Cutting off reflected failure (CORFing) refers to distancing of oneself from a group that performs poorly.

"Cutting off reflected failure" is a term used in transactional analysis (TA), a theory of psychology that focuses on the ways in which people communicate and interact with one another. In TA, "reflected failure" refers to the negative feelings or self-perceptions that a person experiences as a result of being evaluated or judged by others.

"Cutting off reflected failure" refers to the process of avoiding or denying these negative feelings, either by denying the evaluation or by distancing oneself from the person or situation that caused the evaluation. This can involve ignoring the feedback, rationalizing it away, or projecting blame onto someone else.

Here are some examples of how "cutting off reflected failure" might manifest in psychology:

  • A person receives negative feedback from their boss about their performance at work, but instead of acknowledging the feedback and working to improve, they deny that there is a problem and blame their coworkers for their mistakes.

  • A student receives a poor grade on a test, but instead of taking responsibility for their poor performance, they blame the teacher or the material for being too difficult.

  • A person receives criticism from a friend about their behavior, but instead of acknowledging the criticism and working to change their behavior, they end the friendship and avoid the person who provided the feedback.

In each of these examples, the person is "cutting off reflected failure" by avoiding or denying the negative feedback or evaluation, rather than accepting it and using it as an opportunity for growth and self-improvement.


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