Projecting onto others: Projection | Psychology Today
How To Spot When You Are Projecting Onto Others
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Speak to an accredited and experienced therapist to help you stop projecting your feelings onto others. Simply click here to connect with one via BetterHelp.com.
Are you familiar with the psychological concept of projection?
If so, you’re probably already aware of the issues that many people tend to project onto others instead of dealing with them themselves.
What is a bit more difficult to navigate is the awareness of when we might be doing so.
It is sometimes possible to look back over a situation with enough mental distance and perspective to identify instances where you’ve projected onto others; where you can add some retrospective objectivity to your view.
It is, however, much harder to hold this same awareness in the present moment.
Harder… but not impossible.
Here are some tips to help you identify when you might be projecting feelings onto other people.
If you find that you’re having a knee-jerk reaction to someone’s behavior, or if you’re feeling strong emotions that seem to be coming out of nowhere, give yourself a time-out and a biscuit and see if you can be objective about your own thoughts and reactions.
Are you feeling angry because your partner is wasting time and being lazy?
Okay, analyze that for a moment: is it because there’s domestic work to do and you feel like you’re doing more than your fair share to make up for their supposed laziness?
Or is it because they’re taking some much-needed downtime and you don’t give yourself permission to do the same when you need it, so you’re acting out of resentment?
We often lash out at people for behaviors in ourselves that we don’t like, but we can also lose our sh*t at them if they’re engaging in something that we’d want to do, but don’t allow ourselves to indulge in.
An example of this might be condemning a friend for eating ice cream when we’re trying to stick to a diet.
It can be difficult to withdraw emotionally and try to analyze where our reactions are coming from.
But if you’re able to really be honest with yourself about why you’ve suddenly welled up with anger and frustration, you may be able to diffuse it with self-compassion and understanding.
Take Note Of Your Body
We often project things onto others when we have repressed anger, guilt, shame, or other emotions that we’ve convinced ourselves are “bad” and thatdon’t have a right to exist.
Instead of acknowledging these feelings and dealing with them in a way that’s healthy and productive, we repress them.
The problem with doing so is that those swallowed emotions don’t just disappear when we stop paying attention to them.
We push them away, deep down into the void of our unconscious, and since they’re not allowed to be released in a healthy manner, they manifest in less delightful ways.
You may find that your neck and shoulders ache from tensing up and clenching your jaw, or you may have a persistent headache that just won’t ease up.
Use your fingertips and check for tightness across your brow or around your eyes.
Do you feel pain or tenderness there? You may be frowning in your sleep and aren’t even aware that you’re doing so.
Have you been having stomach or intestinal issues? Stress held in the abdomen can cause all kinds of belly dismay.
Insomnia, muscle twitches/spasms, loss of libido, kidney stones… any number of physical woes can be caused by repressed emotion.
If you’ve been suffering from any of these, you might wish to take some time and make yourself really aware of what may be causing them.
Health problems don’t just spring up out of nowhere: they all have causes, and if you can figure out the emotional or mental triggers for them, you can ameliorate them in turn.
A person who is attracted to someone other than his or her partner may accuse said partner of flirting or infidelity, while dealing with low sex drive or discomfort with intimacy.
Someone who condemns another for their eating habits may deal with gastro issues.
It’s amazing to discover how emotional and mental stress can nestle into our bodies in countless different ways and make everything so much worse.
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Ask Yourself Whether It’s Really Them, Or You
Let’s say that you’re fighting with your partner and you accuse them of being passive-aggressive or manipulative.
When emotions are heated, accusations can get flung in all directions, so it’s important to go take a walk or a shower or something to calm down.
Then you can negotiate the situation calmly and respectfully.
While you’re taking time for yourself, be very honest about why you’ve accused them of a particular behavior.
Did they truly exhibit it?
Or are you feeling guilty because that’s how you’ve been treating them, so you’re projecting it in their direction instead of acknowledging your own shortcomings?
A pang of guilt in your belly that comes from saying something that you know isn’t true, can be a damned good indicator that you’re projecting your own crap onto the other person.
Usually, when we talk about something that rings with Truth, we feel whole and confident about what it is we’re discussing.
It feels right to mention it, and after we discuss it with another person, we feel a sense of “rightness” or a lightening of the spirit.
In contrast, when we talk about something that we know deep down is less than honest, a sort of sourness can ensue.
This can manifest as a tightness in your throat, or shifty twitchiness, or whatever personal tics you recognize that you exhibit when and if you lie.
It’s very difficult to own up to dishonesty – even if it’s unintentional – especially if you’re feeling particularly vulnerable or emotionally distraught.
But if you care about the person with whom you’re interacting, it’d be nice to respect them enough to acknowledge that behavior and own your own crap instead of flinging it in their direction.
Being present and mindful can be a lot of help when it comes to projection: when and if you find yourself freaking out about something, bring your attention back to the present moment.
Focus on your breathing, and once you’re feeling more grounded, try to determine – honestly – where those thoughts might have come from.
Try to do so with gentleness and compassion, and forgive yourself for the momentary sh*t-losing.
We’re all muddling through as best we can, but being able to be honest with ourselves about our reactions and behaviors can help us evolve exponentially into the amazing, glittery unicorns we’re all capable of becoming.
Not sure how to stop projecting onto others? Speak to a therapist today who can walk you through the process. Simply click here to connect with one of the experienced therapists on BetterHelp.com.
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 Reclaim the Best Parts of Yourself
Overview: Understanding the mechanism of psychological projection can help you realize your potential. Here’s how.
Think about someone you admire, perhaps someone for whom you have feelings of awe.
What is the primary quality or attribute you most admire in this person?
Maybe their courage, their conviction, their charisma, their intelligence, their creativity, their talent. What’s the quality you admire most?
Now, think of someone you despise. Despise too strong of a word? Then think about someone who often rubs you the wrong way.
What don’t you like about them? Maybe their selfishness, their cluelessness, their nastiness, their inauthenticity.
One of the most fascinating discoveries in psychology over the past century is a mental mechanism called projection.
Let’s see how it works …
How Psychological Projection Works
Essentially, it goes like this: starting in early childhood, we begin psychically cutting off parts of ourselves.
We separate from our best parts of ourselves like courage, generosity, and compassion.
And we disidentify with our worst parts like envy, pettiness, and rage.
We cut off from anything that we can’t find a way to integrate. In so doing, we divorce ourselves from anything that doesn’t get acceptance or approval from our environment including our parents, teachers, family, and friends.
We strive to become, in a sense, “normal,” average. Desperately wanting to fit in during childhood and adolescence, we seek the middle.
Not our middle, but the middle of our social groups and society itself.
And our school systems, sadly, support this surgery of the soul. These systems are highly effective at stripping away our innate genius, those qualities that push us far away from any “average.”
But we can’t really cut off parts of ourselves. I mean, where are they going to go, really?
In the animated film Inside Out, the creatives at Pixar illustrated these disowned parts and lost memories as ball dumped into a dark abyss. An aspect of the personality, in this case, Joy, must go on a dangerous adventure to access these lost parts.
All of these qualities get packed away into what psychoanalysts call the shadow. Or what poet Robert Bly called an invisible bag we drag behind us since childhood.
(For a free instructional guide on how to meet and integrate your shadow, click here. )
And so, because we can’t easily identify these qualities within us, our minds project them out onto others.
When you get irritated at your colleague’s selfishness at work, you are observing his selfishness. But your irritation is a result of not owning your own selfishness.
Otherwise, you wouldn’t get irritated. You would see your colleague’s selfishness and immediately acknowledge the selfish part in you. (Because we are all mirrors for each other.)
Instead, you have an understanding that stems from self-awareness. There would be no emotional trigger to cause irritation.
Hero Worship is Psychological Projection
The converse is also true: We project our greatest potentials and possibilities onto other people.
This person then becomes larger than life to us.
Our culture is ripe with this kind of psychological projection. We call it “hero worship” and it happens in every field, relationship, family, school, and office.
Let’s say you’re an aspiring public speaker. You follow the work of your favorite speaker carefully.
Sometimes you idolize him, hanging on his every word. You admire his effortless calm and confidence on stage.
Here too, you are projecting. You have disowned your confident part and have identified with a more anxious, fearful part of yourself. If not, you wouldn’t be in awe of him.
Instead, you would notice this speaker’s own insecurity behind his confident facade.
That is, you would see him not a hero, but as a fellow human being.
The difference between this speaker and you is mainly that he’s putting forth greater effort to be on that stage.
He may be honest with his own insecurity or he may be deceiving himself.
Either way, his insecurity is there. And if you don’t see it, it’s only because you are projecting. And we are all projecting onto others most of the time.
Many people do this with celebrities. To them, people like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are like royalty. Others project onto musical artists or star athletes.
Business people often do this with titans of industry like Richard Branson, Bill Gates, or Elon Musk.
They fail to see that these individuals are showing their public personas—they represent archetypes, not humans.
These figures become superhuman to those who project onto them.
Self-improvement enthusiasts might project onto figures like Tony Robbins or Tim Ferriss. They may see them as productivity machines, fearless, efficient, masterful.
Spiritual seekers project their best selves onto people like Eckhart Tolle or the Dalai Lama.
In every field, there are numerous characters that legions of people project their best selves onto.
See also: Decoding the Hero Archetype
Breaking Psychological Projection
But we don’t just project our best qualities onto celebrity figures. We also project onto our spouse, our friends, our professional colleagues, and even our neighbors.
The problem isn’t that we project onto others. This is a normal and healthy process in our own development.
The challenge comes when we don’t recollect our projections and reintegrate our latent potentials.
Sometimes these projections break, especially when scandals enter the public’s eye.
How many people were shocked at Tiger Woods’ infidelity? How could a fine, upstanding athlete consistently cheat on his wife?
Only by way of psychological projection can such a question arise.
I projected my inner gold onto various “self-help gurus” in my 20s and onto a spiritual teacher in my 30s.
Each time, I raised these figures high above me. Their character, capabilities, attributes, and achievements were so far beyond what was possible for me that I could only be in awe of them.
Having access to the information behind their public persona eventually helped break these projections.
In each case, I slowly learned more about the real person behind their social mask.
Each time, I was shocked, then confused, then rageful. I didn’t understand what was happening.
The disillusionment was difficult. I felt betrayed, tricked. But that’s because I didn’t understand how psychological projection works.
Now I know that my disillusionment was because I unconsciously projected my own latent potential onto them.
Why We Project Our Best Qualities Onto Others
Here are three reasons we project our best stuff on others:
These positive qualities conflict with our conscious identity.
For example, maybe you have latent natural confidence, or a keen mind, or a big, caring heart.
These qualities might conflict with your current behavior (which was conditioned by your early environment—parents, teachers, kids at school) and how you see yourself.
Psychologists call this cognitive dissonance. The mind doesn’t like this ambiguity and confusion.
In this case, your mind really doesn’t know what to do with these positive qualities or how to relate to them.
And so, when we don’t know how to bring these positive qualities back into us, our mind is left with only one option: project it out onto another.
Owning these qualities is an awesome responsibility.
The phrase made famous by Marvel comic creator Stan Lee explains this well: “With great power, comes great responsibility.”
