we can easily obtain and experience pleasure, for example, eating a chocolate.
In the same way, we get angry with our boss and as we cannot express our anger towards him, we express it to a person in the subway or when returning home to our partner or children for an insignificant thing to release the psychic energy that has accumulated due to anger.
Anger can also be directed towards ourselves, especially when when we suffer from guilt and low self-esteem.