buoy against

SuprunP

Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
[To show what is meant by 'suppression':] Gross instructed half of them to prevent their facial expressions from betraying their inner turmoil while they watched [shocking videos] —they were to devote all their energies to maintaining a poker face. This type of self-control is called suppression.
[...]
For most Japanese, however, a calm exterior is a sign of inner mental and physical health, as well as satisfaction—a positive feeling that may buoy them against the strain of suppression.
(Scientific American Mind; Volume 16, Number 4; Control Your Anger!)

Would you be so kind to paraphrase it?

Thanks.
 
  • hyperslow

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hi there!

    ... a positive feeling that may keep them cheerful or raise their spirits in spite of the strain of suppression. That would be my guess. Let's wait for more from native speakers.

    cheers
     

    SuprunP

    Senior Member
    Ukrainian & Russian
    Thank you hyperslow.

    As to whether I looked at the various dictionaries' definitions of buoy... I'm afraid I did. I'm slow at picking things up so, my abject apologies, I still can't catch on to what buoy against means, never mind paraphrasing it myself.

    Thanks.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Yes, I see. That is a strange expression. It means that the positive feeling holds them up (figuratively) and so works against the strain of suppression. (I wonder whether that paraphrase was useful. I was trying to show the logic of the original wording.)

    As to the meaning, hyperslow is very close: the positive feelings raise their spirits and help them withstand the strain of suppression.
     
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