It is not uncommon for the word ‘projection’ to be heard when it comes to the world of self-development and psychology. Yet even if one doesn’t spend time reading books on these areas, they might still have heard about this word on more than one occasion.
A Negative Occurrence
And if one was to think about this word for a few moments, they might start to think about how this is something that takes place when someone doesn’t take responsibility for what is taking place within them. This is then not going to relate to something that is positive.
When this happens, one person is going to hold another person accountable for something that has got absolutely nothing to do with them. This could create unnecessary drama or, it could cause a relationship to come to an end.
Let’s say that one person is having an affair and, instead of being able to tell their partner about what is going on, they end up accusing their partner of having an affair. Their partner is likely to feel confused and even hurt.
The next step might be for them to find out what is going on - to see why they are being accused of this. Alternatively, they could end up feeling guilty and ashamed, thereby accepting their partner’s accusation.
Why Is This?
Now, what this could show is that not only is one having an affair, but that their partner is also having one. Then again, this might simply show that this person just carries a lot of guilt and shame and so it doesn’t take much for them to feel guilty and ashamed.
Through being this way, someone like this can feel guilty and ashamed whenever anything goes wrong. If they do respond in this manner, there is going to be no reason for one to face up to the fact that they are the only ones who should be feeling guilty and ashamed.
Not only can one accuse another person of doing something that they are doing, they can also displace their own feelings onto them. One could then be a very angry person but, through being unable to come to terms with this; they end up accusing other people of having anger problems.
This could be something that takes place whenever someone gets angry about something. Or, one could carry a lot of shame and feel worthless, which can then set them up to tell people how worthless they are, for instance.
If one behaves in this manner, they may have people in their life who don’t value themselves. The reason for this is that if someone does value themselves, they are unlikely to put up with this behaviour.
However, if one is unable to take a step back and to realise what is going on, their life is bound to get worse. Having said all this, it could be said that just about every human being projects their reality onto others.
A Big Difference
Nevertheless, when one sees their issues in others and doesn’t take the time to work through what keeps showing up, it is going to stop them from being able to grow and develop. When one behaves in this manner, it can be a sign that they lack boundaries.
This will stop them from being able to realise where they begin and end, and where other people begin and end. Ultimately, one won’t be able to see what belongs to them and what doesn’t.
The Other Side
This is not the only type of projection that can take place, though, as one can also project their ‘good’ traits onto other. When this takes place, one can have the propensity to see the best in others.
One can see themselves as someone who is trustworthy, has good intentions and is honest, for instance, and this can then be how they see others. One way of looking at this would be to say that this is a great way to be; after all, the world is our mirror.
Out of Touch
There is the chance that being this way will allow them to have plenty of good experiences in the world. They could generally be described as someone who is happy, good-natured, and idealistic.
The trouble with being this way is that one is also going to be out of touch with reality; in the same way that someone will be when they project their ‘bad’ traits onto others. It would then be inaccurate to say that one is good and the other is bad as they will both lead to problems.
A Fantasy World
For one thing, it could be said that someone would need to be incredibly naive to be this way. The way they view the world is going to be similar to how young child might view the world.
Perhaps they haven’t developed the ability to think rationally, which can show that they are emotionally undeveloped. Instead of coming to terms with the fact that the world is made up of both ‘good’ and ‘bad’, they will only be able to accept one side of the continuum.
One may have ended up in a number of abusive relationships, due to being unable to recognise that these people were abusive. They may also be used to being taken advantage of.
And if they were to go on holiday, they might end up going to the wrong places and staying out when it isn’t safe to be out. As far as they are concerned, everyone will be the same and everywhere will be safe.
If this person was to get in touch with what is taking place within them, they may find that seeing the best in others has been a way for them to avoid how they feel at a deeper level. They may have had a number of bad experiences and, as a way to avoid how they felt, it set them up to go to the other extreme and to believe that everyone is just like them.
So, if one wants to change their life, they will probably need to work through this pain and to develop boundaries. This can take place with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.