As humans, we can all use different psychological defense mechanisms to protect our egos and feelings when triggered – – guilt, shame, hurt, angry, jealous, envious etc. The one most mentioned in today’s lexicon is the word – projection. Psychological projection is a common behavior in which someone attributes their own character traits, emotions, intentions, impulses or desires onto another person making the assumption that this person desires, feels, thinks the exact same way. For example, a person who is a liar might assume that ALL people are liars or an honest person believes ALL people are the exact same way without evidence to support this assertion. Most of the time, psychological projection involves the denial of some aspect of one’s own thoughts or behavior while simultaneously assuming or accusing other people of doing or thinking those same things.
So – – have I been guilty of using this defense mechanism? Yes – indeed! I have projected my own value system onto people who had not demonstrated those values, traits or characteristics. Have others used this defense mechanism towards me? Absolutely! Some have accused me of having traits not demonstrated yet those same individuals have exhibited the exact same traits or committed the very same actions towards me and others. Projection allows people to unconsciously confront unacceptable feelings or impulses without directly recognizing it in themselves.
There is no need to fret, however, because within this defensive strategy is a hidden lesson. Do not judge people without evidence – – whether positively or negatively — via first hand encounters over time. Everyone does not think, feel or act the same way. Relationships unfold gradually and people will definitely “unveil” their trUe authentic selves by their ACTIONS – – eventually. Just wait for it ……….. lights, camera, ACTION. If you allow for time to pass, you will be able to see yourself clearly (both positive and negative) and whomever stands before you.
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