The Silent Killer of Your Life and Relationships
We'll do anything to give a reason to justify not having to deal with our emotional selves. Maybe you were taught not to lie to others, but who taught you not to lie to yourself? It's heartbreaking people learn being truthful to their feelings when they're already an adult.
In society we're taught to repress and control our emotions instead of feel them out. We have learned to suppress our emotions instead of handling them while in the moment. When we go through emotional havoc, we look for quick fixes to solve the issue. But when those quick fixes fail, we end up not being able to cope with the emotional buildup. So this overload of feelings must be dumped somewhere. There's only one way to transfer this emotional chaos.
Whether it's on purpose or not, your brain goes into action. Your subconscious belief system starts to come up with reasons why this is happening. Your subconscious won't sort out which reasons are right and which ones are wrong. As long as there is a plausible reason to dump this emotional overload it will do so at the expense of others.
What is psychological projection?
Projection is what happens when you're threatened by your own thoughts and feelings. It's a psychological defense mechanism when emotional overload occurs. Your subconscious self will mirror your threatening feelings on another person. So this is an indirect way of blaming the other person for your feelings and lying to yourself. But projection can also involve you imagine this person has the same feelings as you. So in that sense, projection can act as a comforting mechanism.
We experience the latter of projection all the time in our lives. The most common scenario would be a romantic interest. You show you are fond of someone and then they do something that seems to confirm you both like each other. You are certain you both love each other and there are no doubts to hold you back. Then you go head over heels expressing your undying love for them. But later it turns out they were still dealing with some issues in their lives. While they had those feelings to an extent it was not as intense as your feelings.
You're left feeling heartbroken and questioning where you missed the signs. We call this the blindfold of love. In reality this misconception goes far beyond romantic heartbreak. Projection is not only a blindfold of love, it's a blindfold of your life and the true reality.
How it affects your life and relationships
Believe it or not psychological projection can destroy an entire family if you let it. Because it feels so natural none of us see it coming until it's too late. Psychological projection is a form of abuse whether it's done on purpose or not. Projection can start as emotional but later on it can include physical abuse. When a person is accused of feeling something, it can damaged them permanently. They can lose confidence in themselves and sense of well being. If it's between two lovers, the relationship itself can collapse.
Prolonged effects of projecting on other people can lead you to spinning out of control. Not only are you lying to yourself about the state inside you, you're neglecting to help yourself out. That's irresponsible to you and the people involved! When thinking of responsibility the most common image to come to mind is like some sort of grueling work. It's not pleasant, but, taking responsibility can be the most scary yet exhilarating freedom. Responsibility is the action that defines adult from child. Projection is the opposite of it.
You know those kidults that never really grew up?
Projection is the mother of all other troublesome issues. It's holding you back from your true potential. Some days are worse than others when we are trying to live out our day. Although, we may cheer ourselves throughout an entire week. There's always a breaking point. Wouldn't it be better if you had a solution for handling a certain feeling instead of suppressing it?
Catching it before the damage is done
To actually see projection happening whether it's yourself or another person. You must remove the blindfold. Practice everyday becoming self aware and being comforting experiencing any emotion. Without you needing to judge or take action. Learning to exist inside a chaos of emotional feelings helps you to discover yourself. Because, knowing yourself deeply is important for discovering when projection is happening.
Start realizing what feelings are existing inside you in this moment. Ask yourself specific questions about your feelings. Questions such as, why am I feeling this way? Then when your subconscious gives you a reason, ask is that real the reason? When you get more specific with your questions you will notice you are sorting yourself out. That's exactly what it means to handle your feelings. You are organizing an array of disruption and cleaning the mess inside yourself.
Oh, but that's way too big to handle! No it's not, it's simple like cleaning your room, you handle each emotion one step at a time. It doesn't get done in one day. Dealing with one emotion inside yourself daily, will better equip you at handling situations. You'll be able to reduce potential damage to the people involved. Or pull yourself out of a tricky situation.
Revealing Projection To Help Others
Once you've mastered discerning which feelings are yours, projection will be easy to solve. You'll be able to help lift another person's blindfold. Perhaps you've already experienced relapses in situations. Where it didn't feel like the issue was you at all. The person might have made it all out to be you, but, later on you feel put down and used. That was the after effect of projection in action. You'll gain insight after experiencing that feeling a couple times. You can be certain of when projection's happening in future situations.
If you experience another person projecting their feelings on to you, you now have a choice. You can either remove yourself from the situation. Or you can help them realize their buried feelings. I recommend the second choice if you want to help your loved ones. During the moment when you realize projecting is happening. You can start asking the same questions you asked yourself. But you will change the questions a little bit. Is this really about me? Then explain what you are feeling to the other person. Start to sort out whatever emotions the other person said you were feeling. Question yourself whether those feelings are actually there.
If they're not, then the other person has just revealed they're buried feelings. You know the person is feeling this way, but, you don't know why. This is where you can kindly ask specific questions to those feelings with compassion. Try a similar phrasing such as, I don't believe I'm the one feeling, (insert emotion). I believe you are the one feeling this way and I'd like to know why.
By reflecting the accusation with compassion, you offer the other person to open up to you. At first their words may be jumbled and confusing. But, as you help them deal with each emotion the source of the problem will become clear. It's then that you both can work towards a healthy solution and further each other in life.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.