Project feelings: The request could not be satisfied
Why Projecting Feelings Can Be Harmful To Your Relationship
By: Jon Jaehnig
Updated June 08, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Karen Devlin, LPC
Projecting feelings can be harmful to your relationship in several ways. However, this is an internal process, so it can be difficult to tell when you’re doing it.
Here, we’ll talk about what it means to project your feelings, how to identify this behavior, why it can be harmful to your relationship, and how to communicate more effectively.
What Does It Mean To Project Your Feelings
“Projecting your feelings” is a term that psychologists use to describe the act of attributing your feelings to other people – even if they aren’t expressing those feelings themselves.
Suppose you’re angry about something. When you’re projecting your feelings, you might think that other people are angry with you – even if they aren’t angry with you and aren’t doing anything to convince you that they are.
Projecting Feelings Is Common
Projecting feelings is a very common thing, especially among people who don’t have any psychology or emotional literacy training. It’s something that we do because of strong, unaddressed feelings in ourselves or to try to understand the feelings of others.
However, when you understand projection and are aware that you are doing it, it becomes easier to stop addressing your feelings and pay closer attention to those around you.
Why Do We Project Our Feelings?
There are three main reasons that we project our feelings. However, you might see all of these causes at different times or a combination of these causes depending on the feelings involved and the situation that causes them.
The first of these is that our emotions – especially difficult emotions – can form a feedback loop. Anger can lead us to see anger around us. Sadness can lead us to see sadness around us. As a result, when we experience one of these emotions, we often see it in others, even if they aren’t experiencing or exhibiting those emotions. As a result, if we deal with the emotions we are feeling, we can better understand other people’s emotions and exhibit them.
While people usually see projecting as things done by selfish or self-absorbed people, it is something that we can do when we are trying to understand people. If someone else is going through something, our instinct is to try to understand what that is. One way that we do this – usually subconsciously – is by assuming that the other person feels the way we would feel in that situation. In this way, projection can be genuine – if short-sighted – an attempt at understanding those around us.
That having been said, sometimes projection can be a selfish action. Most of us find that other peoples’ emotions are easier to deal with than our own. If someone is sad, we can try to comfort them. If someone is confused, we can give them advice. If someone is angry, we can tell them to calm down. These same feelings in ourselves often seem more complicated. As a result, we sometimes – subconsciously – attribute our emotional states to those around us to solve our problems by solving the problems that we project onto them.
How Projecting Feelings Can Be Harmful To Your Relationship
Projecting feelings can be harmful to your relationship for several reasons. These reasons roughly track with the reason why you project your feelings. That does not, however, mean that there is a one-to-one relationship between them. Anyone of the causes or combinations of the causes above can cause any one of the following problems or a combination of problems.
The first of these is that it isn’t productive for the other person. When you project your emotions onto other people, you may try to help them and think you are helping them. However, because the emotions aren’t theirs, you aren’t doing them any good.
Similarly, projecting our emotions onto other people seldom actually helps us in understanding our own emotions. More often than not, it just distracts us from solving our problems, allowing them to perpetuate our problems and projections.
Finally, projecting your own emotions prevents you from understanding other people; assuming that everyone feels the same way you would in a given situation prevents you from understanding what they’re experiencing. This, in turn, prevents you from actually helping them.
Now that we’ve established that projection isn’t a healthy way of dealing with our emotions – or the emotions of those around us – what are some healthier alternatives?
When you’re going through things independently, you need to go through them on your own. If you know that you are dealing with some difficult emotions and are worried about projecting, get some alone time to work through what you need to work through. Consider taking a walk, going for a drive, or just retreating into a room by yourself for a bit.
Having alone time is good sometimes and for some people. However, sometimes and some people can best solve their problems with the help of other people. If you think you need some help dealing with your emotions, don’t be afraid to reach out to family, friends, or even a mental or emotional health professional. We’ll talk later in the article about how you can expand your options for convenient and affordable therapy.
Finally, if you’re trying to understand someone else’s emotions, ask them. It’s guaranteed to be more effective than projecting.
How To Tell
The biggest problem with choosing healthier alternatives to projecting your emotions on others is that we often don’t know when we are projecting. The good news is that there are a couple of ways that you can tell that you are projecting so that you can choose a healthier and more productive path.
Often, if you are projecting your feelings, someone will tell you. Unfortunately, people don’t always know to tell us directly that we are projecting. Instead, they will use phrases like “you don’t understand what I’m going through.” Phrases like these aren’t direct challenges to our projection, but they can help us understand that we may be projecting.
Another way to tell that we are projecting is to watch for patterns that seem improbable. As mentioned above, when you are angry or sad, everyone around you can seem angry or sad. As a result, if you notice that everyone seems to be expressing the same feeling, it might be your feeling.
Finally, you can tell that you are projecting by being more in touch with your feelings. One great way to do this is through mindfulness. The practitioner of mindfulness meditation learns to recognize thought patterns to understand better and identify their feelings so that they can deal with them in healthy and productive ways before those feelings have an opportunity to cause problems in our relationships.
Projecting is a very personal issue, and addressing it starts with the self. However, as we have seen, projection is potentially problematic in relationships. However, that doesn’t mean that project has to be undergone alone or strictly within the relationship. Sometimes, the best way to move beyond the project is to talk to an expert, possibly a relationship counselor.
The relationship counselor can play some different roles and can help in several different ways. Most people believe that relationship counselors repair broken relationships when they’re there to strengthen or improve relationships regardless of how strong those relationships are already. Further, there is a tendency to think that relationship counseling necessarily involves the counselor and both members of a relationship. However, it is possible and even common for relationship counselors to meet with one partner at a time – or only one partner.
If you are worried about how projecting your feelings is affecting your relationship, you can reach out to a relationship counselor before your relationship comes into trouble, and you can reach out to a relationship counselor without your partner – although it might be considerate to let them know that you intend on doing so.
Unfortunately, many people have limited access to relationship counselors because of their geographic location, schedule, or access to funds. Fortunately, due to today’s advanced telecommunications technology – internet-capable mobile devices with good audio and video – more and more people are overcoming these obstacles through online counseling services like Regain.
ReGain connects clients with one of the thousands of experienced and professional relationship counselors over the internet. All that’s required is an internet-capable device.
Whether you try to work through problems with projecting your feelings on others by yourself, with your partner, friends, and family, or with a relationship counselor, it’s an important objective. Addressing your projection will help you communicate with and understand others, but it will also help you better understand your own emotions and solve your problems better.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What does it mean to project feelings?
When people project their thoughts and feelings onto others, it’s the attribution of their emotions at the time to other people. There are several types of projection; it could be negative emotions, like feeling guilty or feelings of dislike, or even unconscious feelings like interest. Psychology Today provides the example of being angry – you’ll see your thoughts and feelings mirrored back at you, believing others to be angry with you.
- How do you tell if someone is projecting onto you?
Complimentary projection is when someone believes that others around them can do the same things they are, which can often lead to over expectation. Complementary projection and even psychological projection aren’t always intentional. In fact, projection is a defense mechanism that is typically from unconscious feelings and negative emotions. Common examples of projection from someone maybe when they feel guilt, anger, or even their feelings of dislike for you or someone else. Projection in relationships is a type of projection that many people find easiest to identify. When concerned that your partner or friend is projecting onto you, remember that projection is a defense – it’s helpful to try to identify the problem they’re having and explain what you’re experiencing.
- How do I stop protecting anxiety?
If you’ve noticed that you’re projecting your feelings onto others, you’ve already completed the first step of the Happiness Clinic’s recommended steps to stop projecting onto others. Psychological projection of anxiety steps from your own insecurities and beliefs and is a type of projection that people don’t always acknowledge. After you’ve identified the psychological projection, the Happiness Clinic then encourages self-honesty and implementing boundaries. It’s important to note that common examples of projection are also the types that people project unknowingly – it’s difficult for people to identify their own anxiety when they feel like it’s coming from others. Identifying, being honest about projection, researching other examples of projection, and reclaiming your feelings will help you stop putting your feelings of dislike, anxiety, or anger onto others.
- What does projecting insecurities mean?
Psychological projection of insecurity is possibly one of the more common types of projection. According to Medium, if you feel like someone doesn’t like you or that they believe your ideas are dumb, you may actually be the one thinking this of yourself. It’s important to remember that psychological projection puts your personal feeling onto someone else, believing that what you’re thinking is instead their organic feelings about you.
