Projection: It Comes Up in All Relationships, and This is How You Deal with It

by Alex Wise Expert advice on first dates, online dating, love,

I find psychological projection an absolutely fascinating phenomenon, and it just so happened to crop up in my life last night. Later when I was analyzing the situation and my feelings about it, I luckily remembered some psychology research I had done that cleared everything up for me. I wanted to share my experience with you.


Natz and I are doing long-distance for a few months, but we chat every day on Skype. Last night, we were talking about some things when Natz casually asked me if I was planning on going to the gym and bulking up a bit while I was away. Immediately, I felt this sense of pressure, like she was pressuring me to work on this area. I let it go and carried on with the conversation naturally, when she brought it up yet again, So, are you planning on bulking up a bit while you are over there? Again, I felt the pressure, but this time I replied with a snappy comment something like Why do you care so much? My mind automatically tried to scan for reasons why she would want me to go to the gym was she unhappy with my physical appearance at the moment? Replying to her like that made me upset, and I still had the feeling like she was pressuring me. Excuses ran through my mind I don't have time, and so on. What I didn't realize though, was that the pressure that I was feeling from her was actually a projection of my own disregarded drive.


It's true that I had thought that this time I am spending away would be a great opportunity for me to focus on a few other things, including getting back into a peak physical state. I had fantasized about spending hours in the gym, and cleaning up my diet. This created a huge drive in me to work on this area. However, after I had been in my new environment for a few days, I found many reasons why it just wouldn’t be appropriate for me to do this; I started getting a little sick, I was working late into the night and felt like there was an unlimited amount of work to do, and so on.


So what happened to my drive? When you feel a drive strongly like that, rationalizing your way out of acting on it doesn’t dissipate the drive you end up just repressing it. The drive is still there, but you don’t allow yourself to feel it anymore, and you forget that you had the drive. You remember that somebody wanted to go to the gym (or paint the bedroom, or take out the trash), but you repress that is was you who wanted to do it. Along comes somebody else who brings up the task (Honey, are you going to take out the trash, or should I?), and you immediately project that drive that you had onto that other person (Jesus, would you give me a break? I said I will do it.) This person is a hook for your projection, and you start to create rationalizations for why your projection is real (Why does he keep bringing it up?; It's obvious that she prefers this or that we try to prove that the pressure is really out there.) These things probably don't have any basis in reality. Even if your partner really was pressuring you to do something, you wouldn't feel pressured to do it unless you were disowning your own drive, and projecting it onto your partner you cant feel anybody's emotions but your own. Here’s actually a more relevant example perhaps: say you’ve just gotten into a relationship, but you know that you’re very attractive to the opposite sex. You know this, but you’re also really committed to your relationship. You decide that in order to honor the relationship, you must stop connecting as much with members of the opposite sex, especially when it comes to physical contact, etc. Instead of dealing with your feelings in an accepting and mature way, you just repress them, and force yourself to go through life pretending that your man or woman is the only member of the opposite sex around. In this case, the only thing that’s going to result is those feelings of wanting to connect to the opposite sex showing up in your partner, and you’re going to feel an unreasonable amount of jealousy in your relationship. In fact, its not so much jealousy, as a huge annoyance of your partner (why is he/she doing this to me?). This, I would imagine, is very common, almost classic, example of projecting. Of course maybe your partner is a bit too connecting with others for you, and you need to deal with that but if you are feeling a lot of emotion about it, it is probably because you are repressing that side in yourself.


Just to add to this, because you are projecting that drive onto your partner, you no longer feel that drive yourself, which makes you feel even more frustrated you feel that all of the pressure is coming from this other person, and you have no drive yourself.


So in the grander scheme, you can probably see a whole lot of things in your life that could be projections (it is difficult, but you can if you try). In fact, whenever you have a particularly strong emotional reaction to something that you see as wrong in someone else (in particular your partner, who can be the easiest hook for projections), it is probably a projection (look for yourself before you disagree out of hand). If you see sexuality (masculine or feminine) as evil, oppressive, or just out-dated, you will necessarily disown your own sexuality but it is not going to go away just because you don't like it. The feelings and behaviors that you disown in yourself will begin to demand your attention, by showing up as emotionally-disturbing mannerisms in those around you. You become offended easily by people who display any signs of the traits that you are repressing, even if the behavior is not overt (though it will seem like it to you).


This doesn’t mean that you should go on a relentless mission to express anything that you might be repressing (in fact that would be a very bad thing), but you should take ownership for your feelings towards others, and realize they are probably projections of how you feel about yourself.

How to Reclaim Any Projection (without even know that you are projecting)

1.    First, you need to observe a phenomenon objectively, from a distance. If something is annoying you about your partner, choose your partner to do this on. Take out a pen and paper, and write a short note about what it is that annoys you about what he or she does.

2.    Second, write a short dialog between you and your partner discussing the issue.

3.    Write about the issue from your partners perspective.

By the end of this process, you should have reclaimed the projection and will feel a great sense of ease. Try to see that what was making you upset about them, when you write it from their perspective, was actually something about you that was making you upset.

Heres a quick example (though you should have this more fully fleshed out if its something that is important to you).

1. Objective Explanation

My girlfriend spends too much time with other guys. She makes me feel like she is attracted to many men, not just me, and that make me feel like she is too flirty to be in a relationship with. I cant take her seriously when she behaves like this, and I feel like she brings shame to me.

2. Dialog

Boyfriend: Girlfriend, I don't like it when you hang around other guys, and flirt with people other than me.
Girlfriend: I love you, and I you know I'm not attracted to anyone else.
Boyfriend: So why are you so open with other guys, I don't speak to any other girls I gave that up for you.
Girlfriend: I'm not. I'm tired of you making me feel like I'm a slut. Just leave me if you don't want to be with me.

3.Taking that Perspective

I don't know what my boyfriend is so worried about me being with other men, I only love him. He makes me feel like I'm dirty, and I don't like that. I do enjoy being around my friends, and I want to connect with other people, but that doesn't mean that I am attracted to them

4. Review and Taking Ownership

Its clear in this example, that the person who is having this trouble has actually repressed a part of them that wants to connect with others. He gave up connecting with other women for his girlfriend, and repressed that part of himself. He then projected it onto her, and felt like condemning her for her behavior (like he does to his own behavior, unconsciously). He owns the perspective when he writes I want to connect with other people, and realizes for the first time that he himself is actually the one who wants to be connecting with others, not only her. He currently views that part of himself as bad, and so when he projects it, he makes her feel bad too.

I hope this will help you I know it will if you take the time to act on the information here and bring it into improving your relationship.


Author Bio

Alex Wise s a dating consultant and a blog contributor for free dating site. He writes his best ideas, advices and tips about relationships, online dating and marriage for blogs and sites

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About Alex Wise Freshman   Expert advice on first dates, online dating, love,

6 connections, 0 recommendations, 24 honor points.
Joined APSense since, June 26th, 2017, From Alicante, Spain.

Created on Dec 20th 2017 07:30. Viewed 574 times.


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