Psychologists consider projection to be a “defense mechanism.” We do it to keep us safe and in the known. Reclaiming our projections—good and bad—is unknown and therefore, it feels unsafe.
We often shy away from this responsibility because it means being totally accountable.
What if we hold these awesome powers? What if we fail to actualize these latent potentials?
But more importantly, it means we have no one to blame but ourselves. It means no one from our past or present is the determinant of our future character and behavior.
This, if you look at it deeply, can be terrifying to the part of us that resists growth and development.
We have a fixed mindset.
Psychologist Carol Dweck’s research on success has revealed that we hold either a fixed or growth mindset (or mixed).
With a fixed mindset, we believe our intelligence and abilities are static. This leads to a desire to look smart and a tendency to feel threatened by the success of others.
In contrast, with a growth mindset, we understand that intelligence and abilities can be developed.
This leads to a desire to learn and a tendency to find lessons and inspiration in the success of others.
With a growth mindset, you are destined to actualize more and more of your latent potential, giving you a greater sense of free will.
With a fixed mindset, you tend to plateau early in life and abort your self-actualization.
That is, with a fixed mindset, you will always project your potential onto others and never put forth the effort to actualize it in yourself.
With a fixed mindset, you envy the success in others. With a growth mindset, the success in others teaches and inspires you to realize more of your own potential.
Only with a growth mindset can you reclaim the best stuff in you.
Discovering Your Inner Gold
Most of our potential is hidden from us.
We aren’t conscious of what we are truly capable of—our innate strengths, drive, discipline, latent talents, courage, and creativity.
Jungian author Robert Johnson aptly calls our untapped potential “inner gold.”
He writes in Inner Gold: Understanding Psychological Projection:
Inner gold is the highest value in the human psyche. It is our soul, the Self, the innermost part of our being. It is us at our best, our twenty-four-karat gift to ourselves. Everyone has inner gold. It isn’t created, but it does have to be discovered.
Inner gold is another term we can use for our positive shadow.
In How to Be An Adult, psychologist David Richo explains:
To integrate the positive Shadow is to acknowledge our own untapped potential behind the awe we have of others. We begin to acknowledge and to release from within ourselves the very talents and qualities we admired in others.
Psychological projection is a natural process in childhood. In an ideal environment, I believe we would all reclaim our projections in early adulthood.
We would naturally grow into strong, highly-capable, mature adults with innate abilities beyond our imagination.
But the reality is different and most of us project our inner gold onto others throughout our lives.
Again from Robert Johnson:
Generally, we don’t exchange gold well, and much of our depression and loneliness revolves around misunderstanding this exchange. We run around in a state of guilt. I’m a failure. This isn’t working. What are they going to think of me?
But when you understand the transmission of gold, you can honor it and not feel guilty. You know something indirect is taking place. You can sense it, but you can’t possess it yet. Just try to remember that it’s your gold that is being held by whomever or whatever. Knowing this gives you a certain dignity, which we all desperately need.
As long as our inner gold is being tossed about, we can not embody our true creative gifts. The pervasiveness of this problem is difficult to appreciate.
“We barely understand how much of what we perceive in others and the outside world are actually parts of ourselves,” Johnson writes.
Reclaiming Your Inner Gold
Half of the battle of reclaiming your inner gold is simply becoming conscious that you’re projecting parts of yourself onto others.
“Please observe the energy investments you make,” says Johnson. “The exchange of inner gold is occurring all the time. Try to be conscious of it … We need to create new language and new ways for increasing our awareness.”
Only with awareness can you recollect your psychological projections.
And only from your Center in a state of mastery can you cultivate this awareness.
Now, here’s a process you can use to reclaim more of your inner gold and make meaningful changes to your personality.
The following process was inspired by Douglas Labier’s article in Psychology Today, Can You Really Change Your Personality.
Step 1: Think of someone you admire or envy. Make a list of qualities or attributes you admire or envy about them. Choose one to work on first.
Step 2: Envision what it would look like if you embodied that quality right now in your work, relationships, and emotional attitudes.
Step 3: Describe in your personal journal how embodying this quality can change your life. If, for example, you’re working with the quality of persistence you admire in someone, write down how your life will transform when you reclaim this power.
Step 4: Brainstorm a list of things you can do each day to strengthen that dimension of yourself as if you are strengthening a new muscle.
Step 5: Finally, “act as if.” Act as if you already possess this quality, as if it’s already an integral part of you. As David Richo writes, “At first this means ‘acting as if’ but soon we act with ease and even more of our hidden powers become accessible to us. ”
Through your effort, grace will come. Through this conscious process, you will become more of yourself each day.
This article was inspired by Robert Johnson’s Inner Gold. I highly recommend it. It’s a fast read; only 76 pages. Johnson has a gift of communicating complex psychological ideas in easy-to-understand prose. Inner Gold is one of my picks for the 10 best books on psychology.
What do you think?
Leave your thoughts, questions, and comments below:
“Is This Tension Real, or Am I Just Projecting It?”
Everyone’s reality is different, we know. But what does that mean, really? For famous Swiss psychologist Carl Jung this translates to: “Just as we tend to assume that the world is as we see it, we naively suppose that people are as we imagine them to be.” This, in a nutshell, is the very definition of the art of projecting, which Jung goes on to explain: “There is no scientific test that would prove the discrepancy between perception and reality…we go on naively projecting our own psychology into our fellow human beings. In this way everyone creates for himself a series of more or less imaginary relationships based essentially on projection.”
Of course, our relationships with others aren’t completely imaginary, and Jung isn’t suggesting that. However, in our very real interactions with others, we have an unconscious tendency to take our own thoughts and feelings and assign them to those with whom we interact. The kicker? Because we don’t generally recognize we’re doing this as it’s happening, we start to believe our own story about the other person.
“We’re not given a lot of tools to help us learn to acknowledge and accept our own uncomfortable feelings,” says Ryan Dawson, a psychotherapist in Boulder, Colorado, and adjunct professor at Naropa University. “When we don’t have those tools, we’re more likely to project our feelings outward rather than acknowledge them.”
While we often project onto strangers and acquaintances, it can be especially easy to project onto those who are closest to us. Everyone can admit that our loved ones are usually the bearers of the brunt of our bad moods. Dawson says projections we make onto our partners and family members is what contributes to a lot of conflict in relationships.
“We have habitual ways of relating to those who are closest to us,” he says. Take, for example, a family dinner, when you and your siblings are all back at your childhood kitchen table. Because your interactions with your family are so engrained, it’s easy to slip back into old roles that feel familiar—which makes it tougher to pull back and notice that what you’re feeling isn’t actually about your brother or mother; it’s that you’re feeling vulnerable, perhaps, or angry. “When there are familiar or habitual ways of relating, that makes noticing that we’re projecting our own feelings onto others harder,” says Dawson, warning that this sets us up to stay in that pattern of projection.
Related: Can Others’ Bad Vibes Affect Your Practice?
While projecting our own “stuff” onto others isn’t exactly ideal, it’s important not to beat yourself up for doing it. After all, at the heart of this unconscious tendency is a defense mechanism. It’s simply us trying to protect some part of ourselves, and that’s inherently OK. “It’s just that a lot of times, this defense mechanism doesn’t actually serve us,” Dawson says. So, instead of avoiding projecting, which may be impossible, Dawson recommends you learn to notice and own what you are feeling in the present moment, and have compassion for yourself when the tough emotions comes up.
“We all do this—often. The more we can slow down and notice when we’re hooked into a story about someone else that feels especially charged or emotional, simply look at it as a sign to take a breath and ask yourself, ‘What am I actually needing right now? What am I not willing to feel that’s uncomfortable?’” says Dawson. “When you can acknowledge that you will project—and work toward developing a practice that helps you slow down and notice when you’re doing it—it gives you a chance to reflect inward instead of projecting outward. ”
Here, Dawson outlines a few signs that can help you notice when you’re slipping into a pattern of projection.
1. You feel especially charged.
Do you feel hyper-emotional? Are you having a visceral reaction (i.e., heart racing) to someone or something that others can’t quite understand? One of the signs that you’re projecting something onto someone else is if there’s intensity around your experience, says Dawson. If this is the case, ask yourself if what you’re experiencing is really about the other person—or if your own feelings and thoughts are at play.
2. A situation feels “sticky.”
Most of the time when we have a reaction to someone, we have our experience and then it dissipates quickly. Sometimes we’re even able to recognize that we’ve misjudged someone, and after we acknowledge that (possibly even directly to the person), we’re able to move on. However, if an interaction feels “sticky,” says Dawson—when it lingers long after you walk away—or if you feel rigid or stuck in one idea of how another person is, it can be something to look at. “The difference between projection and common error is that an error can be corrected, without difficulty, by better information—and then dissolve like morning fog in the sunlight,” writes Marie-Luise von Franz in the book Projection and Re-collection in Jungian Psychology: Reflections of the Soul. “In the case of a projection, on the other hand, the subject doing the projecting defends himself, in most cases strenuously, against correction.”
3. You’re putting someone on a pedestal.
While we often think of projection as negative, there’s also positive projection. For example, you might have an interaction with someone and think that person is amazing, marveling at how he or she is able to “have it all” or come across as so intelligent and charismatic. While this kind of positive projection may seem harmless, it can also be tricky, says Dawson. “A lot of times when we’re projecting something positive, it’s because we’re not willing to own our own greatness, or to see something wonderful within ourselves,” he says.
So, How Can We Start to Look Inward?
Breaking down your projections takes attention and self-awareness, which is why it’s important to look at this as a practice, and not something that you can master immediately.
The first step toward understanding when you’re projecting is to ask yourself, What’s my piece to own in this?
“We are all responsible for our own emotions,” says Dawson. So, if you notice yourself blaming something on someone else or projecting your own thoughts or feelings onto another, take a step back: What are you needing right now or not acknowledging? The goal, says Dawson, is to bring the focus back to your experience rather than focusing on others.
To do this, try to remove yourself from the situation when you find yourself projecting. You might take a walk, or simply go to the bathroom. Creating physical space will help you dive inward. Next, do anything that brings you into the present moment. “The quickest way to do that is through your body,” says Dawson. You might shift your attention to something you hear or see, or bring your mind into connection with your breath. “Focusing on your own experience of the present moment will help you get off the train of focusing on other person,” says Dawson.
Finally, ask yourself a few important questions:
What am I needing right now?
What do I not want to feel right now?
What feels familiar to me about this situation?
Once again, your answers to these prompts can help you see what’s really going on for you underneath your knee-jerk reactions.
Overall, Dawson stresses the importance of being kind to yourself as you develop this practice of looking inward and start to work through the thoughts and emotions that come up. “Recognize that this is something we aren’t taught how to do,” he says. If you can begin to get curious about your patterns, bring your focus inward and start to own your own experience, that’s a big win.