- What is narcissistic projection?
Narcissistic psychological projection is the classic “it’s not me, it’s you” debate. When a narcissist feels threatened or argues their point, they may project their insecurities and dislike onto another person to support their case. While psychological projection is not always a purposefully destructive tool, narcissists use their complementary projection to set unrealistic expectations for others, using it as “evidence” if those expectations aren’t met.
- How do you deal with someone projecting on you?
If you notice that someone may have a problem with psychological projection and uses it against you, stand your ground. Remember that they may not notice they’re doing it, and pointing it out doesn’t have to lead to a destructive argument. According to Medium, the first step is not to let the psychological projection twist your vision of yourself. But also remember not to project your positive qualities onto someone else so that your judgment is clouded against what they may be purposefully pushing onto you. With your confidence and self-assuredness, you have a better time negating their projections with evidence-based arguments. If someone projections their insecurities, remind them how positively you see them. If they worry that you’re angry with them, you may be able to help them get to the bottom of why they’re feeling that way. But always feel comfortable removing yourself from a toxic situation, and don’t let yourself feel gaslit by their projections.
to project one’s feelings definition | English dictionary for learners
(projects plural & 3rd person present) (projecting present participle) (projected past tense & past participle )
The noun is pronounced prɒdʒekt. The verb is pronounced prədʒekt and is hyphenated pro+ject.
1 n-count A project is a task that requires a lot of time and effort.
oft supp N
Money will also go into local development projects in Vietnam. .., Besides film and record projects, I have continued to work in the theater.
2 n-count A project is a detailed study of a subject by a pupil or student.
Students complete projects for a personal tutor, working at home at their own pace.
3 verb If something is projected, it is planned or expected.
Africa’s mid-1993 population is projected to more than double by 2025… be V-ed to-inf
The government had been projecting a 5% consumer price increase for the entire year. V n
…a projected deficit of $1.5 million. V-ed
4 verb If you project someone or something in a particular way, you try to make people see them in that way. If you project a particular feeling or quality, you show it in your behaviour.
Bradley projects a natural warmth and sincerity… V n
He just hasn’t been able to project himself as the strong leader. .. V pron-refl as n
His first job will be to project Glasgow as a friendly city… V n as n
The initial image projected was of a caring, effective president. V-ed
5 verb If you project feelings or ideas on to other people, you imagine that they have the same ideas or feelings as you.
He projects his own thoughts and ideas onto her. V n on/onto/upon n
6 verb If you project a film or picture onto a screen or wall, you make it appear there.
The team tried projecting the maps with two different projectors onto the same screen. V n
7 verb If something projects, it sticks out above or beyond a surface or edge.
FORMAL …the remains of a war-time defence which projected out from the shore. V prep/adv
…a piece of projecting metal. V-ing
housing project (housing projects plural )A housing project is a group of homes for poorer families which is funded and controlled by the local government.
What to do when your partner dumps their negativity on you
If one were to make a list of relationship wreckers then projection would make it to the top. Projection occurs when one the partner tends to project their unwanted feelings, emotions and desire onto their partner. It’s also classified as a defense mechanism that one partner subconsciously employs to deal with their own negative feelings. For example, a partner who cheats in a relationship often accuses the other of cheating. And if this makes you wonder why projection is so common in relationships then it’s because the nature of projection is subtle, it’s hard to figure out if your partner is projecting.
So, if you think your partner is projecting onto you then here’s what relationship expert Dr. Anil Sethi and Pulkit Sharma, psychologists suggest you to do to deal with it.
Signs that you are being projected on
1) Projectors have a tendency to ignore any issues and they attribute it to others,
2)They tend to free themselves of any kind of frustrations/ internal load by dumping on others.
3)They like to be in control. For them, everything is wrong with you, with the world but not with them.
4)They always deny their faults. Since they believe in the narrative that other people are the problem, they are adept at manipulating the truth.
Few common projections
You are selfish. Translation: I am selfish and I don’t want to admit or deal with it.
You are judgmental. Translation: I judge myself and I don’t like it. Hence, I blame you.
How to deal with them
The ideal thing to do is to have a polite yet firm conversation with your partner and make them understand that projection is a defence mechanism. By doing this, you can make your partner aware that projecting their guilt and anger onto you is not healthy as it creates a vicious cycle of a never-ending back and forth between yourself and the partner.
Whenever your partner projects, respectfully disengage. Whenever an argument or fight is about to start, you can just end or back out of the argument by saying that this about them, not you.
Avoid arguing back, criticizing or making your partner understand that he or she shifts the blame for everything on you. This strategy will only tangle up your efforts to confront the projection. Rather, keep the conversation about them, remove yourself from the conflict, and don’t give them the opportunity to make it about you. Express a bit of empathy and ask the right questions which force your partner to introspect.
How Parental Projection Affects Children
What is Your Child Saying to You? Understanding Projection
Through projection, our inner conflicts can be reflected back at us through others. Let’s explore how parents’ experiences can get projected onto their children in both good and bad ways.
Psychological projection is a sort of defense mechanism that causes us to attribute characteristics we find unacceptable in ourselves to someone else. At the same time, there are also instances where a person might project their own positive qualities onto another person.
Projection can play a sneaky role in all of our relationships. It might cause us to dislike a coworker who has negative characteristics similar to our own. It might cause us to idealize a romantic partner, creating unchecked or even dangerous infatuation. From a parent’s point of view, projection can be especially harmful, because it can cause children to adopt beliefs and behaviors in an attempt to “live up” or “live down” to a projected identify.
Take for instance this harsh example of a mother who grew up feeling as though she could never reach her goals or establish herself alongside peers. This mother might tell her daughter that life is unfair, and she shouldn’t expect to amount to much.
This is nothing but an obvious projection, since it’s the mother – and not the child – who feels like a failure. Unable to cope with her feelings, the mother unconsciously hands them off to her daughter. After hearing this sort of negative projection for years, the daughter may begin acting on it as if it accurately describes her.
This submission to a projected identity is especially tragic, because it effectively robs the child of her own identity and potential future. It might seem as if the child should be able to recognize that the mother’s words are merely a reflection of her own life experiences. Unfortunately, children usually cannot make those assessments. Instead, they tend to incorporate these projections – at least in some way – into their own identities
Even when children are able to reject negative projections, the issue tends to cause conflict between them and their parents. In many instances, resentment takes root, and children may grow up with a strong desire to leave home and sever relationships with parents.
Can Projection Be a Positive Thing?
In some cases, projection can push children to see themselves in a positive light. A high-achieving parent might unknowingly project ambition and confidence onto a child, helping to cultivate a more positive self-image that ultimately leads to success. Just as often, however, this can manifest as undue pressure, which can lead the child to feel like a disappointment for not living up to the parent’s expectations.
What You Can Do
Since they are usually unconscious impulses, it’s not uncommon for parents to make projections that thrust their own unresolved issues onto their children. The most loving parents can project fears, disappointments, prejudices and expectations onto their kids without even knowing it. Even in the best of circumstances, this can have an effect on childhood development, causing kids to adopt identities that might not actually be their own.
If you suspect you may be projecting your own issues onto your child, take a step back and honestly evaluate your words and behavior. Think about your own childhood and try to see if you adopted your own parents’ projections into your identity. Finally, if you do have unresolved issues, consider seeing a therapist to help you work through them. This can help you escape the cycle of projection and achieve a better overall state of well-being.
Foundations is here to help you and your family manage major life changes and day-to-day challenges. Contact our office for your free consultation!
Why Projecting Feelings Can Be Harmful to Your Relationship
Have you ever heard of projection or the act of projecting feelings? It may seem new to your ears, but actually, the action is commonly practiced by many in relationships.
These relationships are not just limited to intimate romantic ones but also those bound with wholesome love and affection such as family, relatives, and friends. However, what does projection mean exactly?
According to psychology experts, projection is unconsciously attributing to others your unwanted traits and emotions.
Not only do you deny what you indeed are or what you have done, but you also think that other people have caused those circumstances. With that said, let’s analyze projection psychology in marriage more.
What projecting your feelings mean
So, what does it mean when someone is projecting? Simply put, projecting feelings is a defense mechanism. In this case, you choose to defend your negative expressions and emotions by transferring the accountability to others.
To understand more about what is projecting, it can be helpful to identify such everyday actions that illustrate it. Here are some examples that define projecting feelings.
