It’s hard to recognise projection. It begins with a desire for self. It’s a want driven by a natural need of connection – at least, I think so. Recently, I’ve recognised what projection versus reality is in human interactions. Projection can be totally innocent but wrong – it inhibits full recognition and appreciation of reality.
I’ll begin with who I project the most onto – my younger sister. Not only does this handicap her from accepting her own reality as she is but also creates disillusion of myself.
It’s not wrong to have desires for what we want in others and what we want from our interactions with them but it’s not wholly right. It’s not truthful either and sometimes we project to deny the truth.
I’ll give an example.
For a long time I wanted a relationship where my sister and I could share secrets openly and honestly. But the way that I do it and the timing of this doesn’t fit into her own expression. And most importantly, as a compulsive liar it isn’t in anyone’s interest to tell the truth. Lying is true, essentially.
Now don’t get offended, compulsive lying is just the magnifying and sustenance of lying itself. A compulsive liar finds safety in the lying and it works well for their well-being. We all have mechanisms.
But instead, I chose to see her as I saw myself – we’re related, blood-related, so we must be the same in these areas, plus she’s my sister. Yet, time and time again I was faced with the reality of her. I masked it with the reality of me, constantly let down by any real hint at her truthful self. Her authentic self – who she’s, rightfully, chosen to be.
Projection is dangerous because it is fantasy. But fantasy only lasts so long before someone gets hit with real emotions and real reaction.
The type of people and the type of relationships we have with them are determined by our ability to see them and the interactions as they are, not asserting anything greater or smaller than what it is. When we deny that, we deny ourselves something fair and just – to accept reality and decide what we do next.
This has also happened with friends, boyfriends, and other family members. As hard and harsh as it feels to recognise, it’s essential to everyone’s well-being.
Unfortunately, it takes years and training to recognise this. Whenever you feel you are trying to focus on your needs – whether social, emotional, mental, etc – and how you idealise them you’re in danger of projecting onto others. It is okay that who they is who’ve they chosen to be and who they’ve chosen to be in relation to your life.
Instead of projection to fulfil what you may seek, it’s better to acknowledge what is and find something better suited for that need. In my case, having a close friendship enabled me to have that deep, secret-sharing relationship I desired with the ones I cared for most. One person is not to be who you want them to be – it’s up to them and in the meantime, it’s perfect fine to seek what you want elsewhere. A title does not determine a positive or negative interaction, just the person.
Its hardest with family because family represents unity, community and close ties but the reality is… it doesn’t. And likewise, titles equate to nothing and they equate to displeasure and dissatisfaction when pursued to what we, or society, deems fit for them. We choose who we want to develop deeper or what interactions to sustain, but they choose too.
At the same time, projection can happen to our selves from others. I know who I’ve been idealised versus who I am has been shown in how people interact with me. It creates a pressure to be a person you’re just not – and that is perfectly ok. It is not up to you to be who someone sees you as and if they can’t realise that or stop, well, it’s only time before their fantasy crashes on them.
The only thing I can see now is truth in evidential action – and that speaks greater than what I can idealise about a person. We hate to admit this is the case but it always is. Whatever we consciously do is a reflection of our personality and our relationship with another. I don’t want to fight reality anymore – it leaves me confused, broke and more alone.