Projecting Our Shadow Upon Others
Projection is a
fascinating phenomenon they failed to teach most of us about in school. It is
an involuntary transfer of our own unconscious behavior onto others, so it
appears to us that these qualities actually exist in the other people. When we
have anxiety about our emotions or unacceptable parts of our personalities, we
attribute these qualities -as a defense mechanism- to external objects and
other people. When we have little tolerance for others, for example, we are
likely to attribute the sense of our own inferiority to them. Of course,
there’s always a “hook” that invites our projection. Some imperfect
quality in other people activates some aspect of ourselves that wants our
attention. So whatever we don’t own about ourselves we project onto other
We see only that
which we are. I like to think of it in terms of energy. Imagine having a
hundred different electrical outlets on your chest. Each outlet represents a
different quality. The qualities we acknowledge and embrace have cover plates
over them. They are safe: no electricity runs through them. But the qualities
that are not okay with us, which we have not yet owned, do have a charge. So
when others come along who act out one of these qualities they plug right into
us. For example, if we deny or are uncomfortable with our anger, we will
attract angry people into our lives. We will suppress our own angry feelings
and judge people whom we see as angry. Since we lie to ourselves about our own
internal feelings, the only way we can find them is to see them in others.
Other people mirror back our hidden emotions and feelings, which allows us to
recognize and reclaim them.
draw back from our own negative projections. It’s easier to examine what we
are attracted to than what repels us. If I am offended by your arrogance it is
because I’m not embracing my own arrogance. This is either arrogance that I am
now demonstrating in my life and not seeing, or arrogance that I deny I am
capable of demonstrating in the future. If I am offended by arrogance I need
to look closely at all areas of my life and ask myself these questions: When
have I been arrogant in the past? Am I being arrogant now? Could I be arrogant
in the future? It would certainly be arrogant of me to answer no to
these questions without really looking at myself, or without asking others if
they have ever experienced my being arrogant. The act of judging someone else
is arrogant, so obviously all of us have the capacity to be arrogant. If I
embrace my own arrogance, I won’t be upset by someone else’s. I might notice
it, but it won’t affect me. My arrogance outlet will have a cover plate on it.
It is only when you’re lying to yourself or hating some aspect of yourself
that you’ll get an emotional charge from someone else’s behavior.
We project our
own perceived shortcomings onto others. We say to others what we should be
saying to ourselves. When we judge others we are judging ourselves. If you
constantly beat yourself up with negative thoughts, you will either beat up on
the people around you – verbally, emotionally, or physically – or you will
beat up on yourself by destroying some area of your own life. What you do and
what you say is no accident. There are no accidents in the life that you
create. In this holographic world, everyone is you and you are always talking
As long as we
deny the existence of certain traits in ourselves, we continue to perpetuate
the myth that others have something we don’t possess. When we admire someone,
it is an opportunity to find yet another aspect of ourselves. We have to take
back our positive projections as well as our negative projections. We have to
remove the plugs we’ve attached to others, turn them around, and plug them
back into ourselves. Until we are able to retrieve our projections it is
impossible for us to see our full potential and experience the totality of who
we really are.
There is an old
saying, “It takes one to know one.” We see in others what we like
and don’t like in ourselves. If we embrace these parts of ourselves we will be
able to see others as they are, not as we see them through our cloud of
projection. There is another saying that the three greatest mysteries of the
world are air to birds, water to fish, and man unto himself. We are able to
see everything in front of us in the outside world. All we have to do is open
our eyes and look around. We cannot see ourselves. We need a mirror to see
ourselves. You are my mirror and I am yours.
Projection: Definition, Examples, & Use as a Defense Mechanism
What Is Projection?
Psychological projection is a defense mechanism that involves attributing one’s own feelings, desires, or qualities to another person, group, animal, or object.1,2,3,4 For example, the classroom bully who teases other children for crying but is quick to cry is an example of projection. They’re projecting their own sense of shame and weakness for crying onto others as a means of self-protection.
All defense mechanisms are subconscious reactions to unpleasant emotions and inner conflict.5 Without being fully aware of what drives their behavior, people use defense mechanisms to protect themselves from anxiety and internal discomfort.1,3,5,6 They allow people to preserve their sense of Self and deal with difficulties; however, defense mechanisms can become a problem when overused, thus interfering with healthy functioning and relationships.3
Defense mechanisms deny or distort reality, but not all are problematic.1,5 That said, projection is considered unhealthy and maladaptive.3,7 It’s a form of avoidance that prevents people from dealing with their own unpleasant emotions and characteristics in growth-oriented ways.4
Forms of Projection
Projection doesn’t always look the same. In some cases, the individual attributes their negative qualities or emotions onto someone else. In other cases, they attribute their positive qualities or emotions onto someone else.
Here are the five forms of projection:
- Attributing one’s own bothersome qualities onto someone else
- Attributing one’s positive qualities onto someone else2,8
- Assuming other people share your beliefs, opinions, and priorities (i.e., complementary projection)9
- Assuming other people have the same skills and abilities as you (i.e., complimentary projection)9
- Irrationally believing in the projection and its consequences (i.e., delusional projection or paranoia)2,7
It’s important to note that even if you don’t personally deal with projection issues, you may wind up on the receiving end of someone else’s projection.4 For example, you could be accused of being lazy by someone who is projecting that unpleasant trait away from themselves.
History of Defense Mechanisms
The concept of defense mechanisms, including projection psychology, originates from the work of Sigmund Freud, his daughter Anna Freud, and their theory of psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy.1,3,5 While much of Freud’s original work is unsupported by modern research, some of his concepts, including defense mechanisms, are still considered valid.
Many mental health professionals today recognize and work with defense mechanisms (i.e., escape mechanisms).5 For example, cognitive behavioral theory (CBT) incorporates the concept of defense mechanisms, but it calls them irrational beliefs and asserts that they’re chosen defenses rather than subconscious drives.3
Why Do People Project?
Projection is often a reflection of how someone feels about themselves.4 People project their innermost feelings and desires onto someone else to justify their thoughts or avoid taking responsibility for them. 2 By attributing an uncomfortable feeling or trait to someone or something else, they can avoid acknowledging that part of themselves, thus protecting their self-esteem.4
Baggage from the past is buried below conscious awareness; it’s always there but not fully recalled. Someone else’s words, actions, expressions, traits, or mannerisms can trigger a reaction based on subconscious memories, thus causing old, unpleasant emotions to surface. These emotions cause anxiety and other undesirable feelings. Instead of facing those feelings, the person projects them onto someone else.10
Projection is most commonly seen in adolescents, people who misuse substances, people who have experienced brain injury, and people with certain personality disorders.7 People with narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder also frequently use projection as a defense mechanism.4
5 Examples of Projection
Projection can be an isolated occurrence triggered by a single incident, or it can be a pervasive pattern of relating to others. 4 Further, projection behaviors can be either subtle or obvious. They can be triggered by any interaction in any relationship or setting.
Here are five examples of what projection might look like in different scenarios:
1. Projection in Relationships
Projection can surface in romantic relationships when one partner reminds the other of traits they dislike in themselves or people they’ve had negative experiences with in the past, such as an old partner, parent, or sibling. Projection drives a wedge between two people rather than bringing them closer.3
Projection in relationships can involve one partner blaming the other for their own flaws, such as a disorganized person frequently nagging their partner for being messy. Projection can also reflect undesirable traits. Someone who finds themselves attracted to someone who isn’t their partner, for example, might either accuse their partner of being a flirt.
Other signs that projection may be interfering in your romantic relationship are:4
- You have the same argument repeatedly
- You feel upset with your partner but don’t know why
- You feel confused about you or your partner’s overreaction to a situation
2. Projection in Parenting
Parents can unknowingly project their own fears and insecurities onto their children.4,8 Parents who feel like failures, for example, may project their frustration onto their kids by telling them that the world is unfair or that they’re foolish for thinking they can pursue their dreams. Anxious parents may unknowingly convey to their kids that the world is a dangerous place.
Conversely, parents can also project their own hopes and ambitions onto their kids. While often an attempt to build their kids’ confidence and set them up for success, it can equate to pressure and make children feel like failures or disappointments.8
Projection in parenting doesn’t always equate to irresponsible or abusive parenting. Often, the messages parents send to their children—whether intentional, unintentional, conscious, or subconscious—are born out of love.8 No matter the intention, however, kids pick up on projected messages, and this can rob them of their own identity and autonomy, thus leading to resentment and conflict.8
3. Projection at Work
Projection at work can look like what’s known as “projection bias.” It consists of the assumption that what is important to you is equally important to your coworkers or subordinates.11 It’s the attitude that your beliefs are held by others or that those you work with should think and act like you do.
When you believe that others should share your ideas and priorities and don’t seek to understand other perspectives, you risk disregarding their thoughts, needs, and ideas. It can create resentment, hostility, and feelings of conflict.
4. Projection in Friendships
Just as in romantic relationships, projection can disrupt friendships.2 For example, one friend who is subconsciously insecure might accuse another of being too needy, clingy, or demanding.
Reactions that are out of context or disproportionate to a situation, such as lashing out in anger when a friend is a few minutes late, may be projections of jealousy. It could also be a repeated accusation someone received in the past, such as being selfish or inconsiderate.
5. Projection in Therapy
Sometimes, clients project feelings they have about someone important in their lives onto their therapist.4 Also called transference, this type of projection can involve positive or negative feelings. A client may become easily angered by a therapist who reminds them of a problematic partner or boss. Conversely, a client may develop admiration or even romantic feelings for a therapist who has fulfilled a supportive role.
Therapists often notice such projection when it occurs and use it to help the client develop more awareness of hidden emotions and desires. With this insight comes healing, change, and positive action.
5 Ways to Stop Projecting
Because the beliefs underlying projection are often subconscious, it can be difficult to stop projecting. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though. If you notice that your relationships are suffering and suspect that you could be inadvertently projecting, try talking to someone who understands or seeing a qualified therapist.
1. Talk to Someone Who Understands
It can be helpful to enlist an ally in overcoming projection. Identify someone you feel comfortable revealing vulnerable emotions and experiences with. Often, simply talking through what’s happening in your relationships, including your own actions and others’ reactions, can lead to helpful insights.
Sometimes, though, projections come from deep-seated beliefs that run strong but deep beneath the surface of conscious awareness. Therefore, it can be difficult to reveal and examine them without the help of a professional. If you find that talking to a supportive friend or loved one isn’t enough, you may want to consider working with a therapist.
2. See a Therapist
Professional therapy can help you become aware of your behaviors and notice patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior.3 Your therapist will notice patterns and themes and gently discuss them with you to help bring subconscious feelings and behaviors into your full awareness.4 Then, you can actively and openly explore unresolved issues.8
Choosing a therapist who is a good fit and has experience working with defense mechanisms can be invaluable. Use our therapist finder and directory to find the right therapist for you.
3. Increase Your Awareness
As you work with a therapist, you can work on mindfulness and paying full attention to the moment you’re in—especially stressful ones or those involving conflict. When you catch yourself projecting, you can explore what could be going on inside of you, such as what specific feelings emerge during certain conflicts, when these emotions begin, and whether there’s current evidence to support your beliefs in your present relationships.9
4. Pay Attention to Others’ Reactions
Awareness involves deepening your perceptions about how others are reacting to your actions, words, and beliefs.8 Do they seem surprised, confused, or hurt? If so, use the opportunity to redirect the conversation and explore what’s happening. Make an effort to become open to others’ feelings and ideas and listen actively when they share with you. The more deeply you listen, the less likely your old beliefs are to surface and interfere in your present relationships.
