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How to respond to psychological projection: How to Confront Narcissists’ Lethal Weapon: Projection

How to Confront Narcissists’ Lethal Weapon: Projection

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Projection is a defense mechanism commonly used by abusers, including people with narcissistic or borderline personality disorder and addicts. Basically, they’re saying, “It’s not me, it’s you!” When we project, we are defending ourselves against unconscious impulses or traits, either positive or negative, that we’ve denied in ourselves. Instead, we attribute them to others. Our thoughts or feelings about someone or something are too uncomfortable to acknowledge. In our mind we believe that the thought or emotion originates from that other person.

We might imagine, “She hates me,” when we actually hate her. We might think someone else is angry or judgmental, yet are unaware that we are. Similar to projection is externalization, where we blame others for our problems rather than taking responsibility for our part in causing them. It makes us feel like a victim. Addicts often blame their drinking or drug use on their spouse or boss.

Our coping strategies reflect our emotional maturity. Projection is considered a primitive defense because it distorts or ignores reality in order for us to function and preserve our ego. It’s reactive, without forethought, and is defense children use. When used by adults, it reveals less emotional maturity and indicates impaired emotional development.

Boundaries

Psychoanalyst Melanie Klein famously said that a mother must be able to love her child even as it bites her breast, meaning that a good mother, like a good therapist, with appropriate boundaries and self-esteem, won’t react to the anger and projected badness from her baby. She will love her baby nonetheless. A child’s boundaries are naturally porous. If we had a mother with weak boundaries who reacted to us with anger or withdrawal, we absorbed our mother’s reaction, as if her reaction was a negative statement about our worth and lovability. We would shame ourselves and develop weak boundaries, too. The mother-infant bond may have become negative. The same thing can happen with a father’s reactions, because a child needs to feel loved and accepted unconditionally by both parents.

We can grow up with shame-based beliefs about ourselves and are set up to be manipulated and abused. Moreover, if one of our parents is a narcissist or abuser, his or her feelings and needs, particularly emotional needs, come first. As a result of shame, we learn ours are unimportant. We adapt and become codependent.

Self-Judgment

It’s common for codependents to have internalized or toxic shame and a strong inner critic. As a result, we will find fault with others just as we do with ourselves, often about the same characteristics. We might project our critic onto others and think they’re criticizing us, when in fact it’s our own self-judgment that is being activated. We assume people will judge and not accept us, because we judge and don’t accept ourselves. The more we accept ourselves, the more comfortable we are with others. We’re not self-conscious thinking that they’re judging us.

Declining Self-Esteem

In an adult relationship with an abuser or addict, you may not believe you have any rights. Naturally, you go along or put your partner’s needs and feelings first, sometimes self-sacrificing at great lengths to please and avoid conflict. Your self-esteem and independence steadily decline. As your partner behaves like a king or queen, you become increasingly dependent, even though your needs aren’t being fulfilled. This allows your partner to easily manipulate, abuse, and exploit you. Your self-doubt grows as your partner projects more shame and criticism onto you.

Meanwhile, you accept the blame and try to be more understanding in the relationship. In vain attempts to win approval and stay connected, you tread on eggshells, fearful of your partner’s displeasure and criticism. You worry about what he or she will think or do and become preoccupied with the relationship. You stay to prevent your greatest fears—abandonment and rejection. You lose hope of finding lasting love. In time, you may believe that no one would want you or that the grass isn’t greener. Your partner might even tell you the same in an attempt to project their shame and fear onto you. After whittling down your self-esteem, you’re primed to believe it’s true.

Projective Identification

When we have a strong sense of self and self-esteem, we have healthy boundaries. When someone projects something onto us, it bounces off. We don’t take it personally, because we realize it’s untrue or merely a statement about the speaker. A good slogan to remember is QTIP, “Quit taking it personally!”

However, when we have low self-esteem or are sensitive about a specific issue, such as our looks or intelligence, we are susceptible to believing a projection as a fact. We introject the projection. This is because internally we agree with it. It sticks like a magnet, and we believe it’s true. Then we react to the shaming and compound our relationship problems. Doing so validates the abusers’ ideas about us and gives them authority and control. We’re sending the message that they have power over our self-esteem and the right to approve of us.

Responding to Projection

A projector can exert enormous pressure on you to accept the projection. If you’re empathetic, you’re more open and less psychologically defended. If you also have poor boundaries, as described above, you may absorb a projection more easily and identify with it as your own trait.

Understanding how projective identification works is crucial for self-protection. Recognizing the defense can be a valuable tool, for it’s a window into the unconscious mind of an abuser. We can actually experience what he or she is feeling and thinking. Armed with this knowledge, if someone shames us, we realize that he or she is projecting and reacting to his or her own shame. It can give us empathy, which is helpful, provided we have good self-esteem and empathy for ourselves! Building self-esteem by disarming our inner critic is our first defense against projection.

Still, you may feel baffled about what to do. When someone projects onto you, simply set a boundary. This gives the projection back to the speaker. You’re establishing a force field–an invisible wall. Say something like:

  • “I don’t see it that way.”
  • “I disagree.”
  • “I don’t take responsibility for that.”
  • “That’s your opinion.”

It’s important not to argue or defend yourself, because that gives credence to the projector’s false reality. If the abuser persists, you can say, “We simply disagree,” and leave the conversation. The projector will have to stew in his or her own negative feelings.

How To Prevent The Projections Of Others From Influencing Your Thoughts

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Do you realize that during each and every interaction you have with another person, there is a chance that they are projecting their feelings onto you and that you are doing likewise onto them?  The projections of others influence our own thoughts and feelings, and not always for the better.

Projection is a psychological tool that we all use to varying degrees to help us evade thoughts and feelings that trouble us.  While it may prove somewhat useful in this regard, it has a real impact on the thoughts of the person being projected onto.

Whether or not any malice is intended, projection is often insidious by its very nature.

After all, it is almost always a negative emotion or thought that is being projected: an insecurity you hold about yourself, the ill-feeling you have towards another, or the remorse felt about your behavior. You project these and other feelings in order to avoid having to deal with them directly.

Yet the very act of projection requires that you ignore the effects that it may have on the other person. If you considered them, you would be conscious of your projection, which is simply never the case.

If we now flip things around and look at the situation from the perspective of the person onto which these feelings are being projected, what can you do to protect yourself and prevent someone else’s issues from becoming your own?

There are various steps that you need to take if you are to prevent the projections of others from influencing your thoughts and feelings:

1. Recognize when you are being projected onto

As with many things, recognition of the problem is the first and most important step to addressing it. Only when you have identified the process of projection, can you begin to shield yourself from it.

One of the easiest ways to spot projection is by watching out for the “yous” in the language of others. Remember, they are trying to push their own negative thoughts and emotions onto you so that they do not have to deal with them. To do this, they will insist that you hold the same qualities that they are uncomfortable with.

 If they have weight issues, they may ask, “Have you put on a few pounds recently?”

  •  Someone who is disappointed by what they see as their own failures may state, “You need to try a little harder if you want to achieve X, Y, or Z.”
  • A person who has treated you badly may seek to absolve themselves of blame (and thus avoid addressing their behavior) by insisting, “You have been such a b*tch to me lately.”
  • To deny their own fears and deflect attention away from them, someone might resort to ridicule, saying, “You’re not really afraid of flying/horror movies/bugs are you?”

When you have identified language such as this, you need to stop and consider whether you are being projected onto. Is the statement true in any way? If it is, are you already aware of it and is it something you wish to address? (Perhaps you’re happy with your new weight or you’re quite all right with being afraid of creepy crawlies. )

If there isn’t any truth in what the other person is saying, it is important that you recognize this fact rather than simply accepting that it might be true because they said it. As soon as you start to believe the possibility that it is true, your thoughts are no longer your own and you fall under the influence of this other person’s projection.

You must be willing to question your own thoughts and ask whether they originate from you, or whether you have taken them on from others after they have made statements referring to you.

The sooner you are able to identify a thought or feeling as having been planted in your mind by an outside influence, the better. The longer it goes unaddressed, the deeper its roots can grow – to the point at which you believe it is your own thought and always has been.

Never assume that all of your thoughts are your own – they may seem like they are coming from inside your mind, but their source could well be another person entirely.

