Abjection

Photo by Ryan Magsino on Unsplash

There is a psychological mechanism that isn’t very well known yet is involved behind the scenes in many emotions. It plays a part in disgust, revulsion, repugnance, aversion, distaste, nausea, abhorrence, loathing, detestation, horror, contempt, weird, outrage, terror, fear, fright, panic, dread, trepidation, hatred, hate, abomination, execration, odium, antipathy, dislike, hostility, animosity, ill feeling, bad feeling, malice, animus, enmity, aversion, shame, humiliation, mortification, chagrin, ignominy, embarrassment, indignity, discomfort and repugnance, among others. Really, just about any negative emotion has this mechanism involved.

What is this mysterious power behind the curtain of so many intense, uncomfortable emotions? It’s called abjection. Abjection is what happens when there is a breakdown of the distinction between self and other. It’s necessary for your development into an independent, functioning human being.

To illustrate abjection at its most elemental, do this simple thing. Get a glass of water. Spit in it. Now drink it. If you’re like most people, you’ll be grossed out just by the thought. Continue reading

Disgust Management

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I have an idea for a new business opportunity for shrinks. You know how they have anger management classes that judges, employers, and spouses send people to when they keep losing their cool? The kind like in the movie with Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson? Yeah, that. Well, anger’s not the only emotion that needs to go to class. There ought to be disgust management classes, too. Continue reading

Unclean

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It may be too much for me to hope that you enjoyed my recent post in The Road to Reconciliation on disgust. It’s possible to write about boredom without being boring, it’s easy to write about anger without being angry, but it may be impossible to write about disgust without arousing some disgust. If that happened, then I’m sorry and thank you for giving me another chance. But, if you were intrigued, then you may be interested in my sources: two fascinating, but potentially disgusting books. Continue reading