5. Slow Down Your Own Reactions
Once you begin to recognize that you’re projecting and where your beliefs, words, and actions may be coming from, you can begin to be more intentional in your interactions with others. Slow down during conflicts, and check to make sure you and the other person are correctly understanding each other.4
It may be helpful to step away from a difficult conversation to give yourself time and space to reflect on what’s happening. Think about your conflict objectively, looking for concrete evidence detailing what is really happening rather than letting your subconscious memories make assumptions that cloud your perceptions.
Think about your own assumptions and actions as well as the other person’s reactions. This may help you identify when you’re projecting and take positive action to change how you’re relating to others.4 It’s helpful, too, to practice active listening, allowing people to fully express themselves and paying attention to what they’re saying and consciously choosing your response rather than reacting subconsciously.11
Final Thoughts on Projection
Projection psychology can be difficult to deal with. It negatively impacts relationships in confusing ways because you’re often not fully aware that it’s happening. Working with a therapist can be incredibly helpful in uncovering problems from the past that are continuing to haunt you today. You can overcome your defense mechanisms, including projection, and live more intentionally and with greater relationship satisfaction.
Famous Quotes & Sayings About Projecting Onto Others
Projecting Onto Others Famous Quotes & Sayings
List of top 32 famous quotes and sayings about projecting onto others to read and share with friends on your Facebook, Twitter, blogs.
Top 32 Quotes About Projecting Onto Others
#1. The problem with making a virtual world of oneself is akin to the problem with projecting ourselves onto a cyberworld: there’s no end of virtual spaces in which to seek stimulation, but their very endlessness, the perpetual stimulation without satisfaction, becomes imprisoning. – Author: Jonathan Franzen
#2. If we turn away from our own pain, we may find ourselves projecting this aversion onto others, seeing them as somehow inadequate for being in a troubled situation. – Author: Sharon Salzberg
#3. And perhaps most important, he gave the nation the idea of American progress – the animating spirit that the future could be better than the present or the past. The greatest American politicians since have prospered by projecting a Jeffersonian vision that the country’s finest hours lay ahead. – Author: Jon Meacham
#4. I can feel pretty critical of people, and I understand that sort of feeling of when you’re going through something that’s painful, taking it out on the world and projecting onto other people, finding faults with other people because it’s harder to find faults in yourself. – Author: Noah Baumbach
#5. The first object of the painter is to make a flat plane appear as a body in relief and projecting from that plane – Author: Leonardo Da Vinci
#6. I came to realize that visualizing, projecting yourself into a successful situation, is the most powerful means there is of achieving personal goals. – Author: Leonard Lauder
#7. For me, journalism has been more a matter of projecting a particular approach to covering policies, to covering issues. It was a continuation of what I tried to do in government. – Author: Eliot Spitzer
#8. Acting is fantastic, but to be able to create a whole world on celluloid is amazing. It’s like taking your dreams straight from your head and projecting them onto a screen. – Author: Amber Benson
#9. I’m definitely more of a ‘think game’ kind of girl. I’ll read every single dialogue and codex entry and lore entry. I really do love projecting myself and creating my character. – Author: Felicia Day
#10. I want to give myself the freedom not to have to be projecting my whole life ahead. – Author: Robert Downey Jr.
#11. Projecting weakness will not make us safer or discourage attacks against us. We need to show leadership and strength by demonstrating that we will not tolerate violent acts against our people, and we will not leave our citizens or our interests vulnerable to an attack. – Author: Tom Rooney
#12. That nature does not care, one way or the other, is the true abyss. That only man cares, in his finitude facing nothing but death, alone with his contingency and the objective meaninglessness of his projecting meanings, is a truly unprecedented situation. – Author: Hans Jonas
#13. From two ears that had grown side by side, the grains of one shot up joyfully into the light, projecting themselves into the future, and the grains from the other lay still in the earth and rotted; and nobody knew why. – Author: Willa Cather
#14. As I’d listened in on the conversation, I’d noted what seemed to be disappointment in Loving’s voice. I wondered if that was due to his reluctance to cease playing this game with me personally. But that was perhaps projecting my feelings onto him. I – Author: Jeffery Deaver
#15. I have problems with a lot of photography, particularly street photography and photojournalism – objectifying the other, finding the contempt and exoticism that you might feel within yourself or toward yourself and projecting it out to others. There can be an abusive power to photography, too. – Author: Barbara Kruger
#16. More than anything, I think everything about appearance is illusory. People see you, and they think they understand what you’re projecting, but actually, they have their own interpretation of it, or they put a label on you. – Author: Annie Lennox
#17. [Good taste] is a nineteenth-century concept. And good taste has never really been defined. The effort of projecting ‘good taste’ is so studied that it offends me. No, I prefer to negate that. We have to put a period to so-called good taste. – Author: Louise Berliawsky Nevelson
#18. Stay away from people who don’t know who they are but want you to be just like them. People who’ll want to label you. People who’ll try to write their fears on your face. – Author: Richard Peck
#19. I think dress, hairstyle and make-up are the crucial factors in projecting an attractive persona and give one the chance to enhance one’s best physical features. – Author: Vivienne Westwood
#20. Tell me, Anna, if man is capable of projecting his belief onto the cosmos, isn’t it possible by the same token, that he can project his unbelief onto the cosmos? – Author: Michael D. O’Brien
#21. The other person merely mirrors back what we are projecting onto them. – Author: David R. Hawkins
#22. We must not fall into the trap of projecting our own morality onto the Soviet leaders. They do not share our aspirations, they are not constrained by our ethics, they always consider themselves exempt from the rules that bind other states. – Author: Margaret Thatcher
#23. Projecting into the future with hopes, dreams and desires can never fulfill you. Only the present moment can fulfill you. – Author: Leonard Jacobson
#24. The most direct evidence of the wonderful plasticity and elasticity of red corpuscles is obtained when they are watched in a current, where they can be caught against a projecting edge and bent by the pressure of the current flowing past them. – Author: August Krogh
#25. We know so little about each other. We lie mostly submerged, like ice floes, with our visible social selves projecting only cool and white. – Author: Ian McEwan
#26. The love of Louis XVI for mechanical works is well known. He had a little workshop at Versailles where he amused himself making locks, assisted by Francois Gamain, to whom he was much attached and with whom he spent many hours in projecting and executing mechanical contrivances. – Author: Sabine Baring-Gould
#27. In his books, Tolle repeatedly denigrated the habit of worrying, which he characterized as a useless process of projecting fearfully into an imaginary future. “There is no way that you can cope with such a situation, because it doesn’t exist. – Author: Dan Harris
#28. I approach writing stories as a recorder. I think of my role as some kind of reporting device – recording and projecting. – Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
#29. Just as rust, which arose from the iron itself, wears out the iron, likewise, performing an action without examination would destroy us by projecting us into a negative state of existence. – Author: Dalai Lama
#30. Projecting an air of self-assurance will take you a long way. – Author: Auliq Ice
#31. Hey this is Lenore! Yup, it sure is Lenore! Huh, maybe he can’t hear me, maybe I should spell it. L-e-n-o-p
There’s no p in Lenore , Lenore.
Oh yeah? Then what’s this raggamuffin? Pssssssssssss
Aaaaagh! How are you even projecting it at that angle!?! – Author: Roman Dirge
#32. In terms of drama school, what that will give you that you won’t necessarily learn on a film set is the technical ability – ie, projecting your voice and stage craft. – Author: Daniel Radcliffe
90,000 Projection as a defense mechanism of the personality, or why we see ourselves in others
Contact with the reality around us occurs every minute of our life, we communicate outside some information and receive.
When building relationships, or just communication with other people, we are faced with the fact that we are forced to look for points of contact of positions,
views on things in order to reach an understanding of the other person. This can be difficult. Ideally, the person himself is aware of those patterns
which are present during communication.However, it often happens that we ourselves, without realizing it, meet not only with others,
but ourselves, not who we actually are, but only a distorted projection of ourselves.
What are we talking about and what to do about it? To start. I propose to understand what projection is in general, as a psychological defense mechanism of a personality.
This article is addressed primarily to ordinary people who are far from professional psychology, but for whom it is important to save their face,
build contact with real people, and not with your idea of them.
What is projection?
Projection can be understood as a mechanism when the psyche perceives its own qualities, properties, features, emotions as belonging to other people or processes.
Simply put, we often see what is in ourselves in others, which causes certain emotions, most often negative ones.
And we notice this and focus on these qualities precisely because we have it in ourselves. We either do not accept it in ourselves,
or it is in a mode of untreated psychological trauma.
It is easier for the psyche to take it out of the parentheses, not to assign it, because we ourselves often do not accept some qualities of our own personality in ourselves.
An example of a projection from personal experience
I will give an example of my own projection, which I periodically monitor – violation of the psychological boundaries of other people.
It looks like I can ask a person with whom I communicate closely an uncomfortable question, ask about something completely personal,
give my opinion when I’m not asked about it.As a result, when I encounter similar manifestations in other people,
for example, loud speech or squealing of a child, or too close contact on the subway, then I feel irritated.
This can be called a “blind spot” when it may be quite obvious for others, but not for the person himself, since
he is included in this process and cannot make an objective assessment of what is happening.
Take responsibility for your behavior and reactions
Of course, when a person himself understands the nature of his impulses, he is able to control them, but in most cases
this does not happen, the person is “carried”.
Taking responsibility for your reactions and behavior is a mature position of a person who is responsible for himself and respects the people around him.
The awareness that in fact you yourself are the source of everything that happens around (in the case of the same boundaries) leads to alignment
of our behavior in such a way that we are in contact not with parts of ourselves, but with other people.
We build communication with ourselves
The fact is that when the psyche starts these mechanisms, then the person is not in real contact with another person,
but builds communication with himself (with his subjective idea of the other).And it’s more likely not only about
what a person thinks or knows about it, but about the emotional sphere of the personality, which is difficult to control if not realized.
In this case, a person can sincerely consider that “his boundaries have been violated”, although he himself “invaded someone else’s territory”
not realizing this and blaming the other person for it.
Moreover, attempts to “exterminate” what does not suit other people, in most cases do not lead to anything, since
the direction of the application of forces is the person himself, and it is necessary to deal with these qualities in himself.
In an attempt to teach another person not to be late, you yourself must be aware that you are late yourself,
or have to come on time, but you are not satisfied with this. And in this case, your attempts to “re-educate another”
will be directed towards oneself. And in most cases, you are simply discharged, “blow off steam”, which makes you feel
easier, this is where it all ends.
The reasons are rooted in our upbringing
Where do legs grow from? Usually,
the basis of projection is introjection, when we were raised in this way,
that “Don’t bother with it!”, “Be polite!”, but whether we like it or not is not important.There are rules of conduct in society,
and if we do not accept them inside ourselves, then seeing behavior that we cannot afford, we begin to experience irritation
to the person.
When we assume how another person sees the world or a situation, especially if we do not know him, then we rely on
on a personal idea about it, conscious or unconscious. Therefore, in such situations, it is better to ask the person directly
about something than to “think out” for him.