- You and your partner are engaged in a conversation. Then, you speak for what seems like an eternity. Still, as soon as your partner cuts in to make the conversation a bit dynamic or interactive, you become discouraged and eventually view your partner as a destructive listener.
- You belong to a team in your workplace, and as a team, you have tasks to finish. Even though the majority is constantly advocating your ideas, you always believe that others view you as someone who always wants to control or impress.
- You blame your younger sibling for not finishing a task. In this case, you procrastinate because you think your younger sibling is making you uneasy or irritable.
The examples can go on and can even get more complicated. Overall, in projection psychology, you deny yourself of any responsibility for the bad decisions you willingly choose to act upon.
So, how natural is projecting? Naturally, even animals can do it. Wild predators can kill anyone just because they find the existence of animals before them provoking or annoying.
So, how much more to humans who complicated relationships with one another, right? You can be the one projecting or be on the receiving end of it. However, most people who are projecting feelings will have the habit of doing it repetitively.
Some examples of those people are bullies. Most bullies have personal issues that affect their mental health and self-esteem. Once they find someone or someone weaker than them, primarily physically, they will project all their negative emotions and thoughts onto them.
More often than not, they will continue doing that unless someone will stand up and stop their actions. Throughout history, projecting feelings can span across different periods.
For example, one global issue related to projecting feelings is rape culture. In this case, many people blame the indecency of women’s clothing and mannerisms as the reasons for their assaults instead of the rapist for acting on their lust without the other person’s consent.
Why do we project our feelings?
Why do people project feelings? Why do they resort to projection in relationships? In this case, the most straightforward answer for that is to get rid of the guilt. After all, it can be easier to point a finger towards other people instead of oneself.
In some cases, projecting feelings can be done unconsciously due to other life experiences that formed such a habit. Of course, projecting is not just the only defense mechanism people use to eliminate guilt.
Let’s look at other defense mechanisms people use to compare them with psychological projection in relationships. Some of them include the following:
- Denial: The act of refusing to accept what is true and real
- Distortion: The act of changing the reality of a particular situation for one’s sake
- Repression: The act of covering or masking emotions
- Sublimation: The act of channeling negative emotions towards positive actions
- Dissociation: The act of changing one’s disposition to avoid a particular emotion
- Passive aggression: The act of being aggressive indirectly in a passive manner.
Unlike projecting feelings, these common defense mechanisms are seemingly easy to spot and can last for a short period. On the other hand, projection can last as long as the doer wants it to.
In this case, projection psychology tells us that people projecting feelings cope with the fact that they are guilty of what they have done or felt. So, to get rid of that, they look for reasons to justify their actions.
It is even easier to do that within a relationship since you already have someone you can blame, making it harmful for your relationship if this behavior is tolerated.
How projecting feelings can be harmful to your relationship
Is projecting feelings that bad for a relationship? In general, the gravity of the action can vary, but overall, it brings more harm than good to a relationship.
After all, projection psychology tells you that there exists an emotional displacement every time you project. Instead of you, the doer of the action, being held accountable, you choose to blame it on someone else.
So, why is projecting in a relationship harmful? Here are some of the primary reasons projecting feelings can cause damage:
When you project emotions, you build a perception that you are helping a person. However, it’s not productive since, in the first place, those emotions are not caused or incited by that person. As a result, you are building a fake and restrictive atmosphere.
Projecting emotions doesn’t help you understand your actions. Instead of reflecting on what you have felt or done, you decide to hold others accountable. As a result, you are not solving your problems and might be creating more.
As you are projecting emotions, you are also preventing yourself from understanding others.
You are so occupied with attributing your own emotions that you hope others feel what you have felt. You are making your experiences their own, and thus, you failed to see that other people are not entirely similar to you and have a life of their own.
As mentioned, projecting behavior or emotions can be done unconsciously. So, to measure the status of your relationship, it will be better to identify the situations where you can be the one projecting. Here are the following:
Expecting the worst
Relationships are built around positive emotions. However, if you constantly expect things to go wrong, you can end up developing bad habits. For example, you might end up expecting your partner to betray you.
Of course, they may not be doing anything traitorous. Still, in your mind, you are already building a perception that they will betray you.
Related Reading: How to Deal With Your Partner’s Annoying Habits
Maintaining tight control
Wanting to maintain control within a relationship is expected. However, if the grip is too tight, it may cause more damage that quickly goes out of hand.
Control issues are often born from one’s insecurities, but someone else pays the price to meet your expectations instead of you.
Things can be quickly blown out of proportion if you overreact. If you feel like what the other person did is a bigger deal than it was, this can harm your relationship and cause you to project feelings.
Moreover, you might express aggression towards your partner, and you might only feel regret when you start listening to reason. In some cases, you might also be tempted to attribute that regret to that person.
Because of the guilt that you feel, you’re likely to become less open-minded. You might start dismissing the other person’s emotions as you project your own. In this case, the argument will appear one-sided since you choose to mask the reality of your actions.
Creating unfair comparisons
If you are used to projecting your emotions, sometimes you can overreact and come up with unfair conclusions and comparisons based on previous relationships.
For example, you might think your partner, who committed a small mistake, is similar to a previous partner that caused your trauma.
Related Reading: Compare No More: Building Confidence in Your Marriage
Changing the story
In most cases, projecting feelings often end up with partners competing over the victim in the story. In some cases, you might end up even changing the story to make it work in your favor.
If you see projection psychology here, it can signify that projecting feelings can become harmful in a relationship, especially when someone is hurt. Of course, this isn’t only limited to physical injuries; it also affects the emotional and psychological aspects.
For example, people in relationships who cheated or left can sometimes blame their actions on their partners. Some even go to extremes to torture their partners or put them in harm’s way. So, how can one manage to reduce projecting emotions?
Ways to stop projecting in your relationships
To ensure your relationship stays healthy and respectful, you can practice ways to stop projecting in a relationship.
Yes, it won’t be easy. After all, you will need some time to put the bad habits away, but recognizing that you and the people in your relationship can be the ones projecting feelings is an excellent start.
Aside from that, here are five ways you can stop the habit for good.
One culprit that pushes you to project emotions is ego. In this case, your ego can make you too afraid or cowardly to recognize your mistakes, opting to transfer the accountability to others instead.
In fact, in some cases, you might even be willing to go to great lengths to free yourself from guilt and maintain your pride. However, this can be harmful to your relationship.
In this case, for it to work, it’s best to set aside your ego and practice humility in a relationship. After all, if you continue to project your feelings out of ego, you are continuously moving in a vicious cycle.
On the other hand, if you humble yourself by owning up to your mistakes and accepting corrections, your relationship can become more productive and healthier.
Accept the consequences
As you cast out your ego and become humble, you might become more open to talking about your feelings and actions. In this case, if it turns out to be hurtful to others, it’s best if you accept the consequences and learn to take responsibility for what you have felt or done.
It may be worrisome, but doing so will serve as a reminder to become a better person next time. After all, if your relationship is essential to you, you will have to make up for your shortcomings.
Related Reading: How to Avoid Consequences Of Perfectionism On Relationships
See the reality
Life is not entirely black and white. It can become more challenging and demanding, but it can also give you the happiness you want. That’s the reality, so if you dwell on your past experiences and use them to justify projecting your feelings, you are trapping yourself in your world.
Clinging to something terrible in the past can make you fail to see the good in front of you. To prevent this, it’s best to reflect more on what matters most and accept the truth in your life. That way, you can reduce the likelihood of projecting and damaging your relationship.
Related Reading: Expectations vs Reality in Relationships: 4 Common Misconceptions
Think before you act
Before you succumb to your overreactions, insecurities, fears, traumas, and desires, it might be better to try and think about what comes next if you act upon them. For example, if it will only bring harm, it might be better to take other steps.
However, suppose your partner is doing something to cause them. In that case, acting upon your feelings can be justified as long as you still practice respect towards them.
While practicing humility, open-mindedness, and accountability is great, it can be tough to keep it up, and you might end up projecting emotions again.
This is where self-discipline comes into play. Exercising enough self-disciple can help you maintain the positive steps you have been taking to stop projecting feelings.
You can add more activities that will reinforce the effectiveness of the ways mentioned above. Examples are meditation, proper outlet of emotions, increasing self-esteem, and having a stress-free lifestyle.
To understand more on how to handle projection, watch this video.
Projecting feelings can quickly become a toxic habit that can harm your relationships, whether with your romantic partner or your family and friends. It can even affect your professional life if left unaddressed.
