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Fantasy

 

Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Fantasy

Description | Example | Discussion | So what?

  

Description

When we cannot achieve or do something that we want, we channel the energy created by the desire into fantastic imaginings.

Fantasy also provides temporary relief from the general stresses of everyday living.

Example

A man who is attracted to a beautiful woman but who realizes that she is unattainable fantasizes about seducing her (or being seduced by her).

A boy who is punished by a teacher creates fantasies of shooting the teacher (remember the movie 'If').

A student who flunks university exams imagines that they could have passed the exams 'if they really wanted to'.

We go to movies or read books to escape into the prepared fantasies that they offer us.

Discussion

Fantasy can range from harmless imaginings to delusional obsessions, where a person loses track of reality as they switch for long periods into their fantasy world. For most of us, however, it is a welcome and temporary relief and adds harmless spice to our everyday worlds.

So what?

Persuade by drawing people into imagined possibilities. Say 'What if' (with enthusiasm!) to send them into a world of excitement and potential.

Help people escape from damaging fantasies by moving them gradually to less harmful ones. Teach them to put their dreams on hold and switch back and forth at will between reality and fantasy.

In your own life, enjoy your fantasies, but know them as such.

See also

Displacement, Idealization, Escape Theory

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