As a rule, we criticize other people for the qualities or behavior that we ourselves are carriers of.That is
we do not perceive the world and those around us directly, sensory, but replace this perception with a fantasy about it.
For example, if we see a secretive person, but we do not allow ourselves to be so in some situations,
or vice versa, they themselves are the same, however, do not accept this feature in ourselves, then we will “wind up” many reasons
such a person’s behavior, evaluate him, get angry, but we do not assume why he is behaving this way at a given moment.
This distortion of reality makes it impossible to come into direct contact with it.We build a relationship with ourselves
believing that we are communicating with another person. In this case, any claims and grievances should be addressed to yourself,
and not to another person.
Desires to “catch up and do good”
Several can be cited as indicators of this mechanism. For example.
A person, instead of saying: “I”, as a rule, says: “We”, or “They”. There is no assignment of one’s own words to oneself.
Do you really think so, or do you think you think so?
A lot of criticism of everything and everyone, the desire to teach other people to behave in a certain way.”You must
you need to find a bride and one, how long can you run here and there ?! ”. And if we turn to the need-motivational sphere
of a person who imposes this on another, it is not difficult to understand that the search for the only one is his dream and need.
This happens automatically. The person who says this to another does not keep track of what he or she communicates about a personal need,
which is exclusively his. And whether this very bride is needed by the one who is given such a recommendation, it does not matter at all,
After all, the adviser sincerely believes that since I want, then all the others also want, how not to want something ?!
But seriously: when a person himself learns to clearly understand and realize what he needs, then he will be able to see
the needs of other people, then there will be no desire to “catch up and do good.”When we take over the unaccepted parts of ourselves,
we understand that it is ourselves, then we can do something about it.
Types of protective mechanisms
It is very important to put this into awareness mode. However, if they even tell you directly that you “have it,” then emotions,
which, in this regard, you will have, will block any paths to contact with that from which you so stubbornly strive to escape.
In this case we are talking about aggression as a way of protection. However, the person himself does not understand that he is defending himself from himself.
Psychologists distinguish 3 types of this psychological defense mechanism.
Mirror projection – when a person finds in another or his idea of him features, characteristics, features,
which he considers as his own, or would like to have.
For example, sincerely wanting to help, a partner in a couple broadcasts to another the vital need for personal psychological therapy,
talking about the fact that he needs her and this is the key to all those doors in front of which he stands, not daring to enter.But,
if you analyze the needs of the counselor himself, then most likely it will become clear what exactly in psychological sessions
he finds a resource for himself on which he can rely in his own movement forward.
Projection of catharsis – when the same thing happens that I described above, however, the person himself refuses these features,
does not recognize them as his own, does not want to have them.
For example, condemnation of a neighbor in a communal apartment: sitting over a cup of coffee and discussing the situation when the same neighbor
“Crawls into his own business”.However, right now, the aunt, while “eating” a cake and drinking a cup of coffee, is exactly
by that which condemns the other. Of course, this evokes strong emotions, which is a marker that the situation concerns me personally.
If it did not affect in any way, then there would be no emotions, or they would not have such power.
Additional projection – if a person attributes some traits, features or conditions to another person,
that justify his own condition or behavior.
For example, you can give countless advice about the “correct” behavior of another person, but
we remember the saying that “the path is paved to hell with good intentions.” Or “Well, if not for his behavior,
then I would be different! ” – says the wife.
It is very important to realize the personal side of responsibility, first of all, for your own behavior and reactions.
True, this is not always possible due to the fact that it is not realized and is painful.
In fact, any projection is a rejected part of the personality that should be appropriated.
This is possible if the person himself is interested in building open and trusting relationships,
when he feels safe and can open up to others, knowing himself.
If you find signs of projection in yourself or in a significant partner for you, talk about it, discuss it, try it on yourself,
let’s be able to assign to others what is part of them.
You should not put pressure on a person, reproach him for something, if he is not yet ready to recognize some peculiarities in himself.
He may simply not be ready to be fully aware of the situation. When he sees and feels that you are not attacking
on him, but on the contrary, strive for contact with him, and not with his defense mechanisms, then this contact will take place.
And exactly at this moment you will meet!
Someone is waiting for such a meeting all their lives, living next to another person, and someone does not know that such a meeting is, in principle, possible!
Projection as a neurotic mechanism
In its most general form, speaking of projection , we mean the neurotic mechanism through which a person, when dealing with other people, (or, more broadly, with other objects) imposes on them, like on a screen, some of their ideas, characteristics, needs, etc., – by themselves these people ( or these objects) are not peculiar.
More specifically, the term “projection” can imply three rather different psychic mechanisms: first, the projection of its shadow ; second, projecting what psychoanalysis calls “ object relations “; and, thirdly, we can talk about the projection of mythologemes of family relations , more broadly – in general relations of the “communal” type: who is who who, for example, “mother-daughter”, “compatriot in a foreign land”.
Let’s start with shadow .
The psyche is arranged in such a way that in order to respect oneself, to feel calm and dignified, most people are forced to ignore some of their properties that they actually possess (or, better to say, that they possess). Everything that a person does not accept in himself, in the Jungian tradition of analytical psychology is usually called “ shadow “.
Not noticing their own unacceptable qualities (oddly enough, not only “negative”, but sometimes “positive”), people often transfer them to some kind of screens around them: to “people in general”, saying, for example, that “people are evil”, or against some specific people, being, for example, confident that “he hates me.”
At the same time, a person deceives himself twice: firstly, as in any projection, he sees in others not what (or not exactly) what is in these people, but what he himself projected there, and secondly, he does not notice in himself what he projected in the other .
The mental mechanism is as follows: the psyche, as a rule, extends (according to the principle of merging) itself and its properties beyond its limits. And when he feels himself somehow – for example, greedy – a person “naturally” automatically assumes that everyone is like that.But then the evaluation mechanism comes into play, and if a person does not want to accept this in himself, then this causes a desire to believe that “I am not like that,” this is followed by repression – in relation to himself. But assuming that “I am not like that,” a person continues to see others “like that.” The shadow is like falls on people around .
This happens with the greater intensity, the more a person worries about something that he does not want to notice consciously and cannot fail to notice unconsciously.
“Screen” (that is, a person onto whom a certain property is projected) may well correspond to the projected quality. For example, if a quality such as evil is being projected, the “screen” can be a really evil person. It is all the more important to distinguish between real and projected qualities in significant people. The projection can be recognized, in particular, by specific negative emotions: projecting his own aggressiveness onto a really “not soft” person, the projection begins to hate him very intensely for his “wickedness”.
– And how to find out what are the “real”, outside the projection of the quality of another person?
– Each of us usually has enough information about all this. If the neurotic mechanism is removed, that is, if I know that there is a projection, and I ask myself the question: “Isn’t it a projection?” reality, and where I see my projection. One can, of course, say that to some extent any perception is projective, but this is already sophistry (or, in a good case, theory), and in practice, the phenomena that are quite realistically found in observation and self-observation are important.
The technique that allows this mechanism, firstly, to work out, and secondly, to also use it for the benefit of self-knowledge, is as follows: when you very definitely think about someone, try on on myself. That is, after thinking, saying something about someone – as we usually do – and catching yourself thinking and saying, try to say the same phrase, replacing “she” or “he” with “I” and honestly see how that phrase responds. If, for example, I say about someone that this person is fussy, I can try to form a phrase: “Am I – fussy?” – with a question mark and look at yourself in this regard honestly .
Honesty here consists in not deviating in one direction or the other: on the one hand, not to refuse to see something in oneself, if it exists, but, on the other hand, not to be ashamed, not to be afraid when you see that no, say: “But this is not in me” , – and honestly say: “So this is not a projection” .
As stated, this can make a significant contribution to self-knowledge. There are several schools that very intensively use the idea that other people are our mirrors, so when you see something in someone, think that this is your mirror and look within yourself.More often than not, you will find it.
When we look at people through the crooked prism of our projections, there is always a very specific taste of negative emotion. That is, we are very indignant that there is something in them that we don’t want to admit in ourselves. And if you remove this indignation, then the attitude towards a person changes greatly. There is a feeling that we are all sitting in the same boat – the one where there is anger, greed, fussiness and much more that we do not like – and we need to somehow deal with this, replacing the “noble” (read: neurotic) resentment at the much more humane understanding of .
Many good examples of this can be found in Enright’s book The Gestalt Leading to Enlightenment. Teun Marez has some interesting thoughts on this, suggesting that people around him be treated as mirrors .
As a rule, talking about projection is limited to previous considerations (or something like that). Meanwhile, there are two more mechanisms that make us see people and treat people “not objectively”, that is, see in people not what we could see without a projection, and treat them differently than we could treat to them without a projection.
An important mechanism of this kind is the settings called by the so-called “ object relationship “. In psychoanalysis, this term refers to the vision in other people of the “object” of their instinctive drives. For example, if we talk about sexual desires, then it is easy to see that men and women, boys and girls simply cannot fail to see in persons of the opposite sex, (and sometimes of the same sex) “sexual objects”.
More details. Attraction (Freud’s trieb) , as it is described in psychoanalysis, in its structure has such a component as an “object”.Sexual attraction is attraction to someone. The child’s attachment instinct also needs an object to which the child is attached: dad, mom, parent, nanny. This concept of an object is built into instinct itself. And this component of instinct, the idea of an object, like a ray from a flashlight, is superimposed – projected – onto people around, if they (at least to some extent) have suitable properties. For example, typology is of great importance for sex, attraction is projected onto typologically suitable women and men.Then this flashlight beam is fixed, and the person perceives the other person (on an instinctive level) as an object of his attraction, and the corresponding psychic energy is involved in this. It must be said that this kind of projection constitutes a significant part of the mental interaction of people. Consciously or unconsciously, but it happens all the time. This is how we see each other.
In addition to the sexual instinct, I would dwell here on the very important for most of us child-parenting.On the child’s side, this is, in particular, the attachment instinct described in detail by John Bowlby . The child instinctively needs a parent, and the Inner Child, if he is not properly closed on his Inner Parent, projects this need of his onto more or less suitable people outside himself. Unlike sexual projections, which are generally ubiquitous and ubiquitous, attachment projection is very selective, quite individual, but flares up and manifests itself quite intensely.Related to this is what psychoanalysis calls a transfer, or transference: The Inner Child, who is looking for a dad, mom, nanny and grandmother, one day finds someone surrounded by someone to whom it carries out the so-called imprinting (imprinting a suitable object encountered as a biologically significant for behavior). Something “came together,” “clicked,” and then the Inner Child begins to see in this person something like a mother, or a father, or a nanny. This is a very strong attachment that attracts (drags!) People, to a large extent determines the relationship of people – not only in relation to the psychotherapist, but it constantly happens in life.Well, in particular, it refers to the leaders of some groups where people are intensively engaged in something.
Projection can be either positive or negative. That is, the boss can be a good mom, or she can be a bad mom, the team leader can be a good dad, or maybe a bad dad.
And, accordingly, there are people who have strong parental instincts, and they are looking for “children” and begin to spud these “children” and make them “their children.”
A friend of mine formulated this type of projection in a capacious phrase: “the giver of this” .I need something, and since I project object relations onto people, people become “givers of this”: sexual arousal, care, affection, hatred.