With that said, it’s best to start recognizing the typical situations wherein you project your feelings and use the five ways mentioned above to start addressing the issue.
Understanding Your Emotions (for Teens)
How Emotions Help Us
What are you feeling, right now, as you start to read this? Are you curious? Hopeful that you’ll learn something about yourself? Bored because this is something you have to do for school and you’re not really into it — or happy because it’s a school project you enjoy? Perhaps you’re distracted by something else, like feeling excited about your weekend plans or sad because you just went through a breakup.
Emotions like these are part of human nature. They give us information about what we’re experiencing and help us know how to react.
We sense our emotions from the time we’re babies. Infants and young children react to their emotions with facial expressions or with actions like laughing, cuddling, or crying. They feel and show emotions, but they don’t yet have the ability to name the emotion or say why they feel that way.
As we grow up, we become more skilled in understanding emotions. Instead of just reacting like little kids do, we can identify what we feel and put it into words. With time and practice, we get better at knowing what we are feeling and why. This skill is called emotional awareness.
Emotional awareness helps us know what we need and want (or don’t want!). It helps us build better relationships. That’s because being aware of our emotions can help us talk about feelings more clearly, avoid or resolve conflicts better, and move past difficult feelings more easily.
Some people are naturally more in touch with their emotions than others. The good news is, everyone can be more aware of their emotions. It just takes practice. But it’s worth the effort: Emotional awareness is the first step toward building emotional intelligence, a skill that can help people succeed in life.
Here are a few basic things about emotions:
- Emotions come and go. Most of us feel many different emotions throughout the day. Some last just a few seconds. Others might linger to become a mood.
- Emotions can be mild, intense, or anywhere in between. The intensity of an emotion can depend on the situation and on the person.
- There are no good or bad emotions, but there are good and bad ways of expressing (or acting on) emotions. Learning how to express emotions in acceptable ways is a separate skill — managing emotions — that is built on a foundation of being able to understand emotions.
It’s All Good
Some emotions feel positive — like feeling happy, loving, confident, inspired, cheerful, interested, grateful, or included. Other emotions can seem more negative — like feeling angry, resentful, afraid, ashamed, guilty, sad, or worried. Both positive and negative emotions are normal.
All emotions tell us something about ourselves and our situation. But sometimes we find it hard to accept what we feel. We might judge ourselves for feeling a certain way, like if we feel jealous, for example. But instead of thinking we shouldn’t feel that way, it’s better to notice how we actually feel.
Avoiding negative feelings or pretending we don’t feel the way we do can backfire. It’s harder to move past difficult feelings and allow them to fade if we don’t face them and try to understand why we feel that way. You don’t have to dwell on your emotions or constantly talk about how you feel. Emotional awareness simply means recognizing, respecting, and accepting your feelings as they happen.
Building Emotional Awareness
Emotional awareness helps us know and accept ourselves. So how can you become more aware of your emotions? Start with these three simple steps:
- Make a habit of tuning in to how you feel in different situations throughout the day. You might notice that you feel excited after making plans to go somewhere with a friend. Or that you feel nervous before an exam. You might be relaxed when listening to music, inspired by an art exhibit, or pleased when a friend gives you a compliment. Simply notice whatever emotion you feel, then name that emotion in your mind. It only takes a second to do this, but it’s great practice. Notice that each emotion passes and makes room for the next experience.
- Rate how strong the feeling is. After you notice and name an emotion, take it a step further: Rate how strongly you feel the emotion on a scale of 1–10, with 1 being the mildest feeling and 10 the most intense.
- Share your feelings with the people closest to you. This is the best way to practice putting emotions into words, a skill that helps us feel closer to friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, parents, coaches — anyone. Make it a daily practice to share feelings with a friend or family member. You could share something that’s quite personal or something that’s simply an everyday emotion.
Just like anything else in life, when it comes to emotions, practice makes perfect! Remind yourself there are no good or bad emotions. Don’t judge your feelings — just keep noticing and naming them.
SharonSelby.com What Is Happening When A Child Projects Feelings On To You? | SharonSelby.com
Have you ever experienced your child project their distressed feelings on to you?
This is a very common unconscious method of trying to manage emotions.
In psychology, it is called “Externalization” and in the excellent book, Untangled by Lisa Damour, Ph.D, she explains it very well. (See the article: What Do Parents, A Swimming Pool and Child Development Have In Common), for further explanation.
However, it is very difficult to recognize externalization, as it is happening!
What does this transfer of a hot potato of emotions (Lisa Damour’s metaphor) look like?
What Should I Do When My Child Projects Feelings?
Think of a scenario, such as your child failing a math test. He may have stressed about it all day and then in the evening, nonchalantly, mention that he failed a test but doesn’t really care. Meanwhile, you ask to see the test and at the sight of 15/60 your heart races. Your mind spins and you wonder what has happened. Math was always his strongest subject and now he is failing.
How could he not care about this?
You try to problem-solve with him but you are met with resistance. You then email the teacher and find out that he has already discussed the test with the teacher and they have made a plan for a re-test!
You wonder why your child didn’t share this with you?
Your child’s goal was not to have you help solve the problem, your child was wanting to transfer this “hot potato” of uncomfortable emotions over to you so he could be freed from them! As an unconditionally loving parent, this is sometimes a role that comes with parenting.
Your child doesn’t get invited to a birthday party even though almost the whole class has been invited. Your daughter drops this news into a dinner conversation and you are shocked as the birthday child used to be one of your daughter’s best friends. She acts like she doesn’t care but you are really concerned and wonder what could have happened.
You phone the parent of the birthday party host and ask why your child wasn’t invited. The parent explains that your child had been making fun of the theme of the party and so your child didn’t get invited. This creates an awkward moment and you apologize for your daughter and end the conversation.
You now realize that your daughter does know why she didn’t get invited and by trying to act nonchalant about it, you took the bait and the emotional distress was transferred from her to you.
In our world of texting, this can happen too.
You receive a distressing text that your daughter, who’s away at university, feels sad and lonely because her boyfriend broke up with her. You try to text and call back with no reply. You lay awake worrying all night…
In the morning, you talk to your daughter and find out that she went out with a group of girlfriends last night and had a really fun evening which took her mind off things. Meanwhile, you had been laying awake worrying all night!
She dumped her emotions and projected them on to you via text, and then felt more free to mobilize and connect with friends.
What To Do After A Projection of Feelings?
Explaining to your kids how much worry they caused you will probably not help. This is an unconscious way of dealing with their uncomfortable emotions.
As parents, we need to try to recognize our role as the container for distressing emotions and give yourself the 24 hour rule to see how things unfold.
As parents, we need to stick to the saying “Feelings first, Logics last”.
We can empathize and reflect their feelings back to them and then do nothing.
Let some time pass and see if they ask for your help to solve a problem or if the problem works itself out. Especially, during adolescence our children may have their solution all figured out, and getting involved could seem intrusive and helicopter-like.
If possible, we need to recognize that this a transfer of a “hot potato” of emotions and we are just the keeper of the uncomfortable feelings. This is a child’s coping mechanism.
By believing that our children are equipped to handle their problems, we harness our own anxiety.
We need to give the positive and much needed message of capability to our children.
“I believe in you!” “I know you can work things out.”
PS. If you purchase the book, Untangled through any Amazon links on this page, you will not be charged more but I will receive a very small commission which goes toward the running of this website. Thank you, in advance, for your support.
PPS. Registration for my upcoming “Self-Empowerment” groups to teach children ages 7-9rs. and 10-12 yrs. about social dynamics, self-worth, assertiveness skills, self-regulation and more is now open. You can find out more and register here.
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Parent Education Webinars with Occupational Therapist, Sarah Fenrich: Promoting Independence, Routines and Responsibility and How to Manage Your Child’s Challenging Behaviours and Teach Emotion Regulation. Click here for more information.
90,000 “You’re projecting!” How to recognize a psychological projection and what to do with it
The concept of “projection” was proposed by the father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud. He described it as a defense mechanism that protects the “I” from traumatic experiences. Traumatic events, from which the psyche seeks to defend itself, can occur both in the external world and in our unconscious.
Sounds good! But the projection mechanism, which should exclusively protect us, sometimes creates new problems.To summarize, the main problem with projection is lack of clarity. Because of this, we are not able to adequately assess ourselves and those around us – which means that we become more and more confused and repeat our mistakes over and over again.
