One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An animal or human activity that seems inappropriate, such as head-scratching when confused, considered to arise unconsciously when a conflict between antagonistic urges cannot be resolved.
- ‘When it happened, it was almost a displacement activity.’
- ‘I can understand why they dress well - it must be a form of displacement activity.’
- ‘Reading, extended looking for help, and commiserating can all be seen, after 3 years, as further displacement activities, helping you avoid ending your grieving, and putting away your past relationship.’
- ‘Yet the whole affair was a displacement activity: an exercise in self-deception.’
- ‘What choice did I have but to find some displacement activity?’
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