There is nothing abnormal in this in itself. This becomes a neurotic mechanism, when it either turns out to be the leading one in a person’s relationship to other people, or is denied and repressed, and thereby also interferes with the perception of other people as such. On one edge, – a young bull is walking down the street and only sees that a heifer, and, on the other edge – an anxious clerk is walking along the street, and pretends that he does not see any women at all, but he goes to work.
Leaving aside the conversation about how to generally deal with the instinctive side of human life (this is a special conversation) and focusing on our topic – the neurotic mechanism of projection , we should note that the projection of object relations onto another person, that is, perception a person as an object of attraction, without being noticed, tracked and “worked out”, strongly distorts our perception of another person.
A striking example is the characteristic of a woman as “sexy”.In certain lips (for example, in the mouth of a filmmaker or even a film critic), this may sound like a (more or less) objective characterization of an actress. But a simple person, being attracted by a beautiful girl, may, behind the projection of his attraction, fail to notice that this girl is an independent person with some properties and characteristics. This often happens with young people (of both sexes, of course), when, after the wedding, they discover that they have no idea about the person they were married to – and now they live with him …
The instinct of attachment makes infantile young ( and not very young, and we suck not young) people to look for mothers and fathers, as well as nannies and grandmothers, and, having found, having undergone imprinting, treat the person to whom the transfer of parental expectations was carried out is completely different from how it was it would be if there was no transference: once in the (instinctive) position of a child, a person begins to expect something from another person, to demand, be fascinated, disappointed, offended, make claims, give preconceived assessments – all this, as a rule, is absolutely not realizing what lies at the heart of all this compote.
If object relationships are monitored, seen, understood and able to deal with them (in accordance with their developed attitude to the reality of instincts), then, on the one hand, they become relatively safe, and, on the other hand, paint life in bright colors.
Thus, the task of a decent person (which we seem to be about to become) is to try to see people on their own in addition to such projections.
The third mechanism of projection is associated, narrowly speaking, with family relationships.
Each of us has certain myths about how families are arranged and who should be whom to whom. Since these are myths, then, as a rule, reality has little effect on them. These myths are transmitted within families themselves, as well as through other cultural channels (books, films, etc.), and since we live in a multicultural situation, myths mix, and as a result, each individual child is transmitted in a very bizarre way.If in a traditional society it is really clear how it is and how it should be, then here in Moscow there are a lot of these traditions mixed up. And in every family there are a lot of them: dad has his own ideas, mom has her own ideas, and besides, dad has some ideas from his dad, and others from his mom, etc. So all these myths are very contradictory: on the one hand, for example, the myth of spontaneity and freedom of feelings, on the other, about who should feel what in relation to family members.
One way or another, each of us has a set of mythologems about ourselves and our relationships with family members, with the whole set of figures – dad, mom, “giants”, brothers, sisters, children. There is also such a special figure – “relatives”. None of those present, – I say with complete confidence, – can not be neutral to the message that such and such a person is your relative, this will certainly cause some kind of reaction.
And now we are projecting onto the figures that are endowed with these “positions” in our systems, these myths of our own.This can be seen in two striking examples.
(1) Within the framework of various techniques and methods, I often need to invite the client (client) to see her mother with a more or less objective look, as a “person of certain qualities”. In most cases it is very difficult for the client to do this, at first it seems almost impossible. The client sees his mother as a mother. Sometimes this is formulated almost deliberately. One client said bluntly: “I will not tell you about my mother, because I can only say good things about my mother, but you need to – as it was in reality, but I don’t remember it and I don’t want to remember”.And when it is possible to carry out such a “change of view”, it almost always leads to noticeable changes in the psyche of the client.
(2) It is often striking to observe how the free relationship of a couple turns into a rigidly (in accordance with myths) family relationship, when the Beloved becomes a wife and the Beloved becomes a husband. Almost all couples who become families go through such a metamorphosis (although few people manage to notice it). After a while, many begin to remember “how it was”, but few understand that the projection mechanism also works here, when “Natasha” becomes a wife, and all the ideas and expectations associated with this role in the husband’s mythology are projected onto her.
This should not be confused with object relations, although it may look similar. But there we are dealing with instinctive drives, and here we are dealing with systemic mythologies of given relations that are very deeply embedded in mental programs. The difference can be seen in this example. A certain woman has a real mother, she lives in another city, but constantly demands something from her, and quite ritually: in fact, she is not very interested in how her daughter lives, but she demands constant ritual reports, because she is – Mama.And the daughter grimaces, but she provides these reports, and if she does not provide them on time, she feels guilty. This is about a family myth. But the same woman, being mentally quite infantile, needs a mother in terms of object relations, and now she is looking for (and sometimes finds) this “mother” for herself, but not at all in that real mother with whom she is connected through family relations. but in completely different people.
Now let’s try to consider this type of projection a little wider. The family is only the most common, most important, but not the only example of “communal” (gemeinschaftlich) relationships.In a community of one type or another, the functions of people and the relationship between them are also more or less described, and in our life there are also a large number of myths about this: myths about “real authority”, about “friends” who can be trusted, with whom you can and you need to share your whole life, etc. One of the examples that can help you understand what is at stake is compatriots in a foreign land.
As in the previous sections, I leave aside the question of how to deal with these family-community myths.This text is devoted to the neurotic mechanism of projection, and it is on this that I want to focus our attention (in connection with which I omit a number of interesting discussions that took place in real lectures).
The therapeutic recommendation here is the same as in the previous sections. Knowing how it works, we can be attentive, keep track of projections of this kind in ourselves and in others and, even if we cannot (yet) stop them, at least not succumb to their “charms” and strive to ensure that out of the corner of our eye contrive to “peep” the state of affairs (people and relationships) is more real than that which is imposed on us by projections.
Now you can use your projections, Psychology – Gestalt Club
Projections are taking your inner material out and
projecting it onto the outside world. Thus we get to
through the looking glass of our own inner world and do not realize it.
We are among people, but we do not see them, we talk, but
we do not hear them, our subjective reality is everywhere, but we do not
we are aware of this.
What can we project into the outside world? This
can be: phenomena of perception, feelings, thoughts, values,
For example: everyone around me seems to be angry, I don’t
I am aware of my anger and aggression, and I project onto others. All around
they seem suspicious, greedy, envious, corrupt to me,
sycophants or vice versa, kind, sweet, respectable – strength
projections are great. This is a reflection of our inner world. I AM
I feel that I am offended, not a fact, perhaps I feel guilty
for some act. I feel like I’m being judged – I feel ashamed
In projection – a person is his own
ascribes unwanted traits to others, and in this way protects himself
from the awareness of these traits in oneself.The projection mechanism allows
justify their own actions.
For example, I blame someone for coming to me
cold, to blame for my problems with work, with my personal life, we
we blame the person, i.e. we want him to take responsibility for us.
Not noticing that we do not take it upon ourselves and project it onto
When a person projects some qualities onto others, he
protects himself from realizing these traits in himself.
Projection is a defense mechanism, it allows a person to
consider one’s own shadow
content (unacceptable feelings, desires, motives, ideas
etc.and, as a result, do not feel for them
A negative consequence of this protection is
desire to correct an external object onto which it is projected
something negative, or get rid of it altogether in order to
so get rid of the feelings “caused by it”. An external object, meanwhile,
may have nothing to do with what’s on it
For example , it seems to me that nobody is with me
is friends, no one loves me, no one hears me, no one listens, no
notices.We project material from the inner world to the outer one.
It could sound like this: I can’t hear myself and, accordingly, no one
I don’t hear, I don’t value myself and others either, although I may need them,
I do not notice anyone, I do not love. Those. what’s going on inside me
I project outward and do not notice that I myself am getting into this looking-glass
the world of your own psyche.
We are all not free from projections. But, the more a person is his
the inner part alienates from itself, transfers to another and does not
recognizes it for itself, the more the projection is malignant.
Acute form of this: mental illness –
Projections are mirrors, they are necessary to see yourself. They
reflect only the one who looks in them.
But often it turns into a journey through the kingdom of the curves
What helps you notice that you are
1. There are many assessments, interpretations, judgments that
others think, do, feel, value, experience.
2. Lots of assumptions about what others think and feel about
relation to us.
3. Frequent predictions of other people’s behavior.
4. The projection is very fond of the lack of information, the less we are about
we know something – the easier we project.
How to work with projections:
1. Starting with the development of the skill of sensory
self-reflection . The ability to recognize your emotions and feelings,
automatically we will be insured against the expressed projection.Then we
we will understand where our feelings and thoughts are, and where are strangers.
2. Assignment of projections. If we are about something
say, for example: “No one loves me, no one appreciates me, I
nobody needs it, etc. ” It is helpful to ask the question: How do I know this?
Who told me about this? How did I feel or see it? From
whom? On the basis of what signs have I made this conclusion?
For a start, this can help you come to your senses, and understand: well
probably about all this I got excited! Then who exactly? If
to single out these people, you can directly ask how they treat me
relate? How do they feel about me?
Whom do I love? Whom do I value? If so, is it really the answer
I am not loved and appreciated? Do I love and appreciate myself?
The next moment, for example, we decided that no one loves me
and does not appreciate, no one needs me, no one cares about me! Ask
yourself, but how do I? How do I feel about this? For example
the answer: insulting, sad!
Is it then equally indifferent to everyone? And who is the most
insulting that you are indifferent? Whose attitude is important to us, and whose so-so
it is possible without it.If we identify a person who is very important to us,
then we can do something in this direction. Is it possible for a person
to say about it that it is offensive, that it is indifferent or that the person is important
for us. We will definitely be noticed!
3. Also try speaking in the first person:
instead of “you don’t want to see me” – “I don’t want to see you,” instead
“You, probably, it’s not easy with me” – “I think it’s not easy with you, with
yourself. ” And to ask if there is some truth in this.
The theme of projections is important in that it gives
the ability to see the world more clearly, more objectively, more
transparent.I take my projections for myself – by clearing
situations, by working with topics that are painful to me. Projection
indicate our places of work and points of development. Assigning projections
can be frustrating, but it gives you the opportunity to take responsibility
in all my life. Seeing her and yourself is more clear and objective, then
the reality is clear, what is happening, where I am and where I am
90,000 Projection (psychology) is … What is Projection (psychology)?
This term has other meanings, see.Projection.
Projection (lat. 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  . 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.
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  .
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 action of the projection, these reactions are perceived as a direct sensation of someone else’s state. In most cases, this empathy increases the understanding between people. 
He also underlies the “animation” of objects, forces of nature, in the “humanization” of animals.For example, phrases such as “calm sea”, “disturbing sea”, “storm was angry”, “devoted dog”, “independent cat”, “unhappy horse” are the result of attributing our own reactions to external objects.
- ↑ 1 2 3 Nancy McWilliams, “Psychoanalytic Diagnostics: Understanding the Personality Structure in the Clinical Process”, ed.”Class”, 1998.
90,000 projection is … What is projection?