How we project
Usually there are three stages of projection, which successively replace each other.
- We feel discomfort, irritation, anger or other unacceptable (as we ourselves or society) feelings. For example, when a teenage mother finds it uncomfortable to show that she is angry because the children ate the cake without leaving her a piece, or when a grown man, upon learning of the death of a close friend, is ashamed to cry in front of his wife.
- In an effort to get rid of these feelings, we displace them, ceasing to recognize them as our own. Sometimes young people, envious of their more prosperous peers, with their whole appearance demonstrate complete indifference to expensive fashionable gadgets, ardently assuring that they are not at all interested in them.
- We attribute to what happens to us to other people or circumstances. It happens that a woman of retirement age, assuring herself that she should not renew her wardrobe and “get younger”, emotionally discusses the new clothes of her peers.
However, projections are not always associated with negative feelings. In the case of positive projection , we idealize other people, attributing to them qualities that, for some reason, do not manifest ourselves. For example, a summer resident who is embarrassed to treat her neighbors with strawberries – what if they think that she is imposing her friendship? – will admire the volunteers who bring firewood to low-income pensioners.
It can be difficult to distinguish projection from empathy, because we can empathize with other people, share their feelings.More often than not, empathy and projection go hand in hand.
Psychologists who are constantly dealing with transferences and countertransferences are well aware of this. We will return to this question later.
What projections are
1. Attributive projection
The most common type of projection is attributing your feelings and intentions to other people. At the same time, we mainly project shadow, carefully hidden features of our own personality, which we consider undesirable.
To understand what qualities you reject in yourself, think about what annoys you the most in those around you.
At the reception, a 35-year-old woman, a divorced mother of two, says that she has to resort to the help of her mother, who constantly “teaches her how to live”, gives advice on raising children and interferes with all everyday issues. The client says she is committed to building friendships with her children by listening to their needs and desires.But the behavior of an authoritarian mother interferes with this and causes severe irritation.
During the session, it turns out that at work the woman is the head of the department and considers it her duty to control the activities of all employees. Her professional fears are based on the fear of missing out on important details, which could lead to financial loss.
In the course of therapy, we talked about delegating responsibility. In a “surprising way” the mother’s behavior changed after a few weeks.Realizing her own need for control, the client recognized a carefully hidden authoritarianism and was able to find expression for it. The woman suggested defining the days when one grandmother would stay with the children, and stopped interfering with what was happening at that time.
In the described case, it was about attributive projection: the client transferred her own motives and feelings to her mother. Having recognized this mechanism, she stopped reacting painfully to the behavior of the children’s grandmother.
Experience has shown that often in a relationship that the client calls toxic and destructive, he projects his own shadow sides.It is not easy to recognize this state of affairs during therapy. In turn, the psychologist has to maneuver on the fine line between retraumatization and the ability to take a sober look at the client’s denials.
2. Rational projection
Rational projection is also very common. In this case, a person is inclined to see circumstances and other people as factors completely beyond his control. It is enough to listen to those who complain about “new times” or “lost generation”, perestroika, the dashing 1990s or a pandemic.
In the extreme version of this projection, a person feels that his fate is completely dependent on circumstances that leave him no choice: we are just “unlucky” alone, while others had “all the conditions”.
Rational projections often become conventional, that is, they are shared by large groups of people. For example, a huge array of projections can be observed in heated debates between opponents and supporters of vaccination. Representatives of both camps appeal exclusively to “objective” data, which their opponents allegedly ignore – only this kind of objectivity often does not stand up to criticism.
3. Autistic projection
Autistic projection can be difficult to recognize. This is the perception of other people and external circumstances solely from their own feelings and desires. Typically, the world is perceived as unfair and aggressive.
This projection is typical for people with narcissistic traits. However, one way or another, most of us are prone to such manifestations from time to time.
“Nobody cares about me.Everyone just wants something from me: my husband, children, even mothers from the parent committee. I feel like a cash cow. As if I owe everything to everyone. If from time to time I don’t make scandals, they will devour me completely. ”
Behind the altruism and the image of the victim of circumstances and the predatory environment of a woman, there is a desire to prove her worth. Getting out of the notorious Karpman triangle with a victim, savior and persecutor in this case turns out to be very difficult. The projective material seems to be incessantly fragmented.
In the described case, it was difficult for the client to comprehend her projections. Later it turned out that they were psychological protection associated with the manifestation of significant secondary benefits, which the woman did not want to refuse. The fact is that after the birth of her second child, she had to abandon a lucrative career offer and the idea of her own value began to be associated exclusively with family issues. Therefore, in order to maintain a sense of her worth, the client chose the position of the victim, from time to time asserting herself as a manifestation of aggression.
4. Complementary projection
Complementary projection is the attribution of traits to other people that are characteristic of ourselves. We have already touched on this topic a little when it came to empathic experiences.
It is generally accepted that we “attract” people like us into our lives. They may indeed have qualities similar to ours. But at the same time, we often simply attribute to them the properties that we ourselves possess.
A person who falls into a group for creative self-development will be inclined to discover in other participants the creative traits inherent in himself, while he himself may not suspect about his abilities or only vaguely guess about their existence.
Complementary projection is perhaps the most unstable of all types of projection. It is with its dynamics that disappointments, devaluation of relationships, and rethinking of one’s experience are associated. On the other hand, complementary projection is an important element of almost any learning, because in this way a person can compare himself with others and develop in competition with them.
Projection in psychotherapy
Many have watched films and read books about the complex relationship between the client and the therapist: an uncontrollable passion between them is a favorite technique of scriptwriters.
In the process of psychotherapy, the projection mechanism acquires some peculiarities. Often (but not always!), The projection takes the form of therapeutic transference – this is a situation where the client transfers his love or any other feelings to the specialist. And countertransference is the same thing, but on the part of the therapist, when he has some feelings for the client.
When controlled and used for therapeutic purposes, these phenomena are quite normal and often lead to deep insights in the client.But if you leave the transference without conscious attention, it will lead to great shocks and retraumatization of a person.
An experienced therapist can recognize the transference and make it part of the therapeutic process without traumatizing the client. It is often difficult for people to confess their feelings for the therapist and, when faced with this, they stop therapy. However, if the assisting therapist still succeeds in recognizing the projection, then the therapeutic process takes on special strength.
In any case, it is worth remembering about therapeutic projections and, upon discovering complex feelings towards your therapist, be sure to discuss them.An experienced specialist will treat this with understanding.
But condemnation or other reactions on his part can be a signal that it’s time for you to leave.
Projection from the point of view of Jungian analysis
The Jungian direction in psychotherapy places particular emphasis on the detection and return of projection. One of the key ideas is the idea that the energy invested in the projection becomes, as it were, cut off from the person, and this causes the disintegration of the personality.
Carl Gustav Jung considered it a big problem to merge the unconscious person with the outside world in the process of projection. Then it becomes difficult for a person to distinguish himself from the stream of events. Often this is followed by alarming signals that indicate a violation of his adaptation to the world.
How do Jungian analysts work with it? They direct the client’s attention so that he can recognize the mental image as an internal phenomenon, and not as an external one – then the value or energy invested in the image can return to the person.
It is important to understand that there is a big difference between projection and error. Jungian analyst Maria von Franz puts it this way:
“The difference between a projection and a common error is that the error can be easily corrected by obtaining the correct information and subsequently dissipate, like the morning fog in the first rays of the sun.”
Experience shows that getting rid of projections is a much more complicated process than correcting erroneous judgments.
Projective methods in psychodiagnostics
In psychodiagnostics, projective techniques occupy an important place.They are used in the course of a pathopsychological experiment and a diagnosis is made on their basis.
Working with projective methods is difficult, and training takes a lot of time. An illiterate specialist and self-interpretation can do much more harm than good. I often hear examples of erroneous interpretations that sometimes cause a smile and sometimes anger.
A person who prefers shades of red is sometimes credited with being overly active and demonstrative; a man who likes to plant flowers – an erotic passion; to a child collecting knives – hidden aggression.Paradoxically, such interpretations are often themselves the fruit of the projection of specialists.
Skillful use of projective techniques opens up really impressive prospects. Statistical and quantitative methods, standard tests are often unable to reveal that personal and intimate, thanks to which the client’s healing becomes possible. And visual thinking, which is activated during the application of projective techniques, avoids the traps of rationality: the excessive influence of “reasonable reasoning” often leads to hardening and loss of innermost meanings.