2. Step into the shoes of the source

Once you realize that you are being projected onto, try to step out of your own mind and into theirs. See through their eyes, feel what they feel, think their thoughts (just be aware that they are theirs and not yours).

Try to understand why this person might be projecting onto you. Recognize that their projections are a defense mechanism with the sole purpose of avoiding the uncomfortable feelings that would inevitably arise should they have to confront their underlying issue.

Projections are merely manifestations of their own insecurities and by stepping into their shoes, you will be better placed to empathize with them. This process will also teach you a great deal about that person and maybe even deepen your connection with them.

You will see the human in them, the doubt-riddled soul that yearns for the safety and security of kind words from others.

In time, you can use the knowledge you gain to help build their self-esteem and help them address those issues they project onto others.

3. Let the projections of others come and go

As mentioned above, projections can inflict considerable damage on the receiver, altering their thought patterns to the point where they see truth in the projections where there is none.

The harm is not, however, an instantaneous consequence of the projection. Instead, the damage is done when those thoughts and feelings are held onto, and dwelled upon again and again. Only then can your mind subsequently adopt these foreign invaders as one of its own beliefs.

Not falling under the influence of another’s projections, then, is simply a case of letting them come and go as fleeting ripples in the pond of your mind. Whatever is said, let the words pass through you like the wind passes through the branches and leaves of a tree.

However hurtful the comments may be, remember that they are not gospel; no matter who said what, your truth and your mind are your own. You have the power to control what is and isn’t allowed to permeate your thoughts and, indeed, how you react to the person who projected in the first place. Remain aloof (emotionally uninvolved; at a distance) to any negative remarks and remind yourself of their true source.

4. Accept that you are being influenced

While this article deals with how not to be influenced by the projections of others, one must also accept that your thoughts and feelings are being constantly shaped and sculpted by the world around you.

Whether it’s the words or actions of another person, the situations you find yourself in, or even the weather on any given day, you are, to some degree, a product of your surroundings.

This is not something to fear, but merely the natural result of the interaction between an organism and its environment. Just as you can have no up without down, and no black without white, your life would be wholly and utterly meaningless in the vacuum of nothingness. Meaning arises out of your interplay with the things and people around you.

You, therefore, have to accept that as you imprint on them, they imprint on you. The trick is to know which imprints to make permanent and which to let fade. So let the joyous moments in your life stay with you forever, and let the hurtful projections of others float away on the breeze.

Steve Waller has a passion for personal growth and development, so much so that he founded a website dedicated to it. The result is A Conscious Rethink: an online magazine of sorts that contains hundreds of helpful and thoughtful articles on subjects ranging from personality and relationships to psychology and philosophy, among others. The Facebook page accompanying his website has grown to a following of over 800,000 and counting so be sure to connect with him there, too.

Stop Taking the Bait of Projection!

Do you know how to take care of yourself when you are at the other end of projection?

All of us have projected our own thoughts, feelings, motivations and desires onto others, and have been at the other end of projection. Many of us learned to project onto others as we were growing up, when our parents, siblings or caregivers projected their unconscious feelings, thoughts and motivations onto us.

We might project onto others when we have judged our own feelings, actions, desires and motivations as bad, wrong, shameful or dangerous.

This article is about being at the other end of someone projecting onto you.

Projections are very different than someone offering you gifts of valuable information about you. Projections are often angrily hurled as an attack, while valuable information about you is generally offered with kindness.

Projections may create a sense of confusion; they are not about you, but the person projecting is saying something as if it is about you.

For example, Frank is upset and Mary is trying her best to be there for him. Suddenly Frank attacks Mary with, “You have no compassion!”

If Mary takes the bait, she will defend herself, vehemently explaining that she is doing her very best to support Frank. But no matter what she says, it does no good. In fact, it gets worse, as more insults are hurled her way.

Mary needs to understand that Frank is projecting. The real message behind “You have no compassion,” is “I have no compassion for myself or for you. I feel ashamed of myself for something I feel, want or have done. I don’t have the courage to face myself, so I’m defending against it by attacking you.”

What is the best thing to do in this situation? Often, the best thing is to say something like, “This is not about me,” and then lovingly disengage – keeping your heart open, in case the other person decides to open to themselves and with you. Be very compassionate toward yourself, as it is lonely and heartbreaking to be attacked about something that has nothing to do with you. We all want to be seen and understood by the important people in our lives, and it’s painful when they project their own issues onto us.

Common projections are:

  • “You’re selfish.” Translation: I’m being selfish and I don’t want to admit it or deal with it.
  • “You’re judgmental.” Translation: I’m judging myself and I feel ashamed of this, so it’s easier to blame you instead.
  • “You’re angry.” Translation: I’m angry, but I judge myself for being angry so I won’t admit it.
  • “Everything is about you.” Translation: I’m being narcissistic and I don’t want to know this.
  • “You’re crazy.” Translation: I’m feeling or acting out of control and I can’t let myself know this.
  • “You’re abusive.” Translation: I’m being abusive and I refuse to deal with myself.

The thing NOT to do when you are at the other end of projection is to take the bait. If the person projecting can get you to take the bait, he or she is off the hook. As soon as you try to discuss, explain, defend, argue, teach, cry, attack back, give yourself up, project back, or any number of other ways of protecting against the projection, the person projecting can now do exactly what they want to do – which is to focus on what you are doing rather than on themselves.

The worse they feel about what they have done, want or feel, the more attacking they may be. It’s a crazy-making situation, so generally the only thing you can do is remove yourself from the arena.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Discover real love and intimacy! Click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer: http://innerbonding.com/relationshipmicro/relationship-micro-1/ and visit our website at http://www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available.

How to Deal with Psychological Projection in Relationships

23.06.2020

Each of us has a unique inner world. It is built under the influence of life experience and many other factors. What is understandable and natural for one is alien to the other. Even those people who are close to you and have alike perceptions may turn out to be completely different. This may happen just because you have different “input data” – you grew up in different families, you had different childhoods, you fell in love with different people, and the same words or actions can have completely different meanings for you. There are too many factors that make up your inner self. And no matter how cliché it may sound, each of us is truly unique. Therefore, the only way to understand the other is to directly ask, clarify, and sort things out.

What Is Projection in Psychology?

Why do we constantly try to fill the blanks and find clues in someone’s speech? There is a good explanation: we see in others what is in ourselves. This is really so. In many ways, we find our true nature and become stronger through reflection by other people. We endow them with those qualities that we supplant or suppress in ourselves. A person who thinks that everyone envies them, in fact, cannot accept envy in themselves, they deny it. A person who can easily get offended believes that everyone takes offense at them, and a liar is sure that everyone is lying to them. As they say, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” It does not always about only poor character traits. It also works when we suppress our positive features. When you communicate with single girls for dating, you can project on them your personal experience, traits, relationships, motivation, in a word, your internal phenomena that may be completely different for them. It is a short psychological projection definition. Thus, to project means to attribute to another person your own emotions, thoughts, or intentions. What is projecting in a relationship? It is a psychological defense mechanism, that we subconsciously use to protect our psyche. We attribute our unacceptable thoughts, emotions, and desires to our surroundings. Some psychologists claim that psychological projection in relationships is its inevitable part, but it is also on the list of relationships red flags. The problem is that often we overdo with projecting feelings. As they say, you notice in other people things that you possess, and you hate someone’s features only if you subconsciously don’t tolerate them in yourself. The world will always be gloomy and dark for a pessimist, and a person who suffers from excess weight will always notice it in others. Thus, a person sees their reflection in others. Our projections have nothing to do with the object on which we transfer them.

We can interpret the same act in different ways, and there are many psychological projection examples. Thus, for instance, if you yelled at the dog, then this is the dog’s fault, it did not obey and deserved it. And if someone nearby yells at a dog, then you believe that this is an unstable owner. To one degree or another, each of us faces projections. Often, we are irritated in others by precisely those qualities that we possess. For example, a new colleague seems arrogant and domineering to you, but in fact, this is your quality that you thoroughly suppress.

Why Do Projecting Insecurities Appear?

