Are you projecting?

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We all have weaknesses. Character traits, attitudes that we don’t want to think about, talk about and that we’d rather hide from ourselves and others. According to Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, we ignore our own weaknesses and project them on others. To avoid feeling that we are not good enough, we see others around us as not good enough. It is a defense mechanism that we use to avoid looking inward. We do it unconsciously and it goes like this: “I can’t admit what I feel, so I will imagine that you feel it”. An example: suppose we are not very consistent exercising, we point the finger at others who are clearly overweight and say something like “I cannot believe why (s)he can’t stick to a healthy way of living”. Sounds familiar?

Is it easy to recognize when we are projecting?
One key is negativity. Projection is never neutral. There is a negative energy about it as what it is disguising is negative. What is important is that we see the difference between feelings and projecting those feelings. We know when we feel angry or nervous.  Those are feelings and they are useful. Now when we start to project this anger towards others, then we are projecting.

The funny thing is, projection is very efficient. By projecting we create a false state of self-acceptance based on “I am okay, but you are not”. Interestingly, research shows that when we truly accept ourselves, we stop labeling others as “not okay”. Food for thought!
And… to be continued in next week’s blog.

 

Source: The Shadow Effect by D. Chopra, D. Ford & M. Williamson