How metaphorical cards can help
Metaphorical Associative Cards (MAC) have become very popular over two decades. Psychologists of various directions successfully use them for diagnosis and correction.
There are hundreds of decks of metaphorical cards: oracles, associative cards, Tarot, used in a psychological way … The abundance of techniques sometimes causes confusion. Many decks have an initial focus: for example, Windows and Doors are suitable for working with personal boundaries, my favorite Archetypes and Shadows deck will allow you to work with interpersonal problems, and it is convenient to use From the Chest of the Past for childhood traumas.In my practice, I often work with the “Oracle Symbolon” – cards with amazing depth of images.
There are many ways to work with MAC. These are Tarot-like layouts, and open work, when the client himself chooses images that resonate with him, and, of course, transformational games in which cards carry a powerful semantic load.
Unlike standard psychodiagnostic methods, there is no division into “correct” and “erroneous” in projective methods. The emphasis is on the unique properties of the client.
At the same time, stimulating material and instructions are always ambiguous, which makes it possible to manifest individual traits.
For people suffering from various forms of alexithymia, projective techniques greatly facilitate the process of therapy. In addition, the process itself is perceived as safe: it seems that, looking at the images and commenting on them, a person is talking about objects that do not belong to him.
The principles underlying the projective approach were described by Viktor Frankl in 1939:
- Personality is a system of interrelated processes, not a collection of disparate qualities.
- Each of us can be thought of as a relatively stable system of dynamic processes that develop on the basis of needs, emotions and personal experience.
- The system is changing, “shaping, directing, distorting, changing and altering each situation into the system (configuration) of the inner world of the individual.” Moreover, everything that happens to us bears the imprint of our personality.
Thus, the use of projective techniques is a very effective way of diagnosing and correcting the projection mechanism.The so-called visual turn, implying the equivalence of visual and logical-verbal thinking, largely contributed to the widespread popularity of both projective tests and work with MAC.
Join Club 90,000 Psychological Projection
Psychological projection is the process of misinterpreting what is “inside” as coming from “outside”.  He forms the basis of empathy by projecting personal experience to understand someone else’s subjective world.  In its malignant forms, it is a defense mechanism in which the ego protects itself from the rejected and extremely negative parts of the self, denying their existence in itself and attributing them to others, generating misunderstandings and causing innumerable interpersonal damage.  The abuser may project their own feelings of vulnerability onto the target, while the confused person may project feelings of confusion and inferiority onto others. Projection involves shifting blame and can manifest as ridding of shame .  The projection is called the early phase of introjection. 
A prominent predecessor in the formulation of the principle of projection was Giambattista Vico.   In 1841, Ludwig Feuerbach was the first Enlightenment thinker to use this concept as the basis for a systematic critique of religion.   
The Babylonian Talmud (AD 500) notes the human tendency to projection and warns against it: “Don’t tease your flawed neighbor yourself.”  Religious people of the Christian faith believe that in the New Testament Jesus also warned against projection:” Why are you looking at the sawdust in your brother’s eye and not paying attention to the blackboard in your own eye? do you say to your brother: “let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a tablet in your own eye? Hypocrite, first take the board out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. “ 
The projection (German: Projektion ) was conceived by Sigmund Freud in his letters to Fliess, [ 12] and revised by Karl Abraham and Anna Freud.Freud believed that in the projection of thoughts, motivation, desires and feelings that cannot be accepted as their own, are resolved by placing them in the outside world and attributing to someone else.  That which the ego refuses to accept is detached and placed in another. 
Later, Freud came to the conclusion that the projection did not happen arbitrarily, but rather grabbed onto an element that already existed on a small scale in another person and exaggerated it.  (The associated defense of projective identification differs from projection in that the other person is expected to identify with an impulse or desire projected outward, , so that the self maintains a connection with that which is projected into in contrast to the complete negation of the projection proper.) 
Melanie Klein believed that the projection of the good parts of the self potentially leads to over-idealization of the object.  Similarly, it could be a conscience that is projected in an attempt to break out of its control: a softer version of this allows the person to come to terms with an external authority. 
90,000 Why is mom not always right or what happens when we project our own complexes on children?
When it comes to raising children, many parents fall into the trap: they think they are doing their best, when in fact they only wish for the best.”Wish for the best” and “do the best” are not the same thing, if only because we do not always know what is best for a child. Each person, small or adult, has a unique set of characteristics, and a personal, unique perception of what is happening is formed in him.
We are all products of genes and upbringing, and each has its own story. Many parents, remembering their own happy childhood, continue the “general line” of the forefathers and bring up their children in the same traditions.Others go from the opposite direction (“I don’t want my child to suffer as I did in childhood”) and try to compensate for all their non-receipt and disappointments in their child. This behavior is called projection.
Projection is a neurotic mechanism through which a person imposes on others, like on a screen, his own ideas, worries and needs that are not characteristic of these people.What happens when parents project their own parenting models onto their children? A simple metaphor is good here. If we imagine that a child is a square, then, projecting their parenting models onto him, the parents place him in a triangular wardrobe. Of course, projections do not always work deliberately, and parents often feel that they are guided by pure motives. This is why parenting requires a special kind of honesty and awareness that can help you identify your own projections in the perception of the child’s behavior or characteristics.
One of the most common types of projection in parent-child relationships is what Jungian theory calls “shadow”. “Shadow” is our “dark” side of personality, those traits that we do not accept in ourselves. They are the ones that most irritate us in others. Imagine a situation: you are angry because the child is too distracted, too sloppy, too greedy. In any case, so it seems to you. Try it – just be honest! – try on these qualities for yourself: “I am a slob”, “I am an absent-minded person.”Watch how it responds internally. Often, the stronger the irritation, the stronger the “shadow”, the stronger the unwillingness to notice this quality in oneself. But if you accept your own imperfection and start solving problems from yourself, then over time the projection will disappear, and you can see a clearer picture of the child. But this, of course, does not guarantee its attractiveness.
The most popular projection plots are stories when an unsuccessful mother ballerina passionately wants to raise a successful daughter ballerina or a businessman father wants his son to become the successor of the empire.Of course, there are cases when the desires of parents and children coincide. But what if not? Children, unable to resist the parental will, follow the indicated path, sublimating their own desires and ambitions. And then another question becomes obvious: is the child who has been deprived of alternatives and the right to vote happy?
Israeli psychologist Orenia Yaffe-Yanai wrote the book The Genetic Code of Personality, which explores how parents’ life stories affect the professional lives of children.The book contains many personal stories, and all lead to one thing: unrealized potential can destroy a person, and not only him alone. Suffering from unfulfillment cuts deeply into family “psychic” genes and sometimes affects many generations. The age difference and “life experience” do not make the parent a universal expert in the field of “what’s best for the child”. Even if the childhood of the parent himself was happy and cloudless, there are no guarantees that the same recipe for happiness will suit the next generation.It is important for children to listen and trust their inner compass; this, I believe, gives a much better chance of success in matters of upbringing than the projection of your own scenario (or anti-scenario).
Every family has its own “myths” – ideas about what a family is and who plays what roles in it.Since such representations are fairly stable, this kind of projection is the most difficult to calculate. Family myths of parents are usually quite different from each other, and therefore their projection can cause confusion and misunderstanding in the child. The issue of personal freedom, for example, is always very controversial. If the mother projects the “stay-at-home” paradigm onto her son, and the father projects the “Flying Dutchman”, then the child is likely to have an internal conflict due to the need to choose a side.
If you rewind time back into the past, you can almost certainly track how this or that worldview was formed.But in everyday life, we rarely engage in deep introspection, so it is not often possible to test a belief for relevance and suitability for oneself. Therefore, projections in the form of myths are automatically passed on to children, and they, following their parents, involuntarily try these myths on themselves and live in union with them.
I believe in the power of consciousness, I consider it a beneficial quality for a person in the long term. Therefore, I am not impressed by the idea that a child can unconsciously inherit the parent’s behavior, which he also unconsciously adopted from his mother or father.What’s the recipe? If we want our children to live their lives according to their own scenario, then, as in other cases, we should carefully listen to ourselves. It is necessary to analyze the origin of one or another of our manifestations, which we, willy-nilly, project onto children. This will undoubtedly be extremely beneficial for the child.
