Suppose you are confronted with a person who makes a degrading remark towards you.
If the person succeeds in making you look bad, you would probably be angry at the person who made the remark.
But if you react to that remark with a quick–witted response which makes that person look like a fool instead, you would feel much less or no anger at the person who made the remark.
So whether you feel angry or not towards that person (who acted the same in both situations), is dependent on your own type of response. How can that be?
That’s because most of the anger you are feeling is not towards the other person, but towards yourself, for not being able to protect your image.
You subconsciously project anger outwardly, while in reality the anger is directed towards yourself. You are convinced that you are angry at the other person while you are actually angry with yourself.
This illustrates that ego defense mechanisms aren’t just psychobabble nonsense. They’re real.