Do You Project Onto Others?
Projection is a psychological defence mechanism in which individuals attribute characteristics to others that they find unacceptable in themselves.
Naturally, we would assume this would be the negative aspects within ourselves. Still, it also includes the positive aspects too – the magnificence within us that is too powerful for us to hold until we are ready to express it in the world.
Projecting The ‘Negative’ Unconscious
As mentioned, projection is used as a defence mechanism. It’s used to cope with feelings and emotions that we have trouble expressing or coming to terms with.
So if someone is cheating on their partner, they often accuse the partner of cheating on them. They genuinely believe this, because they are projecting what is being suppressed in their psyche.
Another typical example is the belief that ‘you don’t like me’. It is usually that I don’t like you or don’t like myself – and this is being projected onto someone else.
We all do this to some degree. Take a look at where you do this in your life.
Projecting Inner Greatness
Lesser known is the projection of our ‘inner gold’.
When I was a young man, I held a family member in high regard. He was 8 or 9 years older than me. I put my maturing masculinity onto him and thought he could do no wrong. He was seemingly good at sport, had older friends, and was physically strong. I used to think ‘i’d like to be like him when I grow up’ – that is the inner gold. I admired the things in him that was already in me, and projecting themselves onto him until I was ready to claim them for myself.
I look back now and think he is a plank. But he played an essential role for me growing up – he was honourable enough to hold my gold until I had matured.
Notice where you are doing this in your life. Who do you look up to and project your greatness onto? Are there any entrepreneurs, thinkers, writers that you put on a pedestal?