As we have already mentioned, projection is one of the mechanisms of psychological defense. This concept arose in the framework of psychoanalysis and was introduced by its founder, Sigmund Freud, in 1894. He believed that the person resorts to psychological defenses to cope with various painful experiences. They help preserve the mental health and integrity of the individual by distorting reality. One of these mechanisms is introjection – when a person attributes something external to something internal. Projection is its opposite: in this case, something internal is attributed to the external environment.

According to Sigmund Freud, the principle of projection formation is approximately the following. If we have quality (for example, aggressiveness) that we are forbidden to show in childhood, then we supplant it, but we clearly see this feature in others. And other people may not possess this quality in reality. It is estimated that about 80% of what we think of other people is our projections, and nothing more.

1. Suppression

If you dwell on the issue, you will see that most problems we have in adult life have their roots in childhood. Thus, a kid who was always told to keep their emotions to themselves may face numerous challenges when become an adult. All emotions that arise for one reason or another should be released, and when it doesn’t happen, a person becomes “cluttered” with numerous insecurities. Your psyche takes care of you, so projection becomes the only possible way out that can improve the situation. So, projecting insecurities, a person can transfer responsibility and guilt for some of their shameful (in their understanding) inclinations to another person, attributing their qualities or feelings.

2. Fear

When a person is afraid to talk something out, their brain cannot get how someone else can do it. And when a trigger situation occurs, a person turns on their defensive mechanism, trying to project their insecurities. In general, people do a lot of things because of fear, and not all of them lead to something good or somehow change the situation for the better. It is a driving force that makes us act illogically sometimes. The projection mechanism can be compared to the work of a film projector; it helps you see particles of your personality, all that you deny in it. Any entity strives for integrity, and with the help of projection, you can start a dialogue with your fears.

3. Painful experience

As we have already said, painful experience is one of the main reasons that make your defense mechanism turn on. We subconsciously try to avoid everything that has left an unpleasant imprint on our souls. Thus, childhood trauma or painful situation in adulthood may lead to the appearance of projections. If you cannot deal with it on your own, it may poison your life and affect your relationships with other people who have nothing to do with the initial (root) situation. Why do not you see these phenomena in yourself? You can see them, but sometimes, it can be painful to encounter them. And your whole being is programmed for a stable and calm existence and all the events that concern you are pushed out by the psyche into the subconscious.

How to Respond to Psychological Projection in Relationships

Psychological projection in relationships brings more harm than good, and it’s very important to understand how to respond to someone who is projecting as well as how to stop projecting yourself if you want to build a healthy and happy relationship. Such things affect many spheres of life and make you fill the blanks in your partner’s speech, creating your version of the story that has nothing to do with reality. One way or another, we look at the world through invisible glasses that serve as a filter and deteriorate reality sometimes, for example, when your mood leaves much to be desired. The whole world is spinning around us. Thus, it is useful to find out how to respond to psychological projection to not bring the situation to the point of no return.

1. Take the lead

The very first thing you should do is to understand that their unpleasant words have nothing to do with you. So, don’t take them personally. Instead, facing such behavior, you can say, “I haven’t asked your opinion about that. So, if you don’t like it, try to deal with it on your own. The talk is over, and I am not going to continue this pointless discussion.” As simple as it is. You shouldn’t listen to unpleasant things if they are far from reality. In case you have some doubts about your rightness, you should listen to your gut and analyze the situation. If you have a psychologist, discuss these moments with them. You should defend your personal boundaries and not allow others to violate them.

2. Don’t build castles in the air

When you like a person very much, you turn a blind eye to numerous things that hint you on their indifference or poor attitude. Thus, you should cherish yourself with hopes that a person will change with time, and everything will become even better. You cannot make anyone love you and care, so if you believe in these changes, you deceive yourself. Such things can lead to codependency in which you will play the role of an abuser and a victim. None of you needs it. Well, is abusing someone a form of psychological projection? In some cases, yes. Just take a realistic look at your partner.

3. Don’t be afraid to seem strong

Many people face projection in relationships, and it evokes controversial feelings and sometimes very unpleasant emotions. You should be self-confident and self-sufficient to withstand these attacks and not allow others to use you to their benefits and selfish interests. You should work on your boundaries and put things in perspective as soon as possible. Discuss all these moments right away when you face their projection for the first time. Don’t try to look for excuses or justify them in one way or another.

4. Show interest in their thoughts

Nowadays people communicate more than ever, using all the possible opportunities that the modern world provides us with. Sometimes we talk even too much. It can become a breeding ground for projections: you do not always have time to realize what your interlocutor said, but you rush to respond. If you discuss some sensitive topics, it is especially important to ask questions. For example, your significant other came late from work. There can be different reasons for that. And if you have some worries, you should ask. Doing it, you not only clarify the situation but also demonstrate your interest. Your partner should learn to do the same. It is also about how to stop projecting onto others.

5. Ignore them on purpose

When people prone to projection, they do everything possible to stay in their comfort zone. Thus, when they project their “demons” on you, they try to freeze their self-worth or increase their self-esteem at your expense. It is a kind of addiction that brings short-term satisfaction and makes them feel high. Doing that, they improve their mood and deceive themselves with illusions. So, if you are dating a woman, who tries to look better against your background, projecting her thoughts on you, then you should decide whether you want to build a committed relationship with her or just ignore her on purpose at such moments.

6. Study yourself and inspire your partner for the same

As we have found out, certain things serve as a trigger for turning on the defensive mechanism. Nobody can say for sure what things will evoke such emotions. However, if you make efforts and study yourself more, you will be able to track your reactions to the events. For example, you can lose your temper when someone criticizes your relatives. Your partner can do the same, so the best strategy, in this case, is to sort things out and get to know yourselves better.

7. Develop your wisdom and motivate your partner to work on themselves

When people become truly close, they study each other as if under a microscope, trying to find out all the trifles and skeletons in the closet. Besides, you learn to avoid sharp corners that may evoke an unnecessary reaction. Thus, you try to do your best to not give a reason for arguing. It is a great tactic that may provide you with a happy life together. However, both partners should work on it. You should develop the level of maturity and motivate your partner for changes.

How to Stop Projecting Onto Others If You Notice This Problem in Yourself

The thing is that your partner can be not the only one who projects their fears, emotions, and thoughts onto others, but you can also do the same. Relationships are a two-way road, so both partners are responsible for their union. You can have the same reasons for projecting, or they may differ, it doesn’t really matter. The most important thing here is to deal with it as soon as possible to not turn your relations into a toxic partnership. Even if you realize the problem, don’t expect to meet this challenge at once. Chances are that it has already become a habit, so you will need time to get rid of it.

1.Study your needs and desires

You should learn how to track your reactions and understand what things become a trigger in your case. You might lack something or want to achieve, and you project your unfulfilled needs onto others. There are two ways out in this case – you should either accept the situation and change the focus of your attention or you should do your best to get this “precious” thing. Work on yourself. In case when you cannot cope with everything on your own, you should turn to a psychologist.

2. Don’t be afraid to admit that you are wrong

You should not be ashamed of projections since your psyche tries to protect you no matter what when the root cause of the problem is not solved. It is crucial to admit that you could be wrong. If you realized that you threw tantrum for no reason, arguing with your girlfriend, tell her about it and explain what caused your reaction. You can correct the negative effect of the projection, being honest and sincere.

3. Accept your true self

How to stop projecting? As soon as you gain enough dignity and increase your self-esteem to fully accept yourself, you can attract a decent woman. However, you cannot immediately attract the perfect match since usually, we run into people who reflect the problems that we have recently solved. You might not have made the right conclusion, so you need to repeat the situation as if from the outside. Or you should just become their shoulder to lean on.

4. Ask yourself questions

One of the ways to deal with projections is to get the qualities that you endow with others. If you think someone is envious, ask yourself, “And who do I envy? Why do I find envy in other people, what does it give me?” Or, if you have a feeling that everyone is using you, tell yourself how you use others or what it means to you to use a person. Reflect on why a phenomenon worries you so much that you want to talk about it.

5. Don’t rush

When you are going to judge someone, don’t rush to do it. Even if you put the prism of your experience on the situation, and it seems to you that it fits into it just right, you should check your projection by asking a direct question. Because an unverified projection is the cause of many awkward situations. The fewer people talk about what is happening between them, the more they fantasize about each other. And then the projection occupies the entire space of relationships.

