"So the difference here is ... I feel like hurting you but also not, so I hurt myself as an option (retroflection)... and I feel like hurting you but tell myself I should not and so I don't (introjection).. and perhaps retroflect in the process. " I believe many have a problem with an application of the concepts of (retroflection) and (introjection) because they fail to comprehend what lies behind the concepts. It's like trying to stand in a canoe and play badmitton with someone standing in another canoe. One attempts to concentrate on the birdie and will probably tumble into the water, or to concentrate on balancing the canoe, and will probably miss the birdie. Concepts based on a behaivoral criteria (observation + assumption) cannot help but be unstable. "I feel like hurting you" and convert it into hurting myself instead... is an assumption, and is incorrect. The fact is, self-punishing behavior is not a converted activity, but rather an activity fulfilling the misperceived need of one's MIND to punish oneself for being "bad"... which occurs when one stimulates an interchange of emotional-level energy between oneself and another. The diciding factor behind (intojection) or (retroflection) is one's MIND and its misperceptions, which are all fully non-conscious.