90,000 Projection.Get rid of loneliness. The miracle of communication
Projection in a relationship is like showing a movie: a partner acts as a screen, and we see pictures that we ourselves project onto him, being sincerely confident that in fact all this comes from our companion. We can project many things onto others.
Our childhood memories
All the ideas and images that filled our childhood were invested in us by our loved ones, and we continue to believe in them, projecting them onto our future life.
“My mother, burdened with cares, expected from me, her child, help and dedication. This also happens in relations with my husband: I feel that he only needs me when I do something for him, without asking for anything in return except a little attention. He needs a woman who will only fulfill his desires. ”
This woman has such a vision of her place in her relationship with her husband. To do this, she pays attention to all the mistakes of her husband, thus reinforcing her sincere confidence in his exploitative role.
When we met her husband, we had a completely different opinion. He complained that “a wife does not know how to receive, never asks for anything for herself, constantly does something for others.”
A man, idealized by his mother, who unconditionally accepted everything he said and did, was sure that his wife would have the same feelings for him as his mother, and did not imagine that she might not like some of his actions and statements. Everything was good for him; he liked the attention and attitude of his wife.Such a projection only indulged his ideas of tolerance, the wife, in turn, tried to correspond to his ideas, not rejecting them, but hiding all negative emotions inside, thereby only strengthening his projection, trying to see things in the same distorted form as her husband …
A similar projection system is possible only with the cooperation of two people in a relationship. Someone who serves as an object for their partner’s projections incessantly settles relationships, conducts conversations and expresses their feelings.
Our own senses
Sometimes it is difficult for us to imagine that loved ones are experiencing other feelings. Guided by our feelings, we try to imagine how others feel, interpret their actions in terms of their significance for us. We measure people by ourselves, based on our own feelings and experiences.
“When I was on maternity leave to care for our child, he spent the nights with another. It turns out that his feelings and his love for me do not mean anything, because I could never do that to the one I love. “
We again see that we are projecting our desires and fears onto those close to us. The following situations are possible:
? We are afraid that people will do to us the way we do to them.
? We want to be treated the same way as we do with people.
We invest in our loved ones our ideas about life.
“I did not love my mother, I tried to constantly keep distance between us, not allowing her to even touch me. Over the next years, I was sure that my daughter was not able to love me just because I was her mother.She saw only hostility in my gaze. ”
In this case, relationships are built according to ideas, not the will of the mother, and her ideas say that mother and daughter are not able to love each other.
Nothing can be more dangerous than an idea, especially if it stays in our head.
“I am in love to the point of losing my pulse with this girl, and she pretends not to notice me. When I see her, she does not pay any attention to me, but I am sure that she does this on purpose – maybe she does not want to show her feelings in public, or she is simply afraid or shy.When she turns her back on me, I know for sure that she thinks only of me. ”
Lovers can be incredibly creative in interpreting the behavior of their beloved in their favor, or vice versa.
“I have a rather critical mindset. I try to put labels on everything I see and hear all the time, but I still can’t believe that others don’t do the same. ”
“When I am in love, other men become uninteresting to me, therefore, if my man needs other women besides me, this serves as further proof that he does not love me.”
“No one is able to get along with me,” says a man who himself cannot live with anyone.
“There is danger everywhere … even within me”
Unknown facets of ourselves
Each of us has unknown facets, which we sometimes do not even suspect, but which nevertheless appear from time to time.
Sometimes it happens that we see our own hidden sides in others. Whether it’s an inner child or an overly responsible adult, a sage or a fool, a valiant hero or a failure.
“My husband is always right in everything, all his opinions are justified, judgments are correct, he clearly sees the situation. I am completely different: I doubt all the time, I am not able to understand anything. He told me that these courses are useless, and I do not understand why I decided to take them. ”
This woman seems to have come to terms with her immaturity and stupidity on purpose, only to see in her partner something that she has not yet fully discovered in herself – the opportunity to have her own opinion and decide everything by herself.
Some children try to correspond to more or less conscious ideas of their parents, fulfilling their secret desires: they become artists or criminals, losers or winners. For better or for worse, they make the secret thoughts of their parents come true.
Many people tend to project onto others their “inappropriate feelings” – their own greed, anger or hostility. They always find a trash can where they can throw out feelings that they cannot accept.Political opponents or competitors sometimes serve as a convenient target for them, since it is always much more painful to project onto their immediate environment. But their thinking will not change, even with the emerging difficulties.
“Problems appear only because of the selfishness and insatiability of others, but I am not guilty of anything, nothing is capable of denigrating me.”
By projecting his own negative emotions onto another, a person thus maintains inner balance, avoiding meeting his own shortcomings and weaknesses.
It turns out that the “great accusers”, tormented by doubts, losses and fears … break down on others, on life, on the whole world.
Our ideals and illusions
Idealizing projection often occurs in love relationships or relationships with people who are important to us. It serves as a trap for both partners: the one who is the object of the projection realizes that he is being mistaken for someone else, and even if he very willingly supports this image, the projector is still not able to build a real relationship with a real person.He turns out to be a prisoner of illusions and pseudo-relations.
“In the clinic, of which I am the director, there is one young physician who persistently continues to see me as a person who knows the answers to all questions. Sometimes I try to correspond to an imaginary image, and sometimes I tell this person about my doubts, ignorance, powerlessness. But even so, he admires my modesty. I once heard him say that I try to be humble so as not to put others in a difficult situation.position”.
Such an idealized projection becomes completely useless over time. Unable to match the image created in another person’s head, we begin to feel frustrated, helpless, and frustrated.
The desire to ascribe both good and bad intentions to other people, when they are not even in sight, serves as a serious reason for quarrels and misunderstandings. Thus, we project our desires and fears onto another person, looking for confirmation of our feelings and prejudices .We give ourselves value by attributing feelings and intentions towards ourselves to other people, even if they might hurt us. For us, this means more than realizing that someone may not be interested in us, that they may be inattentive to us, even forget about us.
This is where these phrases come from: “You deliberately interfere with me”, “You did not come to my birthday on purpose”, “You are doing everything to humiliate me.” Often the people to whom they are addressed do not recognize themselves in these phrases.Amazed, they learn about the effect of their unintentional words and actions on some close people who took everything personally. Justifying one person (“But I didn’t even think that my actions could offend you”) can further hurt another, who feels like the center of attention. Deliberate words and actions rarely cause relationship difficulties.
Projection as a psychological defense mechanism
Nancy Mac Williams:
As mentioned above, in normal infancy, before the child develops the ability to separate sensations from the inside and from the outside, he has a generalized sense of “himself”, identical to the experience of “the whole world.”Probably, a baby who suffers from colic experiences it subjectively as “Pain!” Rather than as “Something inside me hurts”. He is not yet able to distinguish between internal pain (colic) and external discomfort (pressure from too tight diapers). At this stage of undifferentiation, processes begin to operate, which later, in connection with their protective function, we will call projection and introjection. When these processes work together, they combine into a single defense called projective identification.Some authors (Scharff, 1922) distinguish projective and introjective identification, but both varieties actually use similar processes.
Projection is a process by which the internal is mistakenly perceived as coming from the outside. In its favorable and mature forms, it serves as the basis of empathy. Since no one is able to penetrate someone else’s psyche, in order to understand the subjective world of another person, we must rely on the ability to project our own experience.Intuition, non-verbal synchronicity phenomena and intense experiences of mystical unity with another person or group are associated with the projection of one’s own “I”, with a powerful emotional return for both parties. It is well known that lovers perceive each other’s states in ways that they themselves cannot logically explain.
Projection in its harmful forms brings dangerous misunderstandings and enormous damage to interpersonal relationships. In cases where the projected positions seriously distort the object, or when the projected content consists of denied and sharply negative parts of the self, all kinds of problems arise.Someone may be outraged that they are misunderstood. If these people are credited with, for example, prejudice, envy or persecution (these qualities are most often ignored in themselves and attributed to others), they pay the same. If for a person projection is the main way of understanding the world and adapting to life, we can talk about paranoid character.
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Service empathy – customization to the client. – Digital Enterprise
You can create the best service with the most modern technology, but if you don’t understand the user’s preferences and desires, your efforts to create the best service are easily lost.
Understanding means having empathy for the people using your product or service.
In everyday life, empathy is understood as the ability of an individual to sympathize with another person. But this is in everyday life … And if we talk about service relationships, then how to interpret empathy, and is it really important?