Broaden Your Horizons

It is important to remember that the perception of the world is subjective. No matter how hard you try, you look at the surrounding reality through the prism of your experience, beliefs, and fears. Thus, a two-year-old child sees an animal in the picture in the book, their mother sees a dinosaur, and the paleontologist sees the carnivorous Tyrannosaurus. Your mind doesn’t like uncertainty, so you often try to fill it with projections. Try to always investigate the situation and find real evidence in favor of this or that conclusion! Now you know what a projection is in psychology, and you can find examples of it in your life yourself!

5 Steps to Stop Projection in its Tracks

I can be lazy sometimes. I procrastinate. I lose stuff occasionally.

I’m hard on myself about these things. Others seem to notice and they constantly tell me not to be. I know their hearts are in the right place, but I expect a lot from myself and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. However, there comes a point where my self-esteem can’t take any more criticism.

Unfortunately, when I reach the point where I can’t beat myself down any more, others suffer. My son gets a lecture on the finer points of room cleaning followed by a dissertation on being responsible for the whereabouts of his sneakers. My wife and I love to talk about soda cans, end tables, and underwear. (inside joke alert) Meanwhile, I go back to my own bad habits and nothing changes except for some newly hurt feelings.

A while back I decided to end this cycle. My family didn’t deserve what they were getting and my self-esteem didn’t deserve my repeated attacks. To end the cycle, I had to give my behavior a name, try to understand it, and then figure out how to stop.

Introducing Projection – The Gift That Keeps on Taking

The name was one of the most common defense mechanisms – projection. Courtesy of lifescript.com, it’s formal definition follows…

A defense mechanism people subconsciously employ in order to cope with difficult feelings or emotions. Psychological projection involves projecting undesirable feelings or emotions onto someone else, rather than admitting to or dealing with the unwanted feelings.  

I started picking apart the definition at “undesirable feelings or emotions.” My undesirable feelings were all related to pain and they stemmed from laziness, procrastination, and lack of responsibility. The emotions that followed from the pain?

Sadness.

Anger.

Fear.

It became clear in a hurry. These feelings and emotions were unwanted, hated even. My subconscious would do almost anything to avoid or get rid of them. No wonder I was flipping the script by looking for laziness, procrastination and a lack of responsibility in the people I spent the most time with.

With the name in hand and an understanding of why I was doing it, I needed to stop it. But there was another question to answer. Before we can end any bad habit, we have to know what need it fulfills. I looked to the 3 basic human emotional needs for an answer.

Validation – the need to feel important, valued, listened to and understood

Security – the need for comfort, safety, and to preserve the status quo

Excitement – the need for variety, risk, and adventure

There it was at the beginning – validation. When I would assert myself and have discussions with my wife and son I felt important. I felt like the leader of the family putting his foot down. I felt like I would be listened to, agreed with and apologized to.

The other one was just as clear. Excitement. Building up negative emotions inside and releasing them in someone else’s direction was how I fulfilled this need. I was risking getting into a full blown conflict with a loved one and there was a level of excitement that came with it. What would happen? How bad would feelings get hurt?

The First Steps to Stopping Projection

I knew what feelings I was trying to avoid and what needs I was meeting by projecting them onto others so now I needed to create a plan to deal with these emotions before I hurt others. It was unfair for others to suffer from my actions but it would also be unfair to myself to keep these feelings pent up inside.

As I pondered this, the first step became as clear as the nose on my face. Just as athletes study game film to know how to defend their opponents, I needed to be consciously of what situations would most often lead to projection.

Step 1 – Identify the situations that most often lead to projection.

For me, those were situations involving disorder like walking by my son’s room and seeing toys all over the place or looking in my office and seeing papers piled high on my desk. Now that I knew my hot buttons, I could raise my guard and have the best chance to stop projecting before I started.

As soon as the first step became clear to me, the second step followed. Words always begin as thoughts. What if I could catch my feelings in the thought stage and deal with them well before they formed themselves into words?

Step 2 – Upon entering high risk situations, be mindful of your thoughts.

I tend to have knee-jerk reactions to certain things. These reactions feel instinctual, like there’s no opportunity to think before acting. If you’re the same way, it’s important to practice the first two steps together. With a heightened awareness, you can slow down your mind long enough to think before you act.

Projection – I’m Callin’ You Out!

Now I can be mindful of my thoughts until the cows come home but how do I keep them from becoming words directed at others? In other words, how do I “deal” with them instead of holding them inside?

Thoughts pop in and pop out of our heads all day long. For example, a thought will pop into my head about something I need to do today and then it’s gone. The day ends and I forgot to do it. Most of the time when the thought shows up, I’m not in a position to do anything about it. Wrong place, wrong time, etc. I combatted this by using my smartphone’s calendar to remember appointments and events and Evernote to create lists of things I needed to do.

With projective thoughts there’s no need to write them down or save them for later. They can be dealt with in the moment, as soon as they appear. Here’s what this looks like…

Someone tells you they forgot to do something they’d agreed to do. They are normally very reliable but everyone has a hiccup once in a while. The thought comes into your head, “How could they do that? I was counting on them. Now what am I going to do?” Before verbalizing it, do these two things…

Step 3 – Call out your thoughts for what they are.

Say to yourself, “I have issues with following through. I’m embarrassed by them and beat myself up over them. Now I’m about to project my own issues onto someone else who doesn’t deserve to be treated that way.” That’s consciously giving projection a name and admitting what you see in someone else is actually something undesirable you see in yourself.

Step 4 – Identify the need projection would be meeting

Ask yourself, “What need would I be meeting if I lashed out at this person? Would I feel important? Would it be exciting to confront them? Would I feel more comfortable inciting a conflict because it’s what I’m used to doing in this situation?”

It’s powerful to know what emotional needs your behaviors meet. Armed with this information you can choose a number of alternatives – constructive ones instead of ones that create conflict and hurt feelings. That brings us to the final step…

Step 5 – Discover alternative behaviors that meet the same need

Let’s say projecting onto someone meets your need for validation. What else could you do that validates you but doesn’t create unnecessary conflict or hurt feelings? How about forgiveness? The inner validation from forgiving and moving on is powerful and life changing. If projecting excites you, what else would be just as exciting? Problem solving? What’s more exciting than finding a creative way to turn a negative into a positive?

If you’re thinking, “That’s a lot of steps to go through while I’m in the middle of the situation,” I understand. The first couple of times you apply these steps may be a little clunky. Give yourself permission to struggle with it at first. With practice, going through the steps will become an automatic response.

Projection hurts the ones we care about and takes accountability away from where it should lie, with us. We can be responsible for our actions and committed to growth and improvement without beating ourselves up. Use these steps to keep yourself from projecting and tell me how they’re working out in the comments below.

 

8 Examples Of Feelings We Project

Deep in the recesses of our minds lurk many thoughts and feelings that we’d like to deny ever having.

These desires and impulses are so offensive to the conscious part of the mind that it launches various psychological defense mechanisms to keep them out.

One way it does this is by projecting these feelings onto other people (for the most part, but also onto events and objects) in an attempt to externalize the problem.

What does this mean? Well, let’s begin with a simple definition:

Psychological projection is a defense mechanism that occurs when a conflict arises between your unconscious feelings and your conscious beliefs. In order to subdue this conflict, you attribute these feelings to someone or something else.

In other words, you transfer ownership of these troubling feelings to some external source.

You effectively trick yourself into believing that these undesirable qualities actually belong elsewhere – anywhere but as a part of you.

This approach, Freud theorized, is a way for our minds to deal with aspects of our character that we considered to be flawed.

Rather than admit to the flaw, we find a way to address it in a situation where it is free from personal connotations.

By projecting these flaws, we can avoid having to consciously identify them, take ownership of them, and deal with them.

Projecting emotions onto others is something we all do to some degree, and it has some psychological value, but as we’ll discuss later, it also has its drawbacks. 

There’s no end to the types of feelings we can project onto others. Whenever any internal conflict arises, there is always the temptation (though unconscious) to shift the troubling feeling elsewhere.

The more upsetting we find the feeling, the greater the impulse to project it onto someone else.

But let’s look at some clear examples to help explain the idea. Here are 8 of the most common examples of projection:

1. Attraction To And Arousal By Someone Other Than Your Partner

The classic example often used to explain projection psychology is that of the husband or wife who feels a strong sense of attraction to a third person.

