Projection is dangerous in relationships. Most people don’t know what projection is. Yet, we all feel it when it happens.
In my world, we are told to turn the advice we just said to others around to our self. In other words, when we point our finger to someone we have four fingers pointing back to us. That can be a powerful opportunity for growth. I experienced what felt like a huge “projection” towards me when an ex-boyfriend used a Buddhist quote as a jab.
We often do not ask ourselves questions; we just feel this compulsion and we throw it outward. I’ll use my experience, as an example, because it is so blatant.
When you get angry at someone for “not letting go” while you are leaving messages and texts, letters and posts for that person. Who isn’t letting go? The one that is feeling the emotions, dealing and moving on, or the one that is leaving unwanted letters, texts, posts?
This is so very clear when I write it as such, and yet he, like so many others, cannot see it.
In his mind, he was using the quote to give me advice about “letting go” without seeing that his actions are those of “ hanging on”. A Buddhist would “let go” and move on peacefully and not continue to try and convince someone of something. They would not give this advice when clearly they are doing that very action.
Projection can be a dangerous thing in relationships; we are so attached to the belief that what that person is doing is hurting us, and we are so blinded by that story that we cannot see the elephant (or bull) in the room!
Letting go, I did, when I ended it, and I’ve been dealing with my own feelings and emotions, taking care of me, and protecting my heart. I had no contact and no compulsion to convince. I did take responsibility for my share, I own my own mistakes.
This is the part that those who project want to avoid: their own part in it. It’s often too painful, so they direct it outward.
Projection can be dangerous in many ways really, but mostly because we blame and shame, and try and guilt a person to see things our way. It is a way to avoid pain. It festers and will eventually come out again.
This causes drama, hurt, and huge holes in the trust system. It also creates an unsafe place for the person to express themselves and issues to be worked out. It can very well destroy a relationship.
Projection is dangerous in relationships because we don’t take time to look at our own part in a situation and we are using it as a weapon. How can that not be dangerous? In this case, what could have been a more peaceful and eventually loving interaction turned into an unsafe environment and severed any type of connection.
It’s always a good idea to stop yourself from taking those strong feelings (feelings are a response from our thoughts) and doing inquiry with them before we project them onto the other person.
Taking ownership of our feelings, emotions, strong mental beliefs and giving it a good “house cleaning” before we move on it, is a healthy way to interact with our romantic partners. Actually, it is a good way to interact with the world.
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