Truth 5: It’s Not About You… Or It Is
You’ve heard this word before. Projection. When a person is purposely being offensive and judgmental, they are most likely projecting what it is that they feel about themselves onto someone else.
Think of a time you were accused of something you hadn’t done at all. Someone has worked up a whole song and dance against you and you find yourself feeling guilty for something that actually isn’t true. It’s like they created a situation so that they can feel justified in something that they did.
One example in particular I know of is a woman, who actively denigrates a former spouse a la bullying. What was learned was that while the behavior was being aimed at him, the basis of her constant negativity and disparaging actions was essentially found in her feelings of personal insecurities.
The person projecting is trying to change a story and retell it to their advantage so as to deter the icky feelings they have about themselves. So they tell the story, this time casting themselves as the injured party, slandering the other party or adding another story to divert from the truth. In most cases, they will not change their story and dig themselves deeper into the hole of untruth and even more dangerous is that they believe the new story they created. They are now hostage.
Many of us have projected before on a small or great level. When we suppress our feelings, we transfer them to others. We don’t like the uncomfortable feelings so instead of admitting shame or wrongdoing, it’s easier to say that someone else should feel those feelings.
We are all guilty of making judgments. Go ahead, say you don’t. I don’t believe you! It’s all fine. But it goes too far when you close yourself off to the truth and only accept the story in your head as truth.
So on this 5th day of harsh truths to be better a person, I have two takeaways for you.
- If you find yourself projecting onto someone else, take a moment to be mindful of your behavior and look at what’s true and factual. Is there something you aren’t being honest about that is keeping you captive? Often the things that bother us about someone else are a reminder to address something within ourselves.
- If someone is projecting onto you, don’t take ownership of the accusations, feelings or behavior they are trying to dump onto you. Hand it right back to them and when in doubt, ask yourself one simple question. “Is this true?”
The truth does indeed set you free.