Sarah tends to yelled at people who won't hurt her. Her boss criticized her in the morning for her failure on a contract and she felt upset. When she came home, she yelled at her husband to get some kind of emotional balance/recover.

Is there a word/phrase to refer to this kind of behavior?

2 Answers 2


A phrase that could work is ‘taking out your anger/frustration on someone else’. So, in this case Sarah was taking out her anger with her boss on her husband.

However, it doesn’t necessarily imply that someone’s emotional balance is recovered, although it often does. Hope this helps!


To "lash out" is an option:

to burst into or resort to verbal or physical attack

It is often an unexpected and violent outburst (the reason of which has to be explicated or can be inferred from the context), targeting unsuspecting others.

"When Sarah came home, she lashed out at her husband to unleash her pent up frustration."

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