Do you project yourself onto others? It’s important to become more aware of when you are projecting yourself onto others and when others are projecting onto you. Although you might find temporary relief by projecting onto others, it’ll never last because it’s only denying and delaying the addressing of your true feelings.
Psychological projection is a defense mechanism in which the ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities by denying their existence in themselves and attributing them to others. Put simply, it’s when project undesirable feelings or emotions onto someone else, rather than admitting to or dealing with the unwanted feelings ourselves.
A common example is when a cheating spouse suspects their spouse is the one being unfaithful, or when one’s insecurities about themselves are the ones they attempt to highlight in others. Bullies often project their own struggle with self-esteem onto peers, and parents might project their shortcomings onto their children when under stress.
Sometimes, you might be the one projecting onto others.
Although psychological projection is commonly referenced as a negative, the projections could be positive, too.
Complementary projection is when you assume others hold the same opinions as you do or see things the same way. This is common. Less common is complimentary projection when you assume everyone has the same skills and abilities as you do. These positive projections can be stress relieving to hold, but quite the shock when you realize they’re untrue.
Be careful when projecting and projected upon, and always seek to understand others with FCC: friendliness, care, and compassion. These are the ingredients of love and what’s necessary to hold healthy, thriving, and stress-free relationships together. To learn clinically proven techniques for less stress and better communication with others, check out the Less Stress Now course and use code XXX for 50% off at checkout.