PROJECTION ( p. 466) (from Latin projectio – throwing forward) is a psychological mechanism consisting in the unconscious attribution of a person’s own thoughts, experiences, traits and aspirations (mostly unconscious) to other people. Such a definition, however, is too general and at the same time not comprehensive enough, especially since in psychology the phenomenon of projection is considered in relation to various situations.Originally proposed by Z. Freud, the term “projection m” has undergone many interpretations and today is used in different ways in different contexts. Even in the works of Freud himself, not to mention his numerous followers and interpreters, this term implies a fairly wide range of interpretations, which gave rise to such a prominent specialist in the submitted problem as R. Syre to declare: “Projection is apparently the most inadequately defined term throughout psychoanalytic theory. “
Charles Reincroft, author of The Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis, indicates that the phenomenon of projection was first described by Freud in 1911 in connection with the analysis of one case of persecution delusion. More meticulous researchers find even earlier references to projection in Freud’s work. Leopold Bellak, creator of the child’s apperception test, notes that the term “projection” was first mentioned in Freud’s work “Anxiety neurosis”, published as early as 1894. This article, in particular, says: “The psyche develops anxiety neurosis when it feels inferior in relation to the task of managing [sexual] arousal arising endogenously.That is, it acts as if it was projecting this excitement into the outside world. ”
In 1896, in his article “On protective neuropsychoses,” Freud formulated more precisely that projection is the process of attributing one’s own drives, feelings and attitudes to other people or to the outside world, as a defense mechanism that allows one not to be aware of such “undesirable” phenomena in oneself. A further refinement of the concept in this work was made when describing the Schreber case in connection with paranoia.In Freud’s interpretation, the paranoid he described had undoubted homosexual tendencies, which, under the pressure of the Superego, were transformed from “I love him” to “I hate him”; the subject attributes (projects) this hatred to the former object of his secret attraction, which thus becomes a threatening persecutor. And since it is somewhat easier to cope with external danger than with internal danger, it even brings a kind of relief.
A few years later, while studying the nature and mechanisms of the formation of dreams, Freud expressed such considerations, according to which a dream and hallucination could be considered as a projection of a person’s unfulfilled desires on the outside world.
In his work “The Psychopathology of Everyday Life,” the founder of psychoanalysis, using the phenomenon of projection, tried to reveal the psychological roots of superstition. In discussing this issue, he proceeded from the fact that a superstitious person “projects out the motivation” of his own random actions, instead of finding it within himself. On this basis, Freud came to the conclusion that a significant portion of the mythological outlook, which extends to modern religions, “is nothing more than a psychology projected into the external world.”
A similar view of projection took place in his work “Totem and Taboo”, in which he argued that animism was a natural perception of the world for a primitive person projecting into the outside world the structural conditions of his soul. It is worth noting that in this work Freud drew a parallel between the projection of human feelings, which is reflected in religion, and a similar process observed in the paranoid. The founder of psychoanalysis noted that spirits and demons “perceived” by a primitive person are nothing more than a “projection of his feelings”: just like the witty paranoid Schreber, who found a reflection of his attachments and the release of his libido in destinies… “
In Lectures on an Introduction to Psychoanalysis, Freud gave a brief description of the medical history of a woman whose projective activity led to the onset of the delusions of jealousy. In his interpretation, the unconscious love of a 53-year-old virtuous wife and mother with a Young Man, her son-in-law, turned out to be such a heavy burden for her that it turned into delusional jealousy. With the help of the displacement mechanism, the fantasy of her husband’s infidelity became a cooling compress on her experiences. The benefits of the delusions of jealousy brought her relief, which was achieved in the form of “projecting her own condition onto her husband.”Thus, Freud, as it were, empirically confirmed the assumption that he had previously expressed in his work “Totem and Taboo” that the tendency to project mental processes outward increases where “the projection gives the advantages of mental relief.” Such an advantage, he believed, can definitely be expected in the case when mental movements come into conflict: the painful process “uses the mechanism of projection to free itself from such conflicts playing out in mental life.”
These or those aspects of Freud’s understanding of projection received their further development in the studies of a number of analysts.Thus, M. Klein, through the prism of projection and introjection, considered the child’s ambivalence to his “primary object”. She believed that the infant “projects his love impulses and attributes them to a satisfying (” good “) breast, just as he attributes to a frustrating (” bad “) breast the destructive impulses projected onto it.” In this respect, the picture of the external and transferred to the internal plane of the object in the child’s psyche was regarded by her as distorted by fantasies directly related to the projection of his impulses onto the object.
If M. Klein adhered to the point of view according to which projection and introjection are processes that contribute to distinguishing between external and internal and, consequently, the development of the I, then A. Freud, who polemicized with her, attributed projection and introjection to the period when the I was already differentiated from the external the world. Investigating various mechanisms of protection of the I, she considered projection as one of the important protective methods used by a person when trying to resolve his intrapsychic conflicts.
For K. Horney, projection was a special case of externalization, that is, the tendency to perceive internal processes as if they were outside a person. It correlated projection with the objectification of a person’s difficulties. From her point of view, the externalization of various human traits can be carried out “through direct projection, that is, in the form of perceiving them as belonging to other people or by shifting responsibility for them onto other people.” Horney believed that in some cases, projection allows a person to react to their aggressive inclinations without realizing them and therefore not facing face to face with their conflicts.In her understanding, as a side function, “projection can serve the need for self-justification”: it is not the person himself who feels the desire to steal, deceive, humiliate, but others want to do this in relation to him.
Even without fully sharing the psychoanalytic theory of personality, it is difficult to disagree with the fact that many cases of negative attitudes towards others (towards specific individuals or whole groups) are dictated by self-defense motives based on the principle of projection.
Who, more pitiful and more often than cunning and grabbers, complains about the general insincerity, crookedness and greed? Who is louder than the stubborn ones complaining about the stupid stubbornness of others? Am I stubborn? These are stubborn disagreements with me.Every single one. I’m just right, and they are stubborn as donkeys. I don’t know for what reasons.
Am I selfish? And who is not an egoist? Look around you. Everyone survives as best he can, trembling for himself, as for some unthinkable value. Compared to everyone, I am a pigeon soul, a sacrificial altruist.
Who do the liars trust? And power-hungry, careerists and money-grubbing – how they love to shout about how everyone around them is eager for money and a career!
Those who, with pleasure, would show their own face in the same way, but do not have it or do not dare, subconsciously correctly represent its quality, loudly and recklessly accuse their contemporaries of overly bright and immodest manifestations of their personality.
“Everyone around me can’t stand me, they are only looking for an opportunity to do something wrong, I’m only forced to defend myself,” people with an intolerant character, brawlers, quarrelsomers and losers of an aggressive suit say quite sincerely and with conviction.
Or, in general, all the traits inherent in one’s character, but dangerous to self-esteem, can be wholesale entrusted to others – another, for example, a race or a nation, and then any actions will be interpreted as forced precautions and self-defense. So, American psychologists quite seriously argue that consistently good moral well-being and high self-esteem of almost any American is explained by a habitual arrangement:
cunning, greed, sneakiness and group solidarity at the expense of justice – on the Jews;
laziness, carelessness, superstition, ignorance, uncleanliness and licentiousness – for blacks;
why the American is constantly in excellent health, far from being the worst of people.
Sincere, honest, open, compassionate and benevolent people see others in this way, evaluate them by their own standards (Pushkin: “Othello is not jealous, rather he is trusting”), and therefore always lose to those who break into the masters of life.
knowingly treating people as their own reflections. Iago does not trust anyone, playing life like playing cards with a person who is certainly capable of distorting, and hence his success in life.
In the mid-50s.a simple psychological experiment was performed. The subjects were two groups of Americans – typical Yankees of Anglo-Saxon blood and Americans of Mexican origin. All of them were shown a picture created by overlapping two slides on the screen for a fraction of a second. One showed a scene of a baseball game, the other a bullfight. The result was very revealing. All subjects complained about the blurred images and short exposure times. But they did make out something.Yankees – baseball, Chicano – bullfighting. From the vague picture, each grabbed what was more familiar and close to him.
For a long time, obscure images have been the material of psychological experiments and tests. In the mid-30s. of the last century, a number of such techniques were combined into a group of so-called projective. Their name speaks for itself: the subject, not having sufficient information, is forced to project his own experiences, attitudes and opinions onto the test material. It turned out that many methods, originally created for the study of imagination and selectivity of perception, can slightly open the veil over the mysterious world of spiritual secrets, in which a person does not risk confessing to anyone, sometimes even to himself.Today, tests like these – like a bizarre set of inkblots created by Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach – are widely used to investigate and diagnose personality.
Experts are inventing more and more new tests. These are sets of unfinished sentences, to which you need to come up with your own endings, and a series of plot pictures, from which you need to compose a story, and much more. Such an endless variety of test material gives rise to an unexpected thought: is not projection the central psychological mechanism of a person’s worldview?
The reality around us is infinitely diverse.People who meet us on the path of life have individual, inherent characteristics only. However, each of us sees the world and people through the prism of our own beliefs, moods and preferences. The layman, accustomed to seeing a political leader as a wise leader, falls into a daze when faced with the obvious incompetence of statesmen. A young man, overexcited by a hormonal explosion, sees in a familiar girl only a sexual object and is lost when faced with her desire to establish truly human, personal relationships.We meet similar examples at every step. And they only testify to the fact that the world is much richer and more diverse than the framework in which our subjective perception is trying to fit it.
Popular psychological encyclopedia. – M .: Eksmo.
Projected life. What are psychological projections? | Society
Our communications with other people are varied and bring us a number of specific emotions. The human psyche is faced with joy, grief, aggression, hatred, love and many other conditions.In order not to harm ourselves with heavy feelings that cause disappointment and pain, we turn on the mechanisms of psychological defense. The purpose of the defense is to maintain an adequate psychological background, normal physical condition. Let’s consider one of the types of protection – psychological projection.
Projection is an ancient unconscious means of psychological defense against external overloads and negativity.
The projection mechanism is quite simple and has been used by many of us.It can be roughly described as follows: discomfort, shame, anxiety due to one’s own behavior and desires – the withdrawal of the unacceptable into the unconscious – the postscript of one’s desires, feelings, thoughts to a stranger in order to get rid of one’s own discomfort.
This is a defense mechanism in which a person judges others just by himself, proving his own innocence.
Certainly, to some extent, projection helps to remove negativity from oneself, but in fact it has a negative impact on a person’s life.People who constantly project do not have the ability to criticize themselves, use double standards, are irresponsible (because they transfer responsibility to others), and have a fairly low level of awareness. All this leads to new projections, and negative emotions only increase.
In chronic projection, a person endlessly accuses relatives, friends, acquaintances of meanness, insolvency, criticizes and even insults them. The goal of this pathological behavior is to correct or get rid of what brings negative emotions and stress.An extreme case of projection can be paranoia and other mental abnormalities, and in an aggressive form.
Forms and types of projections
According to the theory of S. Freud, the types of projections can be classified as follows:
- Attribute projection. A person attributes the motives of his behavior to others. As a rule, these are unacceptable and negative traits of behavior – greed, anger, lies.
- The complementary projection is a kind of opposite of the attributive one.In this case, a person ascribes certain qualities to himself, rewarding the other with their opposite. I am good, you are bad, I am good, you are evil. That is, if a person feels brave, he will perceive others as cowards. And if he is afraid, the environment will be aggressive and threatening.