Their inner values tell them that this is unacceptable, so they project these feelings onto their spouse and accuse them of being unfaithful.

This blame is actually a mechanism of denial so that they do not have to deal with, or feel guilty about, their own wandering desires.

This sort of projection in relationships can put a great deal of stress and strain on things.

After all, the innocent party is being accused of something they haven’t done. They will quite rightly defend themselves, often quite adamantly.

Before long, you’ve got a breeding ground of mistrust, poor communication, and doubt.

2. Body Image Issues

When you look in the mirror and regard your reflection as in some way imperfect, you might choose to overlook these so-called flaws by taking every opportunity to spot them in others.

Proclaiming someone else to be overweight, ugly, or to have some other unappealing physical attribute is most likely to occur when you have deep-seated image issues yourself.

Projection allows you to take the loathing you may have for your looks and distance yourself from it by focusing it on other people.

You may also project behaviors that you are uncomfortable with onto others.

For example, you may criticize someone for being greedy at the dinner table, or for wearing unflattering clothing in order to hide your own insecurities regarding these things.

3. Disliking Someone

When we are young, we tend to get along with everyone, and this desire remains a part of us as we grow older.

With this in mind, it should come as no surprise to learn that when we find ourselves disliking someone, we seek to project this feeling onto them so that we may justify our own less than friendly behavior.

To put it another way, if you dislike Joe, but are not willing to consciously admit to this, you might convince yourself that it is Joe who doesn’t like you.

This protects you against feeling bad for disliking someone, no matter what your reasons are.

Because let’s face it, if you had to really say why you disliked Joe (perhaps he is charming and you are not, or maybe he has a successful career and you’re unfulfilled in yours), you’d come face to face with qualities that you don’t want to admit exist in you.

4. Insecurity And Vulnerability

When we feel insecure about some aspect of ourselves (such as the body image discussed above), we seek out ways to identify some insecurity in other people.

This is often the case with bullying behavior where the bully will target the insecurities of others in order to avoid dealing with his/her own concerns.

This is why they will look for the most vulnerable individuals who can be easily attacked without risk of emotionally painful retribution.

It doesn’t have to be exactly the same insecurity that is targeted; often any will do.

So the person who worries that they are not smart enough will pick on the lack of romantic confidence in another who might target the financial anxieties of a third person.

5. Anger

In an attempt to mask the anger that may be raging on the inside, some people project it onto those they are angry with.

During an argument, for instance, you may try to maintain a cool and measured exterior and even tell the other person to ‘calm down’ so as to deny the anger you are harboring.

Or you may use the actions of others to justify your anger towards them, even when an alternate approach could have been taken.

Projecting anger onto someone else shifts the blame in your mind. No longer are you the reason for the conflict; you see yourself as the attacked, not the attacker.

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6. Irresponsible Behavior

We may not like to admit it, but we all partake in behavior that could be considered irresponsible.

Whether it’s having a few too many drinks, taking unnecessary risks with our safety, or even being reckless with our money, we are all guilty of doing things that we probably shouldn’t.

To avoid feelings of remorse, we project our irresponsibility onto others and criticize them for their actions.

Sometimes we hone in on things that bear no relation to our own misdemeanors, but other times we scold people for doing precisely the things that we, ourselves, have done (the hypocrites).

7. Failure

When we perceive ourselves to have failed at something, it is common for us to push others to succeed in an attempt to deny our failure.

This is borne out by the parents who enthusiastically – sometimes overbearingly – encourage their children to try hard at something that they, in their mind, failed at.

Take the failed athlete who forces their child down the sporting road, or the musician who never quite made it who pushes their child into learning a musical instrument.

It makes no difference to the parent whether the child actually wants to pursue these activities, because, for them, it is a chance to make amends for their own shortcomings.

8. Achievement

This is one of those rare instances where we actually project positive aspects of our own personality onto others, although it doesn’t always come across that way.

Take the animal welfare activist who projects his dislike of cruel farming practices onto everyone else, only to be shocked when they don’t seem to share his concerns.

Or consider the business owner who struggles to understand why his employees aren’t as driven as he is to make the business a success.

The Problem With Projection

This element of psychology may appear to be effective in defending our minds against pain, but there are two fundamental problems that run counter to this argument.

The first is that projection makes us feel superior to everyone else because it allows us to overlook our own faults and inadequacies while simultaneously honing in on what we perceive to be imperfect in others.

This can not only be the source of much conflict, but it gives us a false impression and false expectations of other people. We fail to see all the good in people, because we are too busy examining their flaws.

The second issue with projection as a defense mechanism is that it fails to address the underlying feelings themselves. As long as we continue to deny the existence of these feelings, there is no mechanism that can help us to tackle and overcome them.

It is only when we accept they are a part of us that we can begin to work through them and eventually rid ourselves of them altogether.

The first step is, as you’d expect, the hardest one to take because it effectively invites pain upon yourself.

Yet, until dealt with, this pain is always present, and while you may not feel its full effect when it is being suppressed, it contributes to an unease that never quite leaves you.

Moving Away From Projection

Projection can be a conscious thing, but much of the time, it takes place below the surface as a function of the unconscious.

Before you can begin to tackle the underlying issues, you must first recognize when and how you might be projecting onto others.

While bringing your own awareness to the situation might help uncover some instances, it is not always easy to identify those feelings that you’ve buried deepest.

You might find great value in talking to a psychotherapist who is trained to spot and gently tease out things that we might not immediately be aware of.

They can help to bring these issues to the surface where they can be examined and, finally, dealt with.

If you feel you might benefit from speaking to a therapist, simply – click here to find one.

Projection is often damaging to our relationships with others, so any attempt to eradicate it as a habit – either by yourself or with professional help – is worth it.

When you are capable of facing unwelcome feelings head on, you’ll find they are far less draining or damaging in the long term.

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Projection is a psychological defense mechanism in which individuals attribute characteristics they find unacceptable in themselves to another person. For example, a husband who has a hostile nature might attribute this hostility to his wife and say she has an anger management problem.

In some cases projection can result in false accusations. For example, someone with adulterous feelings might accuse their partner of infidelity.

Types of Projection

Like other defense mechanisms, projection is typically unconscious and can distort, transform, or somehow affect reality. A classic example of the defense mechanism is when an individual says “She hates me” instead of expressing what is actually felt, which is “I hate her.”

There are three generally accepted types of projection:

  1. Neurotic projection is the most common variety of projection and most clearly meets the definition of defense mechanism. In this type of projection, people may attribute feelings, motives, or attitudes they find unacceptable in themselves to someone else.
  2. Complementary projection occurs when individuals assume others feel the same way they do. For example, a person with a particular political persuasion might take it for granted that friends and family members share those beliefs.
  3. Complimentary projection is the assumption other people can do the same things as well as oneself. For example, an accomplished pianist might take it for granted that other piano students can play the piano equally well.

What Is the Purpose of Projection?

Sigmund Freud believed projection to be a defense mechanism often used as a way to avoid uncomfortable repressed feelings. Feelings that are projected may be controlling, jealous, angry, or sexual in nature. These are not the only types of feelings and emotions projected, but projection most often occurs when individuals cannot accept their own impulses or feelings.

In modern psychology, the feelings do not necessarily have to be repressed to constitute projection. Projection can be said to provide a level of protection against feelings a person does not wish to deal with. Engaging in either complimentary and complementary projection can allow people to feel more like others or relate to them easily.

It is fairly common for people to engage in projection from time to time, and many people who project their feelings on occasion do not do so as a result of any underlying issue. In some cases projection can contribute to relationship challenges. Projection may also be a symptom of other mental health concerns.

Projection and Mental Health Concerns

Projection, one main mechanism of paranoia, is also frequently a symptom of narcissistic and borderline personalities. A person with narcissistic traits who does not respect their partner may say to the partner, “You don’t respect me or see my true worth.” Some individuals with borderline personality may be afraid of losing the people they love and project this fear by frequently accusing friends or partners of planning to leave. However, individuals who project their feelings in this way do not necessarily have either of these conditions.

A person in therapy may be able to address these projections with the help of a qualified mental health professional. When a person can explore the reasons behind any projected feelings, it may be possible to prevent or reduce occurrences of this behavior in the future.

