Psychological Projection

Psychological projection: a term developed from Freudian theory, that describes a behavior that we encounter very often. We ourselves may have even done it without realizing.

For example: think about a time when you felt deeply in love with someone. In some way, almost unconsciously, you attributed certain features and virtues to this person that didn’t necessarily correspond with how they actually were. You praised their kindness and concern for others, their successes, and their great qualities through the halo of perfection that you projected onto them.

Love can be a very suitable context for psychological projection to develop. But the real, more complex problem occurs when extremely negative psychological projection happens. When a person attributes their own emotional shortcomings to others, like thoughts full of anger or anxiety.

We’ll talk specifically about feelings of guilt and how sometimes, instead of accepting and dealing with these feelings, they are targeted at other people, at the people who are closest to us and supposedly the most appreciated.

Projection: distorting reality for one’s own benefit

Here’s an example. Your partner is insecure and afraid of commitment. Instead of accepting this reality, they start to punish you, insisting that you make things difficult, that you’re always showing signs of distrust and a clear desire to cause them harm.

The problem is not you, it’s them. But instead of facing the fact that they have a self-esteem problem, they punish you, providing evidence for things that aren’t real. They throw their anger at you like darts and project their negative emotions onto you so that they can achieve the following:

Ignore the problem and attribute it to others.

Free themselves of their internal load and leave it somewhere outside of them, on the people around them
Gain a clear position of power. “I don’t have a problem, other people do. The world should revolve around me.”
The belief that other people are the problem allows them to distort reality any way they want. They can believe in their fantasies and deny their true flaws.

How to break the habit

Psychological projection is a complex topic. And sadly, it occurs frequently. Many people who are subjected to psychical and psychological abuse continue projecting positive images onto their partner. Why? Because this way they can protect themselves from reality.

“If my partner feels jealous, it’s only because they love me.” “My partner loves me deep down, sometimes they make mistakes, but they’re the one who cares about me the most.” Projecting these ideas is distorting reality, creating a new world that is less harmful, where they don’t have to accept the harshness of reality, where everyone is brave, where they’re able to react and defend themselves.

How can we stop projecting?

Realize that projecting onto others is a defense mechanism. A life jacket that keeps us afloat so that we don’t have to admit something.

One must understand that projecting guilt and anger onto the people around us will achieve nothing more than creating more negative emotions. We’ll fall into a vicious circle where we have a false sense of power that we will inevitably fall from in the long run.

If it’s you who is experiencing projection from someone else, make it clear how you feel. Warn them that this behavior can’t continue. Tell them that you feel humiliated and manipulated.

Understand that the moment you realize that your projection is hiding some sort of emotional deficiency, you’re going to lose that sense of control. You’ll fall apart, and you’ll need help and support to put yourself back together, to face your problems and deficiencies.

It’s not easy to accept that we all project from time to time. Sometimes, we do it without even realizing; we think the problem is outside ourselves. Like thinking that the person we love is basically a perfect creature, for example…

We all have faults, we all have shortcomings. Ideally, we’d always act with humility and objectivity, but in the end, we’re all beautifully imperfect beings trying to survive and be happy in a complicated world. Do you agree?

Curated and see post here: It's Not Me, It's You: Psychological Projection - Exploring your mind

Human beings are naturally sociable. The need for interaction is not only a source of well-being, but also a potential source of some our most important learning moments.

We use our observational abilities to face the world and make our first decisions. It is the origin of our development as people.

Nevertheless, people don’t only influence us when we first meet them, and neither do they only influence us through their actions. They also have the potential to influence us with their words. Words that can awaken a dormant motivation, words that can calm us during the most overwhelming moments; not to mention the ones that are deceitful and that stick us like daggers when we turn our backs, or those that whisper in our ears and make us fall in love.

Ultimately, the words that we hear have, on many occasions, the honor of making us bigger or the misfortune of making us smaller. Because of this, the people that use them are also obligated to know their power and use them with the responsibility that their use demands.

Those who only focus on the first part and use them to cause harm, trigger fears, cultivate bitterness, and produce tears for no reason, or for no reason other than to benefit themselves, are toxic people; the ones who unnecessarily burden their hearts with negative problems, habits, and attitudes. They are like poison in a bottle that they share with anyone who crosses their path, under the pretense of their own relief.

Learn to identify these 7 characteristics that will help you detect toxic people so that you may prevent them from harming or hindering your own personal growth. Discovering them early on lets us step back and observe them, just like the way we observe to learn in life.

What are the 7 characteristics of toxic people?

  1. They talk constantly and excessively about themselves, forgetting about the people around them and thereby unconsciously feeding their ego.

  2. Their speech is full of complaints and pessimism. I don’t know about you, but when I come across a person who always looks at the negative side of things, my heart subconsciously presents me with two options: show them that life is more than just this pessimistic view through real life examples, or run away in an emotional stampede. What about you?

  3. If you have someone around you who immediately assumes the role of the victim, tries to constantly be the center of attention, or always has to be noticed, then it’s pretty likely that you have found yourself a toxic person.

Curated and read the story and more: 7 Characteristics of Toxic People - Exploring your mind

  1. Having the attitude that the whole world is against you, not stopping to analyze the situations that you create yourself or that occur all around you is very similar to the previous point about “playing the victim.” Being that way causes you to hold yourself back, attempting to control your own existence and your heart. And most importantly, you certainly won’t enjoy a healthy conscience.

All of this will culminate in you failing to realize that you have a harmful attitude towards the people around you, causing them possible harm in turn. If you know someone with this characteristic, I recommend you try to separate yourself from that person.

  1. Luckily, I quickly realized the negative role tht envy, jealousy, and pride play in other people’s lives as well as my own. You’ll agree that these characteristics are all like emotional vampires that rob energy from other people. Toxic people base their lives on these vices every day.

  2. People with a toxic attitude are unhappy because their way of thinking keeps them from living in peace and harmony with others and with their surroundings. We are all responsible for how we live, and as a consequence, we have the resources necessary to change our attitude and enjoy more happiness in our lives.

  3. The last point, and the one that brings me to personal reflection and awareness: a person who feels envy will not be happy with having what other people have, because internally, they are always aware of their own shortcomings. And believe me, when you live around someone like that, your days are very unpleasant, emotionally speaking.

I hope that you can enjoy an environment grounded in friendship and people full of love who treat you the way you deserve: with respect, support, and unconditional love.

To conclude, I would love to share a secret with you: the attitudes that are responsible for unhappiness can be corrected, broken, and undone, overcome with the power of will and by making a conscious effort to be happy and to share that happiness with the world.

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