- The rational projection is a very convenient way to justify your mistakes with the help of others. The person blames others for the fact that something did not work out for him. “I would have been able to finish the work on time if such non-professional employees did not work with me.”
- Autistic projection. This is the transfer of your needs and experiences to the outside world. For example, a victim once in an accident will always see his opportunity around him. And a person who has experienced treason will see potential traitors in those around him.
In turn, Jean Marie Robin describes 5 forms of projection in gestalt therapy:
- The most peaceful form of projection is the mirror one. In this case, a person sees in the other features that he would like to see in himself, or believes that he has them.“I am a brunette, so I am smarter than blondes. You’re a brunette too, so you’re smart too. ” One-sided format, but harmless and non-aggressive.
- Catharsis projection. In this case, a person needs to get rid of (catharsis = liberation) from some shameful trait of his own, and he attributes it to those around him. “All the people around me are evil and unfair” – no, the person himself is aggressive and asocial, it annoys and worries, you need to get rid of it.
- Additional projection. A very sophisticated look. In this case, the person is looking for something in the environment that can justify his feeling now. “You constantly intimidate me,” – in fact, no one scares, fear is already there and you need to explain it to yourself.
- Creative projection allows to feel the other person and “think through” subsequent situations, based on experience and real facts. This form of projection is productive and networking. Psychological projections in artistic creation are also interesting and productive.The author often uses the method of projection in order to become who he writes about, to be imbued with his hero, to merge with him. But unlike pathological projection, an adequate perception of oneself remains in the creative form. The author realizes where his hero “ends” and he “begins”, even if in the process the boundaries were erased.
- Pathological projection, on the contrary, breaks any contacts. Many mental deviations are associated with such a protective mechanism: paranoia, phobias, mania.The real world is perceived in a distorted form, while a person is confident in his adequate assessment of intentions and in control over his behavior. In pathological projection, responsibility for everything that happens to a person lies exclusively with the surrounding reality. A person seeks to get rid of his own feelings, desires and intentions, shifts the boundaries between himself and the whole world. Instead of participating in his own life, a person sees himself as a victim of circumstances and prefers the role of a passive observer.
Working with projections
Psychological projections are an unconscious mechanism. By what a person projects onto others, you can determine his character traits and feelings. It is extremely important for a person to have the ability to recognize their emotions and feelings. It is then that he will be able to free himself from unnecessary and often traumatic projections. By realizing the boundaries between his feelings and the feelings of others, a person will be able to correctly express them and make others understand what he wants.Otherwise, blaming and suspecting others for what they did not do, the person destroys all contacts and makes people disappointed in him.
The main thing in working with projections is the return of one’s own feelings, sensations, aspirations and desires, which are projected onto others. The projection will be considered returned when a person, without shame and remorse, accepts in himself the rejected and exiled.
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90,000 Projection – Why Are You Shifting Responsibility
When you are offended by someone, it implies relinquishing responsibility for your emotional response, as well as for the decisions you made that ultimately led to the offense.
When you systematically disclaim responsibility in various spheres of life, then this is the mentality of the victim. As I wrote earlier, in order to identify the victim mentality in yourself, it is enough to answer the question of what you are responsible for in your life.
Now I will write about why it happens at all, that you disclaim responsibility and shift it onto others, whether it be individuals, groups of individuals, organizations, government, the universe, God Almighty, or whatever.
Article source here.
At the heart of the shifting of responsibility lies such a mechanism as psychological projection.
What is projection?
Psychological projection is the transfer of feelings, emotions and thoughts that we do not like to others, without realizing it .
This is a defense mechanism, according to which, every time you experience something that you do not like (negative thoughts, emotions, etc.), you perceive it as something coming from the outside, and not something that happens inside you.
In fact, this is a bad habit that you indulge in. And, perhaps, this is one of the most common human habits, which are practically not talked about openly .
Almost everyone is engaged in projection, but no one talks about the dangers of projection as much as the dangers of smoking, for example.
Fortunately, everyone can stop projecting if they really want to. And, having got rid of this habit, a person will not only stop playing the victim, but will also noticeably improve relations with himself and others.
What is a projection in practice?
Projection is our decision about how to perceive other people.
Suppose, in the presence of a colleague, you systematically develop negative emotions – anger, envy, resentment, irritation, etc.
Every time you experience these emotions, you have a choice. You either ascribe these emotions to yourself and only to yourself , realizing that it is your attitudes, your perception, your thinking that cause these negative emotions in you, or you attribute these emotions to the behavior of this person.
In the first case, you are forced to admit that these are your problems and that you will have to deal with them. In the latter case, you begin to accuse the other person of being such and such.
It is much easier to blame another for something that you do not like than to delve into yourself and bring to the surface your conditioning, which forces you to be offended, angry, annoyed, upset.
Projection arises systematically in conflict situations.
When you have a conflict with your sexual partner, what do you do? Are you telling him that he is angry? Are you telling him that he doesn’t understand something?
At the same time, do you want to admit it to yourself or not, but it is you who are angry and do not understand something?
So you are projecting.
Projection always works unnoticed for you.
Projection underlies bullying .
What is the psychology of bullying? It’s very simple – people who practice bullying secretly feel vulnerable.And in order to get rid of this feeling, they project it onto others, bullying in every possible way and trying to make them vulnerable to their actions.
Projecting ubiquitous in parenting .
This, unfortunately, you almost certainly experienced the hard way, and you will feel how true it is.
Alas, if a parent in his heart considers himself to be a failure in something, he will demand perfection from his child. This is especially evident during school years, which you probably remember.
Or another option.
Mom is full of psychological problems, but instead of dealing with them, she unconsciously transfers them to the child. As a result, the child grows up with her own problems, and she begins to drag with him from one psychotherapist to another. But it all started with the fact that she chose not to notice the problem in herself …
When a person’s eyes open to these things, it contributes to powerful insights about what causes almost all of his problems.
But these things are difficult to identify. They are by their nature designed so that a person does not notice them. Therefore, it is helpful to know where to look for signs of what you are projecting.
Hidden forms of projection in you
Most often, a projection is something that you transfer to another person, but often you project onto inanimate objects or even situations.
Please, here’s a typical example.
A man is offended that women do not want to meet with him, and he projects a resentment onto his car, saying to himself: “This car is poor, and therefore no woman wants to date me.”
Or, you can try to deal with stress by projecting it onto the situation.
Instead of admitting to yourself that it is hard for you and you are suffering (because you will look vulnerable), you say: “I had no stress, just a funeral – it’s so hard to organize all this, etc.”.
Also, projection is often encountered not at the individual level, but at the level of groups of people or even society as a whole.
For example, not wanting to admit to yourself that you are lazy, you project your negativity, blaming the government, the financial crisis, the city in which you live, etc., for your financial insolvency.
Besides, everyone around you does it. Projection is carried out on the scale of society and is aimed at this society itself.
Another example of projection is the demonization of terrorists. There is a great temptation to project here, because everyone can be convinced that terrorism is evil. But at the same time, we prefer not to notice our own evil, our own cruelty towards others. Both at the level of the individual and at the level of society.
Why do we project our feelings onto others?
Projection is learned behavior.
As children, we saw how parents and / or caregivers projected their feelings, and simply copied them – we learned that this is how one should behave. That this is natural, normal human behavior.
The second and very important reason is the desire to protect oneself from negative emotions.
Most often you project onto others, because there are so many suppressed negative emotions in you that you are ashamed of and prefer not to see, that you are subconsciously , at the level of instincts, trying to unload these emotions by transferring them to another, in an attempt to get rid of them and ease your condition.
And here we come close to grievances. Your childhood was filled with them. And you continue to carry unforgiven grudges in you, which you are ashamed of because you think that grievances are “kindergarten”.
And imperceptibly for yourself, you take out the burden of past grievances on other people, spoiling your life and relationships.
Where do so many suppressed emotions come from?
Probably one of your parents was not fully emotionally available to you in your early childhood.The result of this was that you learned to hide certain emotions that annoyed your parent, prompting him to distance himself from you and not give you the attention you needed. In fact, all your life you have been practicing hiding and suppressing certain emotions, and now this process is happening automatically, unconsciously.
Another possible cause is childhood trauma. Traumatic events are very effective in teaching a person that certain strong emotions such as sadness, anger, resentment, or even sexual desire are unacceptable.
Teachings on psychological projection
Freud called our unconscious responses to defend ourselves against threats by the term “ego defense”. Now it is called simply “defense mechanism”. Freud viewed projection as a mechanism designed to protect us from being judged for our “unacceptable” thoughts or feelings.
Jung associated projection with his concept of “shadow”. The shadow is the part that we refuse to identify as part of ourselves because we consider it unacceptable and not “positive”.
Behind this “shadow” can be hidden that part of us that is angry, sad, offended or feels vulnerable.
Naturally, all of these aspects of us, by their very nature, are also sources of great benefit. For example, the “positive” side of anger is the ability to set and defend personal boundaries, and sadness allows us to understand where joy is.
According to Jung, projection occurs when we are unable to accept our “shadow” and its gifts, pretending that we are made of only “positive” things.To fix and maintain such an image of ourselves, we are forced to create and constantly maintain a whole system of judging ourselves and others, presenting others as scapegoats and sources of negativity in us.
Melanie Klein, one of the founders of the theory of psychoanalysis, who developed Freud’s work, noted that projection can consist not only in denying parts of oneself, but also in establishing connections with other people, and with the reverse connotation – with the feeling that we can “appropriate ”Some of their“ useful ”qualities to yourself.
To understand what this means, it is enough to look at positive projection. For example, when you project your desire for power onto those who are very successful and powerful in life, then you are probably subconsciously trying to “stick” to their success in order to “snatch” it from them.
How do I stop projecting?
You’ve been projecting your whole life. Literally.
So don’t expect that you can go and stop projecting just by wanting to.
To do this, you will have to fully shovel your subconscious and eliminate from there everything that forces you to project – your childhood grievances and traumas, behavioral patterns learned from your parents, rejection and suppression of your emotions, the charge of these suppressed emotions, all developed complexes and conditioning associated with projection, etc.
The subconscious deprogramming system called Turbo-Gopher , which you can read about here, is best suited for this task.This system is designed to massively clear the mind of debris and all kinds of restrictions. On that page, I write about how you can get rid of resentment with this system, but this is just a matter of positioning. In fact, this system eliminates just all those factors that contribute to projection, as well as the subconscious projection mechanism itself.
The beauty of this system is that, since it involves the subconscious itself in its work, it can work as a background in general all the episodes of your life when you were projecting.Working with a therapist or psychoanalyst can be very difficult to achieve. How many years will it take and how much money …
And with a vehicle you will be able to work through all the episodes of your projection in a few months. And these are not stories. Anyone who has worked on the vehicle for at least six months will subscribe to these words.
So I advise you to familiarize yourself with the Turbo-Gopher technique right now and start working on it. If you are ready for serious changes in yourself, you want to stop projecting your grievances and generally get rid of the grievance forever, without the help of psychologists, quickly and forever, you will not find a better tool than TS anywhere.