References:

  1. American Psychological Association. APA Concise Dictionary of Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2009. Print.
  2. Corsini, R. J., & Wedding, D. (Eds.). (2007). Current Psychotherapies (Eighth ed.). Brooks Cole.
  3. Perry, J. C., Presniak, M. D., & Olson, T. R. (2013). Defense Mechanisms in Schizotypal, Borderline, Antisocial, and Narcissistic Personality Disorders. Psychiatry, 76(1), 32-52.
  4. Projection. (n.d.). Changing Minds. Retrieved from http://changingminds.org/explanations/behaviors/coping/projection.htm

Last Updated:
02-16-2016

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Personal defense mechanisms

The term “defense mechanism” was first introduced by Sigmund Freud.

The functional significance of psychological defenses consists in the weakening of anxiety, tension, anxiety, frustration caused by the contradiction between the impulses of the unconscious and the requirements of the external environment arising from interaction with the environment. Psychological protection performs the function of regulating human behavior, making it more adaptive, increases adaptability, stabilizes the psyche and normalizes the state of the individual.

The main defense mechanisms include: repression, projection, substitution, rationalization, reactive formation, regression, sublimation, denial.

  1. Displacement.

One of the main and primary mechanisms is repression, which consists in discarding events, thoughts, experiences that are unpleasant for us. As a result, a person ceases to be aware of internal conflicts, and also does not remember the traumatic events of the past.The repressed impulses do not lose their activity in the unconscious sphere and appear in the form of dreams, jokes, slips of the tongue, etc.

Displacement can be compared to a dam that can break – there is always a risk that memories of unpleasant events will burst out. The psyche expends a huge amount of energy to suppress them.

  1. Projection.

In terms of its significance, the next mechanism is projection – the attribution of one’s own socially undesirable feelings, desires, and aspirations to others.This mechanism of psychological defense makes it possible to relieve oneself of responsibility for one’s own character traits and desires, which seem unacceptable.

For example, unfounded jealousy may be the result of a projection mechanism. Defending against his own desire for infidelity, a person suspects his partner of treason.

  1. Substitution.

In this defense mechanism, the manifestation of the instinctive impulse is redirected from a more threatening object or person to a less threatening one.For example, an overly demanding employer criticizes an employee, and she reacts with outbursts of rage to minor provocations from her husband and children. She does not realize that, being the objects of her irritation, they are simply replacing the boss. In this example, the true object of hostility is replaced by a much less threatening subject.

  1. Rationalization.

Rationalization as a protective process consists in the fact that a person unconsciously invents logical judgments and inferences to explain his failures.This is necessary to maintain your own positive self-image. One of the most commonly used forms of such protection is “green grape” rationalization. This name originates from Aesop’s fable about a fox who could not reach the bunch of grapes and therefore decided that the berries were not yet ripe.

  1. Reactive education.

Reactive education becomes a psychological defense mechanism when a person demonstrates actions that are opposite to his true experiences.In the case of this defensive reaction, a person unconsciously transforms one mental state into another (for example, hatred – into love, and vice versa).

A similar fact is important in assessing the personality of a person, for it indicates that a person’s real actions can only be a consequence of a veiled distortion of his true desires.

For example, excessive anger in other cases is only an unconscious attempt to veil interest and good nature, and ostentatious hatred is a consequence of love, which frightened a person who unconsciously decided to hide it behind an attempt to openly splash out negative.

  1. Regression.

In regression, a person returns to earlier forms of behavior. Regression allows us to adapt to a traumatic situation due to an unconscious return to habitual forms of behavior since childhood: crying, whims, emotional requests, etc. We unconsciously learned that such forms of behavior guarantee support and safety.

This type of protection is especially often manifested in a situation of illness, when an adult begins to behave like a child.Regression makes it possible to throw off the burden of responsibility for what is happening: after all, in childhood, parents were responsible for a lot.

Abuse of regression leads to a lack of a successful life strategy, difficulties in relationships with people around and the emergence of psychosomatic diseases.

  1. Sublimation.

Sublimation is an unconscious switch of negative psychic energy to engage in socially useful work.Sublimation is expressed in the fact that a person experiencing some kind of neurotic conflict finds the replacement of internal anxiety by switching to another occupation (creativity, chopping wood, cleaning the apartment, etc.).

This mechanism is considered as the only constructive strategy of behavior in a situation of psychological discomfort.

Sublimation is a productive defense mechanism that has given the world a huge amount of art.

  1. Negative

This defense mechanism allows you to ignore (deny) the obvious, protecting the psyche from injury.This is a complete rejection of unpleasant information. Denial is often the first response to the pain of loss or to the presence of a dangerous illness.

When a person refuses to admit that an unpleasant event has occurred, this means that he turns on such a protective mechanism as denial.

Denial of reality occurs there and then when people say or insist: “This just cannot happen to me”, despite the obvious evidence to the contrary (this happens when a doctor informs a patient that he has a fatal disease).

Considering the mechanisms of psychological protection of a person, it is necessary to remember the following:

1) defense mechanisms are manifested at the unconscious level, i.e. a person does not realize that he is using defense mechanisms;

2) defense mechanisms do not appear in isolation, i.e. a person usually uses 1-2 protection mechanisms;

3) defense mechanisms protect a person from overwhelming anxiety, tension, prevent disorganization of behavior and help maintain the integrity of the personality.

4) a person’s awareness of the existence of psychological defenses helps him to better understand and accept himself.

If you have any questions or are interested in studying your personality, the psychologists of the medical and psychological department will be happy to help you.

List of used literature:

  1. Melnik S.N., Psychology of personality
  2. S. A. Zelinsky Protective mechanisms of the psyche.Basic protection characteristics
  3. Chumakova Elena Viktorovna “Psychological protection of personality in the system of child-parent interaction”
  4. Belov V.G., Biryukova G.M., Fedorenko V.V. Psychological protection and its role in the formation of the human adaptive system.
  5. S.L. Bogomaz Psychological protection of personality: methodology, mechanisms, tools.

Material prepared by psychologist I.D.,

medical and psychological department.

Psychological Protection: How It Works | Be Healthy

Many people perceive psychological defense as the ability to respond to aggression or get out of the conflict with dignity. But there are also protective mechanisms of the psyche – the ways to respond to traumatic situations, necessary in order to maintain our self-esteem and restore self-esteem. The mechanisms of psychological defense are universal for everyone, they are inherent in us by nature.

Many perceive psychological defense as the ability to adequately respond to aggression or to get out of the conflict with dignity. No one is born with such a skill: it is gained through years of practice, and even then, I must admit, not for everyone. But in order to maintain a sense of psychological security even for those who are not very good at communicating, there are protective mechanisms of the psyche (they are also primary defenses ). These are the ways we respond to traumatic situations that we need to maintain our self-esteem and restore our self-esteem.The mechanisms of psychological defense are universal for everyone, they are inherent in us by nature: these are patterns of behavior or response to a particular traumatic situation.

Primary psychological defense is a double-edged sword. Despite its undoubted benefit – the ability to accept a painful situation without loss of self-esteem, it has two noticeable disadvantages. First, psychological protection does not change anything in the order of things, it only relieves us of anxiety and discomfort. And secondly, it works in a way that distorts reality for the sake of our emotional stability.

Play hide and seek

“Nothing happened”

The denial mechanism operates according to the principle “if I don’t admit it, then it didn’t happen”. Unwanted events are not considered as existing ones. Denial often becomes the first reaction to irreversible events – death, illness. You can also face denial in family relationships: it seems that it is more painless to close your eyes to the problem than to put the question bluntly. For example, the question often arises: where do the parents of a drug-addicted child look in an outwardly rather prosperous family – why do they not pay attention to the disturbing signs? Yes, because the mechanism of denial is working with might and main – parents do not allow themselves to think that such a thing can happen in their family.

“And I forgot”

A special motivated “forgetting” of the traumatic situation is called repression . And not only obvious troubles can be forgotten – sometimes someone else’s help “jumps out” from the memory, arriving in time for us at a critical moment. The crowding out often extends to situations involving money or liabilities.

