Projection is really neither positive nor negative – it’s neutral. However, projecting emotions commonly refers to the act of attributing one’s own feelings and characteristics to someone else. This is bad.

Projection happens often, especially in close relationships. A person may blame their partner for being angry when, in truth, this emotion is their own. This happens because we often see our own feelings in others before we see them in ourselves.

This act can be extremely frustrating to the one receiving the criticism. And then this leads to self-doubt on the part of the victim. You may ask yourself, “Was I really that angry?”

Is my loved one projecting emotions?

Did you know that it’s easier to see someone else projecting than it is to see yourself doing it? That’s right. And this is because projection is almost second nature. But if you’re not sure if this tactic is being used on you, here are some signs.

1. Blaming you

People who project their emotions on others are quick to blame others, too. They are afraid that you will notice their imperfections. So, when something happens, they quickly blame you to cover the possibility that they may be the one to blame after all.

This quick finger-pointing is an easy way to spot projection, as no one blames others as quickly as the guilty party. Let’s just say projection is a cover-up for guilt.

2. Victim mentality

A person who is projecting emotions has a perpetual victim mentality. They have a negative mindset and constantly talk about how someone else has wronged them in some way.

When blaming fails to work for them, they will hold on to any fabricated situation that helps strengthen the victim’s facade. Don’t be surprised if they talk about something negative you’ve done a decade before. The worst part is that you probably aren’t even guilty of their accusations.

3. Over-reacting

Have you watched anyone in your family overreact to a situation, and it totally caught you off guard? Well, I have, and it’s quite disturbing.

Overreactions are usually projections of a dark emotion hidden within a manipulative person’s consciousness. When confronted, the projector will speak loudly, make exaggerated expressions, and ask why you are attacking them.

Notice that you’re usually speaking in a normal tone while they are screaming. This is because they are projecting their deep and guilty emotions onto you, attempting to make you look like the bad guy for confronting them.

4. Nonsensical behavior

Those who push their emotions onto you live in a fantasy world. No amount of reasoning will make them see the truth, or rather, make them admit to what’s true. They either cannot see what they are doing, or they are aware and cannot stop.

People who are prone to project will exhibit behavior that doesn’t make sense. No matter how ridiculous their words are, they are going to stick to their story until the end.

5. Gaslighting behavior

If you don’t get away from someone who is projecting emotions onto you, then you will start believing what they say.

Gaslighting is basically an attempt to convince you of something that is not true, including misconceptions about your basic character. And yes, over time, you may believe the lies.

Your mental health will even be affected by this process, so it’s important to retain your identity no matter what’s being said. And know that this process is happening due to projection.

6. Repetitive accusations

When someone repeats accusations about you or someone you love, this doesn’t make it true. Those who project their emotions onto you will often use this manipulation as a weapon. They will repeat negative things in hopes that this makes it more believable and makes you more gullible in the end.

Always keep in mind that the truth doesn’t need to be repeated over and over.

7. Your mental health is worse already

Unfortunately, your mental health may already be affected when someone’s been projecting emotions onto you. If you’ve spent years of your life believing lies and being emotionally attacked, your self-worth has suffered.

This means you may be dealing with both anxiety and depression. If you’ve already noticed a severe decline in your mental health, consider whom you’re spending time with. It’s possible that someone is projecting negativity onto you.

How to deal with projection

If you are in a close relationship with someone who projects, then you may probably want to help them. After all, you are the primary target of their projection. And yes, you can help.

However, how much you help also depends on the mindset of your partner or friend. If they are living in a fantasy world, they may be unable to accept their own flaws.

And even you can project from time to time. I think we all do to a certain degree. Normally, every person uses introspection to better themselves.

Those who project their emotions are a bit different. They are afraid to look within because they know they will see their imperfections. Each person, even you and I, will need to be able to use introspection regularly to prevent projection.

With all this being said, I hope you can recognize when someone is trying to project their emotions onto you. And remember, always use introspection to keep yourself in line, too.

Hope this helps!

References:

  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. lana

    Good article and offers realistic ways to respond should one find themselves in these situations.
    Thanks for writing it for all of us readers.

    I like this sentence: Overreactions are usually projections of a dark emotion hidden within a manipulative person’s consciousness.

    No doubt it’s coming from some ugh source, that’s for sure and it can be so disconcerting to others. yuk. Somewhere I read a very handy ‘saying’ that rang very clear and useful.

    The sentence was: Don’t let your reaction exceed the event.

    I wish I could recall where I read it so I could credit the author. We can all benefit by keeping it in mind in testy situations so we lower our own inner temperature down before reacting.

    Thanks again for your insightful article. Healthy folks often choose to navigate well away from these individuals who love to project. At least get some space regularly . Cheerio

  2. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

    Lana, thank you for reading.

    Overreactions can come from a variety of places. I have an article that will be published soon about this very topic. However, manipulation is everywhere, and as a young woman, I didn’t see it for what it was. I suffered from low self-esteem, unable to see whenever I was being manipulated. Now, I can recognize projected emotions, and I do not claim them as my own. However, I think we should stay alert and aware because it seems like every day, more forms of manipulation are developing and ruining lives. Be strong, be kind, but stay educated.

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