This week Jake welcomes returned guest Steve Barcia from Zephyr Wellness, to discuss deeper on the topic of Projection.
When a person has uncomfortable thoughts or feelings, they may project these onto other people, assigning the thoughts or feelings that they need to repress to a convenient alternative target. Projecting thoughts or emotions onto others allows the person to consider them and how dysfunctional they are, but without feeling the attendant discomfort of knowing that these thoughts and emotions are their own. We can thus criticize the other person, distancing ourselves from our own dysfunction.
Projection is a common attribute of paranoia. Where people project dislike of themselves onto others such that they believe that people around, dislike them.
Projection helps justify unacceptable behavior, for example where a person claims that they are sticking up for themselves amongst a group of aggressive other people.
Empathy, where a person experiences the perceived emotions of others, may be considered as a ‘reverse’ form of projection. Where a person projects other people onto themselves. Identification may also be a form of reverse projection.
To work authentically with other people, avoid projecting your woes onto them. When you see others in a negative light, think: are you projecting? Also understand that when others criticizing you, they may well be criticizing a projection of themselves.
When others are using projection, you can hold up a mirror to show them what they are doing. As usual, this may well be met with other forms of resistance.
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