“The very fool”

One of the consequences of displacement is projection .The fact is that repressed information (or forgotten experience) leaves consciousness, but remains at a subconscious level. Periodically, what has been displaced begins to break through outward – for example, in projection. The person begins to ascribe his own experience, motives or thoughts to others. So it seems to the deceiver that everyone around is trying to cheat him, and a person who lacks money tends to smash the “rogue” more often than others. Not only negative, but also positive emotions can be projected.In a broad sense, we all use projection to explain the world – how else can you understand others than find similar feelings in yourself?

“I’ll explain everything now”

Sometimes it seems to us that it is easier to eat a toad than to admit that we are wrong. And you don’t have to admit it – especially when there is such a wonderful mechanism in the arsenal as rationalization . It will allow you to find sane and quite worthy reasons to explain your own unacceptable actions.Which is more convenient: to admit that you are not hired for a dream job because of insufficient experience – or to think that “everything in our country is only by acquaintance”? Rationalization allows you to fence yourself off from the world with a set of simple stereotypes, spend a minimum of effort on analyzing the incoming information – and at the same time feel like d’Artagnan against the background of dull reality.

“I am not me”

A fairly transparent method of psychological defense is reactive formations – when a person replaces his own feelings with the opposite.Classic examples of reactive formations can be found in the behavior of adolescents who seek to turn inside out feelings they find shameful. Therefore, you have to laugh in the cinema at a film that causes tears or beat a young lady with a portfolio, for whom you want to look after, but it’s scary “what the boys will say”.

Feelings must be poured out

However, we can get into critical situations that do not hit our self-esteem so much that we need psychological protection – but, nevertheless, require a certain release.And we have our own methods for this.

Sublimation . Around the topic of sublimation (thanks to Freud) there is a lot of speculation about its sexual nature. In fact, not only sexual energy can be sublimated, but also, for example, aggression, which needs to find a way out. For example, there are known “rooms of rage” in Japanese corporations, where employees can kick a pillow or throw paint at a wall.

Internalization . The easiest way to describe this mechanism of discharge is by the phrase “I didn’t really want to”.If you can’t get what you want, sometimes it’s easier to convince yourself that you don’t need it.

Regression. You can feel protected by returning to the primitive ways of responding to situations that a person used in childhood. Once upon a time such methods were effective – and we subconsciously expect: what if they will not refuse now? Therefore, you have to pout and be silent all day – or throw things in the hope of attracting attention.

90,000 Psychological defenses and methods of coping behavior in women with different marital status

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  • Weinstein Larisa Alexandrovna1.52019-03-22T12: 57: 57 + 05: 002019-03-22T12: 57: 57 + 05: 00

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    Projection (psychology)

    1.Features.

    (Features)

    As a defense mechanism, projection allows a person not to feel responsible for their own shadow of content through the perception of feelings like other people. the negative consequence of such protection is the desire to correct an external object onto which something negative is projected, or to get rid of it altogether, therefore, in order to get rid of the feelings “caused by it”. in order to activate the projection mechanism, it must have taken the object to hell, if we are talking about people or properties, if the object, which could cause a reaction from the subconscious of the observer.In most cases, the unconscious reaction is associative: the subject sees something similar to what or whom he saw earlier. in this way, for example, some memories can be explained. however, there are cases when the projected content does not reflect the content of the personal unconscious, and is the result of the projection of the collective unconscious, and, therefore, the projection becomes mystical. in addition, the projection becomes mystical when the interlocutor touches on all important aspects of the personality, which gives the projection an extreme value to fanaticism.therefore, every object on which some contents of the unconscious have been projected always has a property that has been invoked. CG Jung called these hooks properties.

    Projection is one of the main defense mechanisms in paranoid and hysterical personality disorder.

    But the same mechanism underlies empathy: a person cannot directly experience the inner state of another person, but can empathize, reacting to various manifestations of this state. The resulting projection of these reactions is perceived as an immediate sensation of a foreign state.In most cases, this empathy increases the understanding between people.

    It also underlies the personification of “animating” objects and forces of nature, “humanizing” animals. for example, phrases such as “calm sea”, “anxious sea”, “the storm was angry”, “devoted dog”, “independent cat”, “unhappy horse” are the result of attributing to external objects their own reaction to them.

    Projection (psychology) – Wiki

    This term has other meanings, see.Projection.

    Projection (Latin projectio – throwing forward) is a psychological process related to the mechanisms of psychological defense, as a result of which the internal is mistakenly perceived as coming from the outside [1] . A person ascribes to someone or something his own thoughts, feelings, motives, character traits, etc., believing that he has perceived something coming from the outside, and not from within himself. First described by Sigmund Freud.

    Features

    As a defense mechanism, projection allows a person to consider his own unacceptable feelings, desires, motives, ideas, etc. strangers , and, as a result, do not feel responsible for them. The negative consequence of such protection is the desire to correct an external object onto which something negative is projected, or even to get rid of it in order to get rid of the feelings “caused by it”. An external object, meanwhile, may have nothing to do with what is projected onto it.

    Projection is one of the main defense mechanisms in paranoid and hysteroid personality disorder [1] .

    But the same mechanism underlies empathy: a person cannot directly feel the inner state of another person, but can empathize, reacting to various manifestations of this state. As a result of the projection action, these reactions are perceived as a direct sensation of someone else’s state. In most cases, this empathy increases the understanding between people. [1]

    It also underlies the “animation” of objects, forces of nature, in the “humanization” of animals.For example, phrases such as “calm sea”, “anxious sea”, “storm was angry”, “devoted dog”, “independent cat”, “unhappy horse” are the result of attributing to external objects their own reaction to them.

    Literature

    See also

    References

    Notes

    1. 1 2 3 Nancy McWilliams, Psychoanalytic Diagnostics: Understanding Personality Structure in the Clinical Process, ed.”Class”, 1998.

    90,000 Family models as a projection of domestic violence: why the wrong attitudes of childhood are dangerous

    A Crisis Center for Women and Children has been operating in Moscow for over 5 years. We talked with the center’s psychologist Lyubov Vyzhanova about what to do to prevent a domestic conflict from becoming an episode of domestic violence, and how to help not only a woman cope with a difficult situation, but also a man not to become a tyrant.

    Lyubov Yurievna, is everything banal enough? Is the violence “growing” from the parental family? If a child does not see the parents’ love and respect for each other or for themselves, are there great chances that he will transfer this model to his future family?

    There is such a thing as a “family scenario”.In preschool age, we, like sponges, absorb the vivid impressions of the relationship between parents that we see. And this is what becomes the norm for us in the future.

    We see an aggressive drinking father, who raises his hand to mom? Does mom constantly cry and scream? So it’s okay. The family model laid down in childhood is projected into the future with the marker “it should be done”. The child cannot resist the proposed model: he simply does not have developed protective mechanisms. These are deep attitudes, which, unfortunately, necessarily pass into his adult life and his own family.

    Has this pattern been observed since early childhood?

    Yes. It has been proven, for example, that a six-month-old child can participate in family quarrels. He hears the screams of mom and dad and starts crying, pulling toys out of the bed in which he lies. In this way, he reacts to parental conflicts.

    And which family scenarios are most relevant now? If we are talking about families facing domestic violence.

    Dislike.Not accepted: take care of each other, love, care. They do not know how to communicate correctly. This is all due to the lack of a healthy understanding of the roles: who is “mom”, who is “dad”, who is “youngest son”. And then simple psychology works. As soon as a person creates his family, the inherent family scenario is “unpacked” in his mind. This is the specificity of our psyche. For example, if you spent your childhood in a house opposite the railroad, as an adult you will also choose a house near the railroad. You are just used to this noise.

    It turns out to be a kind of vicious circle. Then the age-old question is “what to do”?

    When the family runs out of resources, the state joins in. First, due to the fact that there is a real threat to life. At the same time, mom herself needs help. As a government agency, we serve as a patronage for her and her family. Our experts help with a variety of everyday problems. For example, to issue payments or arrange a child in a kindergarten. The women we work with often don’t know how to do this.

    So, working with women in crisis now, you are working to prevent incidents that may happen in the future?

    Yes. Helping a woman here and now is a top priority. But at the same time, we are working on the likelihood of domestic violence in the future, we communicate with a woman and a child. We are correcting the already established family scenario.

