Projection is a phenomenon that happens all the time and seems to rarely be discussed. It takes place in many different forms. From my current perspective it is a fundamental issue in all relationships. I’m hoping this entry gains enough visibility to generate some introspection.
In our various forms of communication, we cannot implicitly give enough detail to cover everything. Our purpose in life is often defined by the scarcity of space between things whether it be the concept of time or physical space. We create a narrative to fill that space. The narratives we write tend to be informed from our own experiences. It is akin to memory. Memories are very segmented like photographs and our minds fill in the gaps to make a movie. Projection is this but in terms of relationships. What does your coworker do after work? We don’t really know. It can be assumed based off information they’ve told us among other facets of creating a story in context of pop culture and current events.
Do you feel like someone doesn’t trust you? I’d venture to guess; you don’t trust them. Have you met someone and they remind you of a person from the past? You’re making them into that person. There’s an expression that goes something like – if you’re pointing fingers, look at the ones pointing back at you. I’m positive there are more ways that projection seeps into our relationships sowing a multitude of emotions. Given our propensity to be consumed by fear we are most likely operating these projections based on our fears.
For me personally this has come up lately by way of attachment style. I have found a lot of insecurity and fear in my current relationship. In earnest, it’s nothing she’s doing presently. It’s all in my brain. It’s my responsibility to manage my own decisions and emotions; no one else is responsible for them. While there have been instances to create distrust in the past, going both ways, we have worked to resolve those conflicts and to this point they haven’t repeated themselves. Even if they have, I love this person and desire to love them unconditionally. That seemed to have already happened. I must stop telling myself that it’s not right for one reason or another i.e. trying to convince myself of something different. In addition to that, I value my relationship with her. Also, another point to make – so what if I’m right? If I am then that’s the time to act; acting based on facts rather than fears. In other words, crossing that bridge *IF* I come to it.
FWIW, this takes a lot of energy and self-soothing. I’m still trying to figure out what the latter looks like in my post-divorce life. I had nothing prior to that relationship to provide a roadmap largely because I still hadn’t come of age.