Service empathy – the ability to recognize, understand, predict and project the interests, needs, intentions and experiences of the other party to establish, maintain and improve service relationships.*
* ITIL®4: Create, Deliver and Support
However, empathy should not be confused with the ability to share the feelings of others, with empathy ( sympathy ). These concepts are not interchangeable, since have different meanings.
Empathy and empathy are often used synonymously. The difference is whether we let the other’s feelings pass through us. And in what effect the manifestation of our emotions has on another.
Empathy is an expression of concern. A person sincerely wants everything to get better with his neighbor as soon as possible.Empathy implies a deeper and more personal level of concern than pity and regret. At the same time, the pitying or compassionate person maintains an emotional distance from the object of care, in contrast to the situation when he shows empathy.
Empathy is a step forward from empathy, a more complex phenomenon in nature.
Empathy is the ability to fully understand, reflect and share the feelings, needs and motivations of another.
Empathy is based on the similarity of life experiences.The ability to “take the place” of another person, which means to understand his pain – this is how empathy works. Knowing the needs of the client, you can offer him something that he did not even think about, but with pleasure you could accept and use. This is the very trigger for creating new products and services that will meet the needs of customers, and therefore create a positive user and customer experience (UX / CX), value, forming loyalty and trust in both the company and the services.
Service empathy is one of the elements of service thinking, focused on creating value.Organizations need to understand and improve the customer experience to go beyond simply delivering a product or service, to create a positive experience of collaboration, building loyalty and trust.
In the battle for the customer, empathy has gone from being a buzzword to being a competitive advantage.
- Create value proposition . Here empathy will mean the ability to adapt to each client ( ITIL4 guideline “Focus on value” ).Nobody cares about your business processes, know how to change them for customers ( “People and interaction are more important than processes and tools” – Agile idea ).
- Create customer travel maps. The best products are often the work of people creating solutions to their own problems. Being able to follow the same path as clients is also empathy.
- Train your employees. Empathy is the key to successfully dealing with negative clients.It manifests itself in the way the waiters interact with the diners of the restaurant; how customer service people handle phone requests; how your sales team reaches out to potential customers.
- Listen to customers. Empathy is when company employees show sincere concern for customers, especially when a sincere, human participation in resolving requests is required. Emotion is the foundation of customer loyalty, and empathy is a good way to generate positive feelings.
- Become aware of your biases. Sometimes we perceive the world around us through the prism of our own experience and prejudices against others. For example, the prejudice that a woman is driving is the cause of accidents. This bias builds up a communication barrier about driving.
- Train employees to identify emotions by the facial expressions and tone of voice of the client. Observe clients, empathy develops through observation. Sometimes those who do not sell, but watch customers (security guards, receptionists) know more about customers than sellers.
- Communicate with customers. It is one of the best empathy building tools out there. By understanding who your customer is and what your product or service means to them, you can better understand why the customer is overreacting to the problem.
- Show empathy for your employees so they can do it for their customers.
- Periodically try to act as your employee or client in a service relationship to gain experience of your own by putting yourself in the shoes of another.For example, managers work one day as their employees.
- Share your insights, research, observations, feedback and customer interviews with colleagues.
- Learn to express empathy. Your skills of active listening, acknowledging the client’s feelings, demonstrating participation and interest in solving problems can provide feedback for the client: he is heard and ready to help. Ask clarifying questions, don’t jump to conclusions, and don’t come up with solutions before the client has finished talking about their problem.Sometimes clients just need to speak up. Some of the questions will be resolved by themselves, as soon as they understand that they are being heard.
- Look for common interests and try to make the client part of the solution. Try to build contact with the client, this will help you find more in common with each other than you first thought. Ask him what he thinks about the problem being solved. This will help the client to put themselves in your shoes, not against you.
- Be correct. Please refer to the customer by name. Control your emotions, even if the conversation lasts for a long time or turns into a raised tone.
- Learn to admit your mistakes and shortcomings (ITIL4 principle “Cooperate and encourage transparency” ). Take a step forward and say, “Yes, you’re right. We will try to correct the error and apologize on behalf of the company. ” This will add respect to you.
Empathy is our professional capital. It is not always possible to provide the right solution, but it is always possible to provide a human attitude.
Service empathy is the foundation of a good user and customer experience.
What would you add about service empathy?
Do you have empathy in service relationships?
90,000 Anxiety: How to Cope with Increased Feelings of Anxiety
Yesterday Bella Hadid turned her Instagram into a safe space for 47 million subscribers in one post. In response to an honest interview with Willow Smith about her mental health, Bella spoke candidly about her anxiety and depression issues that run counter to her social media profile.The photos of the model crying were accompanied by a whole essay on how important it is to fight for your happiness together so as not to feel lonely. “Social media is not true. Anyone who is experiencing difficulties remember this. Sometimes all we need to hear is that we are not alone. I tell you from myself: you are not alone. I love you, I hear and see you, ”writes Hadid, adding that mental illness and the fight against them is not a linear process. It’s more like a roller coaster ride, she says, which is why it’s helpful to remember in times of helplessness that negative feelings are not static.They come and go.
And if you yourself experience fear from scratch, suffer from obsessive thoughts and panic attacks, most likely, you also have increased anxiety. It affects 284 million people in the world – such statistics were published in 2018 by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Anxiety manifests itself in different forms: in the form of obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, and the already mentioned panic attacks.According to the American Anxiety and Depression Association, in the United States alone, 18 percent of the population experiences these conditions every year. And only in 37 percent of these cases, people receive appropriate assistance.
What is anxiety
“This disorder is characterized by high levels of anxiety that make it difficult for a person to perform even the simplest daily activities,” says Dr. David Carbonell, psychiatrist and author of the bestselling book Don’t Fall into the Anxiety Trap. It can come in many forms, but it invariably has a negative effect on your quality of life.Someone does not get behind the wheel under certain – often rather ridiculous – circumstances, someone does not fly on airplanes or avoids communicating with people. All these cases have one thing in common: stress and discomfort cause even the most simple daily activities.
“Anxiety feels like fear, only it is projected not into the present, but into the future,” explains Dr. Ellen Hendricksen, author of How To Be Yourself: Calm Your Inner Critic and Defeat Anxiety. – You think ahead, and the obsessive thought “what if?” Immediately arises.. “. You are no longer sure what will happen next, and constantly ask yourself: “Will everything be all right with me?”
What causes anxiety
The main factors that provoke increased anxiety in us are the same as in previous generations: relationship problems, unemployment, loneliness, all sorts of conflicts, once received psychological trauma. However, the digital era in which we live makes its own adjustments. We are online all the time and are faced with a huge stream of news (both good and bad), which means that we become potential targets of trolling, cyber attacks, system failures and many other unpleasant factors.
The digital revolution has forced many to forget about the need for live communication, replacing it with social media, which prescribes measuring the level of happiness and success by the number of likes and comments. It is getting easier to hide from stressful situations behind monitor screens: why make an appointment or call when you can send a message in a messenger? Even with colleagues it is not necessary to communicate live, because there is a working chat. Once upon a time, the need to deal with everyday affairs forced people to struggle with their own fears, but digital reality only exacerbates the situation.
Who is at risk
Anxiety conditions can occur for a number of reasons, one of them is a genetic predisposition. Despite the important role of heredity, experts recognize life circumstances as the main triggers: serious events like leaving school or the need to leave home, changing jobs, moving, parting with a partner, having a child, and other situations that force you to change your usual environment and leave your comfort zone. Here, even those who have not had such problems before can face anxiety and panic attacks.
According to Dr. Hendriksen, anxiety is inherent in human nature and indeed largely depends on genetics. “The most common cause is an event that leads to uncertainty, or a process whose outcome is unknown,” she notes. “Genetic predisposition does play a significant role – in some families this problem is more common than others,” agrees David Carbonell. – I am sure that susceptibility to anxiety disorders is embedded in us from birth.At a certain period of life, this genetic factor begins to manifest itself, for example, panic attacks appear in the range from 18 to 30 years. In this case, even at first glance positive factors like growing up and gaining independence can become triggers. ”
This is treated
“With a successful development of events, a person can enter the stage of long-term remission. Sometimes it can last until the end of life, ”reassures Dr. Carbonell. “In this case, it is not entirely correct to use the word ‘treatment’, because anxiety is not a disease.”What happens if the outcome is less successful? “In really difficult cases, it may seem to a person that he is really cured, but such thoughts only provoke new rounds of anxiety.