It may also be that you're thinking or saying "this is not true at all about me", but inside it still stirs some kind of emotion in you.
That may be a signal that there is in fact same valuable information here that can benefit you in your own development and in your relationship.
Filippa: I know that sometimes I do not say what I want to say.
Instead I can say to my partner, "it's probably good if you eat now, you should be hungry by now."
Instead of saying "I'm hungry, do you also want to eat now?".
A word of caution
We've seen relationships where the word projection has become a disposable in the way that as soon as someone has expressed irritation with another person's behavior, it has been labelled "that's just a projection, it is really about yourself." As a wise teacher once said "there is a reason that these projections end up where they do." Often it has something to say about both persons involved.
Maybe my partner, is not my mother after all, but she may have features similar to my mother and she might benefit from being helped to discover these more in herself. While at the samt time I myself need to come to terms with my own internal mother so that I stop playing this projecting this drama on my partner's screen day after day.
Projections are a powerful tool that well used can develop, change and transform individuals and relationships. Please take a moment now and then to be aware of what you are currently projecting onto others in your life.
Projections in couple relationships
Much is already to be found in this text the dynamic of projections in couple relationships. Many "right and wrong" discussions in intimate relationships derive from that we are bad listeners because we are projecting all sorts of things on the other.
A frank and mutual conversation about what we project onto each other in a relationship can open for a freer flow of love, more intimacy and less unnecessary conflicts.
Another wise person said, "sometimes the partner is the last to see change, sometimes the first to see it and like it".
Steps to work on and transform your projections
The following is a brief description of how we can work on changing our projections and improve the quality of our relationships with other people.
- Discovery - to become aware of a characteristic that you are projecting out onto others
- Acceptance - to "take home" and own this characteristic as a part of yourself
- Get to know - when is this characteristic awoken in yourself? In what situations? With whom? What purpose does this characterstic serve in your life?
- New relationship - creating a new relationship with that characteristic in yourself. For example by for a moment pretending that this characteristic is a person. Write a letter to the person where you would like to thank it for faithful service and explain that you now want to move on and live life in a different way. Also describe how you want this different way to be.
There are other articles on this site and in the Relationship School where write more about how you can work on making changes in your own persona.