Another example of a common projection can be if you become angry or frustrated in situations where you do not know what to say. If you find yourself in a situation with a group where others are silent, you might think "oh, how angry they are sitting there being so silent".

Here I do not take responsibility for my own anger and if someone in the group later gets angry for some totally different reason, I think "see, I was right."

To let others do the groundwork

Another form of projection is to put my problems on others to see how they solve it. Obviously, this is usually not a conscious process that we wake up in the morning and think about who to put our problems on today. Who should I project my troublesome movie on today to see if, and particulary - how, it will end happily.

For example, I might find it difficult to cope when other people get annoyed with me. An unconscious way of dealing with this may be to become annoyed at people around me to see how they handle this. That is to say, I unknowingly expose others to the same situation that I think is difficult or unpleasant. Then I see if I can learn something from how they handle it.

Markus: I have a part of myself that strongly dislikes to be incompetent or do something the wrong way. This I have noticed that I occasionally have thrown over or projected on my partner, for example by creating stress in a situation to make it tricky or impossible for her to handle in a good way and then see how she handles this.

It is not something I have been doing consciously, but it becomes clear when I look back and think about it from the perspective of projections. When I instead own this fear in myself and take responsibility for it, both I, life in general and our relationship in particular, become more calm.

To convey one message through other beings

We write beings, for it need not be only people who we project things on. It may be animals, plants, well almost anything. One example is the mother who misses her adult children and wants them to visit her more often. Instead of saying it straight out, she might say how her cat is dying to meet them again, "he gets so happy when you are here".

Filippa: I like to use our dog as a messenger for what I would say to my partner.

For example, if he gets angry at me and I see that the dog think it is a bit uncomfortable, I can tell him to calm down for the dog's sake though it is as much for my sake.


Two women smiling close to each other

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