    If you do not take neglected domestic violence, and those cases when it is just incipient, how is it dangerous for a child?

    Conflicts in general have a very negative effect on the child.Once a schoolboy was brought to us. Second class. Doesn’t want to study. He is not interested in any subjects. We start work – we find out: dad constantly bales, mom cries. The child is not satisfied with the basic need – safety. And then memory and attention are automatically blocked. You can go to the tutor as much as you like, but if the child does not feel safe, it is useless. The task of both parents and ours is to help both the child and the family.

    Since we are talking about the degree of “neglect” of violence.Are there “varieties” of it? What is it like?

    There are four types: psychological, physical, sexual and economic.

    Everything is clear with the first, but what is “economic violence”?

    This is when a woman, for example, after pregnancy and childbirth goes on maternity leave and begins to be dependent on her husband (cohabitant) in the financial sense. A man, if he is prone to psychological aggression, skillfully uses it. He keeps track of how much money his beloved spends, manipulates it.Gradually tries to restrict a woman in other resources: for example, prohibits communicating with friends, going to work. A woman is looking for a reason in herself. Carries more about the man. But this is an improvement to nowhere, because violence is already developing here.

    If a man himself recognized the signs of a domestic tyrant, what should he do?

    We have dialogue groups of men. We also call it “What men are silent about.” People come here with a variety of problems.But the main motivation is the desire to make your child happy. That is, a man is worried that conflicts with his wife, for example, have a bad effect on children. And this is what motivates him to work on himself.

    Does it happen that men cry in such classes?

    Yes. And there is nothing shameful about that. “A man does not cry”, “a man is a hero” – these stereotypes can also give rise to domestic violence. Because our men do not know how to express their emotions. In the classroom, we teach to regulate our condition.Most men regret it and start working on themselves.

    Who conducts these trainings?

    Man. This, of course, makes it easier for our listeners to make contact. There is a kind of male slang. Sometimes classes are held in pairs – a man and a woman. To simulate situations and explain women’s positions on some issues.

    Can an ordinary person somehow also participate in “violence prevention”?

    Yes. Ask your neighbor how he is doing.We must be more attentive to each other. It happens that everyone simply forgets about a person, and he has no one to ask for help. As a rule, such women come to us. They are not needed by their relatives and friends. It doesn’t have to be that way.

    The Crisis Center for Helping Women and Children helps women and women with children who are in a crisis situation, as well as women who have been subjected to psychophysical violence, who are in a state of divorce and after divorce, underage mothers, single mothers with minor children.

    The structure of the center includes two branches – “Nadezhda” and “Specialized orphanage” Little Mom “.

    The center has been operating since 2014. The helpline 8 (499) 977-20-10 and 8 (499) 492 46-89 works every day (except Sunday).

    Detailed information can be found on the website: https://krizis-centr.ru

    Press Service of the Department of Labor and Social Protection of the Moscow City Population

    What is a projection and why does it interfere with communication?

    When I just started studying psychotherapy, the most important discovery (and even shock) for me was how much we humans think about each other.And how much it creates misunderstandings, disagreements and premature conclusions. How did I come to this realization? Thanks to the educational process.

    There is such a practice as group dynamics. It consists in the fact that a group of people sits in a circle and everyone begins to speak the truth about what they think. It was forbidden to include in the topic of conversation people who were not present in the circle, so our discussions most often concerned ourselves, namely our relationships. To simplify, it looked something like this.Pasha says to Masha: “You are some kind of silent, probably angry with me?” Lena retorts: “We quarreled in the morning, and now she’s probably offended at me …” Katya interjects: “Why are you sticking, Masha had a hard day yesterday, she’s just tired!” But during the discussions, it turned out that Masha is fine, she is not angry with anyone, she is not at all offended, but is silent because of her new love that completely captured her thoughts (“I feel so good that I am in the clouds”). And the feelings attributed to her (anger / resentment / fatigue) were experienced in one form or another by the people themselves who endowed her with these qualities.

    Telling only the truth was the rule of learning, there was no way to get around it. How else can we understand the mechanisms of thinking and building relationships? This practice was repeated from year to year and tested on a variety of people (from 18 to 70 years old), which completely turned my perception of the world upside down. I realized that no matter how I understand people, I cannot determine what is happening inside another person until I figure it out directly.

    The inner world of each of us is unique. It is built under the influence of life experience and many other factors.What is understandable and natural to one is alien to another. Even those people who, it would seem, were very close to me (we graduated from the same university in the same year, we have similar hobbies and general psychotype), in their “stuffing”, their perception turned out to be completely different. If only because we have different “input data”, we grew up in different families, we had different childhoods, we fell in love with different people and the same words or actions for us can have completely different meanings.

    What can I say, even brothers and sisters often turn out to be diametrically opposed personalities.Because there are too many factors that make up our inner “I”. And no matter how sad it may sound, but each of us is really “so one”. Therefore, the only way to understand another is to ask directly, to clarify, to find out.

    Why do we “think out” for others? There is a good explanation: we see in others what is in ourselves. This is true. We find ourselves in many ways and strengthen ourselves through reflection by other people. We endow them with those qualities that we repress or suppress in ourselves.A person who thinks that everyone is jealous of him, in fact, cannot accept envy in himself, denies it. It seems to the offended that everyone is offended at him, to the liar – that everyone is lying to him. We project onto others our personal experience, traits, relationships, motivation, in a word, our own internal phenomena that may not be characteristic of others at all. In psychology, this phenomenon is called “projection”.

    How is the projection formed?

    Projection refers to one of the mechanisms of psychological defense.This concept arose within the framework of psychoanalysis, and was introduced by its founder of this doctrine Sigmund Freud in 1894. He believed that the personality resorts to psychological defenses in order to cope with various painful experiences. They help maintain mental health and personal integrity by distorting reality. One of these mechanisms is introjection – when a person appropriates something external as something internal. Projection is its opposite: in this case, something internal is attributed to the external environment.

    According to Sigmund Freud, the principle of forming projections is approximately the following. If we have some quality (for example, aggressiveness) that from childhood we are forbidden to show, then we displace it, but we clearly see this trait in others. And for this, other people do not have to have this quality in reality. It is believed that about 80% of what we think of other people is our own projections, and nothing more.

    So, for example, a woman shackled by sexual inhibitions thinks that everyone is pestering her, and a man who lusts for other women is furiously jealous of his wife, who has no thought of treason.

    The psyche cannot recognize in other people and events that which is not contained in itself. The brighter, more often and more emotionally we react to this or that quality in others, the more the corresponding tendencies are contained in our mind. We just get an unmistakable indication of our own “specialization.”

    Why do we need this?

    Psychological defense mechanisms help us resolve internal conflicts and cope with anxiety, tension, shame and other emotions.So, thanks to projection, a person can transfer responsibility and guilt for some of his shameful (in his understanding) inclinations to another person, ascribe his qualities or feelings to him.

    Why don’t we see these phenomena in ourselves? We can see them, but it can be painful to face them. And our whole being is programmed for a stable and calm existence, and all the events that excite us are displaced by the psyche into the subconscious.

    The projection mechanism can be compared to the work of a movie projector – it helps us to see parts of our own personality, everything that we deny in it.Not only to see, but also to find. Any entity strives for integrity, and with the help of projection, we can enter into a dialogue with those parts of our own personality with which a dialogue inside is impossible. Whether this dialogue will become friendly is not important, the main thing is that it will take place. This means that our personality, perhaps, like a mosaic, will collect the unjustly rejected parts and finally become whole.

    What to do?

    One way to deal with projections is to take on the qualities that we bestow on others.If you think you are envied, ask yourself: “Who do I envy? Why do I find envy in other people, what does it give me? ” Or, if you have a feeling that everyone is using you, tell yourself how you use others or what it means to you to use a person. Reflect on why this or that phenomenon worries you so much, what it says about you.

    Do you hear someone’s opinion (that is, someone’s projection) about yourself? Do not rush to instantly react and take everything at face value.Don’t immediately identify with someone else’s picture of the world. Take a break and try to separate where is “your” and where is “his”, characteristic of the interlocutor.

    When making a judgment about another person, also take your time. Even if you put the prism of your experience on him and it seems to you that it almost fit him, it is worth checking your projection by asking a direct question.