changingminds.org

How we change what others think, feel, believe and do

| Menu | Quick | Books | Share | Search | Settings |

Sublimation

 

Explanations > Behaviours > Coping > Sublimation

Description | Example | Discussion | So what?

  

Description

Sublimation is the transformation of unwanted impulses into something less harmful. This can simply be a distracting release or may be a constructive and valuable piece of work.

When we are faced with the dissonance of uncomfortable thoughts, we create psychic energy. This has to go somewhere. Sublimation channels this energy away from destructive acts and into something that is socially acceptable and/or creatively effective.

Many sports and games are sublimations of aggressive urges, as we sublimate the desire to fight into the ritualistic activities of formal competition.

Example

I am angry. I go out and chop wood. I end up with a useful pile of firewood. I am also fitter and nobody is harmed.

A person who has an obsessive need for control and order becomes a successful business entrepreneur.

A person with strong sexual urges becomes an artist.

A man who has extra-marital desires takes up household repairs when his wife is out of town.

A surgeon turns aggressive energies and deep desires to cut people into life-saving acts.

Discussion

Sublimation is probably the most useful and constructive of the defense mechanisms as it takes the energy of something that is potentially harmful and turns it to doing something good and useful.

Freud believed that the greatest achievements in civilization were due to the effective sublimation of our sexual and aggressive urges that are sourced in the Id and then channeled by the Ego as directed by the Super ego. In his more basic musings, he considered such as painting as a potentially sublimated desire to smear one's own faeces.

Sublimation is one of Anna Freud's original defense mechanisms.

So what?

Help others who are causing themselves and others problems, for example by their sexual advances or aggressive outbursts, to re-channel their energies into more constructive activities.

Beware of 'on the boundary' activities (including your own) where sublimated energy may switch back into unwanted or anti-social activities or other, less constructive, coping mechanisms.

See also

Repression, Fantasy

Site Menu

| Home | Top | Quick Links | Settings |

Main sections: | Disciplines | Techniques | Principles | Explanations | Theories |

Other sections: | Blog! | Quotes | Guest articles | Analysis | Books | Links | Help |

More pages: | Contact | Caveat | About | Students | Webmasters | Awards | Guestbook | Feedback | Sitemap | Changes |

Settings: | Computer layout | Mobile layout | Small font | Medium font | Large font |

 

You can buy books here

More Kindle books:

And the big
paperback book


Look inside

 

Please help and share:

 

Quick links

Disciplines

* Argument
Brand management
* Change Management
Coaching
+ Communication
Counseling
+ Game Design
+ Human Resources
+ Job-finding
* Leadership
+ Marketing
Politics
+ Propaganda
+ Rhetoric
* Negotiation
* Psychoanalysis
* Sales
Sociology
+ Storytelling
+ Teaching
* Warfare
Workplace design

Techniques

+ Assertiveness
* Body language
* Change techniques
* Closing techniques
+ Conversation
Confidence tricks
* Conversion
* Creative techniques
* General techniques
+ Happiness
+ Hypnotism
+ Interrogation
* Language
+ Listening
* Negotiation tactics
* Objection handling
+ Propaganda
* Problem-solving
* Public speaking
+ Questioning
+ Using repetition
* Resisting persuasion
+ Self-development
+ Sequential requests
Stress Management
* Tipping
Using humor
* Willpower

Principles

+ Principles

Explanations

* Behaviors
+ Beliefs
* Brain stuff
Conditioning
+ Coping Mechanisms
+ Critical Theory
+ Culture
+ Decisions
* Emotions
+ Evolution
Gender
+ Games
Groups
+ Identity
+ Learning
+ Meaning
Memory
+ Motivation
+ Models
* Needs
+ Personality
+ Power
* Preferences
+ Research
+ Relationships
+ SIFT Model
+ Social Research
Stress
+ Trust
+ Values

Theories

* Alphabetic list
* Theory types

And

- About
- Guest Articles
- Blog!
- Books
- Changes
- Contact
- Guestbook
- Links
- Quotes
- Students
- Webmasters

 

| Home | Top | Menu | Quick Links |

Changing Minds 2002-2014
Massive Content -- Maximum Speed