A Touch on Sublimation

Behavioral Sublimation is a form of displacement wherein an action of engaging in a socially unacceptable behavior occurs through the allusion of engaging in a socially acceptable behavior. The most common examples among many come from military, law enforcement, and business executives. There are many examples of sublimation which makes it so common that we write textbooks about it and even make movies about it. The more disheartening concept of sublimation is the seemingly blissful suppression of it. Not so much by the perpetrators, but more so by the observer.

Let me give you a scenario. We have a celebrity who exhibits enough behavior to meet the criteria for Histrionic Personality Disorder. As a coping mechanism the celeb creates an App marketed to tell young girls that they are not pretty and/or popular, but if they try this “free” App they can become a beautiful A-lister. Ironically the “free” app generates approximately $200 million in its first year. Socially this is okay because it is entrepreneurial and it is considered good capitalistic marketing to entice people to continue purchasing through this App. Social norms view this celeb as creative and talented: And is supported as completely acceptable.

So what if… In this same story I change only three things…? The word “celebrity” I am going to replace with the word “dealer”, and the “App” I will replace with “drug”, and the “become a beautiful A-lister” I will change to “fit in”. Let us read it again:

We have a [dealer] who exhibits enough behavior to meet the criteria for Histrionic Personality Disorder. As a coping mechanism the [dealer] creates a [drug] marketed to tell young girls that they are not pretty and/or popular, but if they try this “free” [drug] they can [fit in]. Ironically the “free” [drug] generates approximately $200 million in its first year. Socially this is okay because it is entrepreneurial and it is considered good capitalistic marketing to entice people to continue purchasing through this [drug]. Social norms view this [dealer] as creative and talented: And completely acceptable.

Sublimation is considered to be a subconscious action, but as an observer, more often than not, it can be seen by simply changing a word.

Collaborative Topic: Can you think of a story where changing a word can change an unacceptable to acceptable, or acceptable to unacceptable…?

Thank you,

Email: oddmail@anoddbox.com

Website: http://anoddbox.com

 

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