Did you know that statements such as "she/he is fat", "other people make me uncomfortable", and my personal favorite, "if I can do it he or she can too" are examples of psychological projection?
If you are hurting in your relationship, and are convinced your partner is to blame, this could be the most important message you have ever heard.
Do you have a hard time moving on after you have had an argument with you partner?
Are you able to kiss and make up or do you feel a need to keep a distance?
Do you remain a bit detached, or even withdraw your affections from your partner when they try to get close again?
I got something to tell you and you are not going to like it. Your partner probably has nothing to do with how hurt you may feel.
When we blame our partner for our old hurts, we don't do it consciously. Conflict triggers unresolved issues from our past- including childhood wounds and disappointments from our previous relationships.
When you are hurt and convinced your partner is the cause of your pain, you are probably projecting.
Projection keeps us from understanding the true source of our pain and is typically unconscious. It can distort, transform or somehow affect how we see reality. Sigmund Freud believed projection to be a defense mechanism often used as a way to avoid uncomfortable repressed emotions. These feelings a person expresses can be nicely hidden within jealousy, anger, being controlling or sexual in nature. Because people were not taught by their parents how to process their emotions or, quite frankly, they do not want to deal with them or are afraid of the suffering that will come from addressing their own negative impulses or feelings.
In a relationship it manifests itself like this: two people are uncounsciously playing out old wounds with each other, they create a situation that is filled with blame and discord. This is the opposite of a harmonious relationship.
Here are three generally accepted forms of projection:
--- Neurotic projection is the most common definition of defense mechanism. In this type of projection, the feelings, attitudes or motives people find unacceptable about themselves will be tossed on to someone else.
---Complementary projection happens when people assume that others feel as they do. A great example, a person with a particular political focus takes for granted that friends, family members or collegues share the same belief.
--- Complimentary projection is thinking that other people can do the same things as themselves. Here is an example of this, an accomplished guitarist might take for granted that other guitarist can play the guitar the same way.
Wow, I am admitting that I am guilty of doing this one all of the time!
How do you know if you are projecting?
Great question. Here are a few examples of how it shows up and feels in your body.
Are you exhibiting righteousness? When you are projecting, you are 100% convinced you are 100% correct about the situation and certain you partner or collegue is wrong. You will look and feel angry and have an intimidating posture over the other person.
Do you feel you have been wronged? When a minor argument leaves you feeling deeply hurt or sad you are probably projecting something from your past. Maybe it was a parent that let you down or a mean kid from your childhood that got away with something they did to you.
Have you ever felt an overwhelming sense of anxiety or panic during an argument? Did it feel like life or death? The need to resolve something right here, right now is a signal that you are bringing a past traumatic event into the present moment.
It is not easy but we can all learn how to stop casting a blind eye to those issues that are triggering you now.
By learning how to resolve those underlying patterns that are present in your relationships you can put an end to recycling the same negative issues over and over again. Start addressing the projection you are tossing out to the person in front of you by taking as many cycles of 3 Deep Breaths as needed.
Then, ask yourself the question "where is that coming from"? Investigate the hurt feeling you are experiencing by asking yourself if that statement is true. If it is true, then ask yourself why and take the appropriete steps to Fix It. If it is not true, then release the story you have around that specific hurt and move on.
This is an example of a simple tool designed to guide you in becoming accountable to yourself, your behaviour and improve how you navigate, respond and engage within all of your relationships. To have tools designed for you,clickhereand book your consultation.
By addressing the projecting pattern you will move in the direction of having healthy relationships and authentically connect with those you love and work with.
Remember: when we value ourselves, we value each other.
Click hereto learn more tools and gain confidence in navigating your everyday life.