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Psychological Projection


What is a projector? A projector is something that projects an image onto something else, like a movie screen.

But how do people "project" (which is called a psychological projection)? Let me give you a simple description:


Person 1 can only guess what Person 2 is thinking and feeling, unless Person 1 asks Person 2 what they are thinking and feeling. Think about it. How could Person 1 really know what Person 2 is thinking unless they or ask them? How many people are able to read other people's minds?

For example, Person 1 thinks or feels "Person 2 is greedy", maybe because Person 2 has a lot of money. Would Person 2 be greedy if Person 2 later uses the money to help members of their family or other people?

Sometimes people think other people think the same way they do. It can be a common mistake for people to project onto other people. Remember, everyone has their own limited view of life. Everyone wears their own pair of glasses () that limits their "view". Just because one person thinks one way does not mean another person thinks the same way. This truth can sometimes be overlooked.


Dr. Grant Brenner states "Projection is a basic, self-protective defense, and a process which affects how people understand one another. When we project, we "put" part of ourselves onto other people, usually to "get rid of" something objectionable. It is as if we are throwing a part of ourselves outward and casting it, like the image from a movie projector, onto (really, into) the other person. It often plays out in relationship dysfunction, as the defensive activity bounces back and forth between us over time, operating beneath the radar without being addressed." See the psychologytoday.com page for more detail.

Wikipedia states "Psychological self-projection is a defense mechanism in which the human ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. It incorporates blame shifting". See the Wikipedia.org page for more information.

See also:


Some people project. Nobody is perfect. One should be mindful of that.

I think there is at least one possible reasons why people project (both good and not good beliefs) onto others. Maybe they have been taught that through role models to project. They may not know about projection and be unaware that they are projecting.

Regardless of why people project, how can you tell if they are? Simply find out if they have asked Person 2 in the first place.

Thank YOU for reading this!

By David Morgan

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This page updated 03/22/19 05:18 PM