Monday, 17 February 2014

Projection

As I further my explorations of the recesses of the human mind (hem, hem) I  continue to be intrigued by projection. Whilst I am not a Freudian, I think that he was onto something here.

A friend of mine, who is a psychologist, is fond of saying: All feedback is projection.

Anyone who knows me will realise that I don't like the absolutism of such statements. Nonetheless, I see what he is getting at.

When I criticise someone, I am likely to notice and comment on those things that irritate me most.  Sometimes, that is because they contravene some profoundly held beliefs and values.  But at other times (the theory is) it is actually a projection of my own internal distress at some aspect of myself that I find unacceptable.

So it does intrigue me when I see people on Twitter calling each other out for offences that it seems they are prone to committing themselves - and doing so without any self-awareness whatsoever.

Certainly, when someone criticises me for some wrong doing, one of my first instincts is to look at that individual's behaviour; and astonishingly often, it seems to me, I can see them doing precisely what they are criticising me for.  That is not to say that I am innocent of the behaviour; sometimes I recognise myself in their comments, and sometimes I don't (and I am aware we are not the best judges in our own case).  But the notion of projection also seems to have something to offer here.

And as usual, seeing it so clearly in other people, leads me to conclude that I may well do the same, and do so without realising it.

Strange thing, the human mind...

1 comment:

ATDP said...

I'm grateful for this series of posts.