Projecting is something that a lot of us partake in, whether willingly or unwillingly. For anyone unaware, projecting is when we force our thoughts and emotions onto those arounds us, therefore it can be negative and positive. For the sake of this post, though, when I say projecting, I’m referring to the negative form of it, and it is somewhat problematic how many of us not only project, but further, do so unknowingly.
I am someone who projects. I’ve come to recognize this as I’ve gotten older (and somewhat wiser), and I can say with certainty that my projections, over the years, have triggered a lot of unnecessary arguments and conflicts with my family especially.
They say we are the hardest on the ones we love, so I would like to use this mantra as an excuse for my behaviour.
Say I’m doing a job on the farm, for example, and nothing is going my way. Things are breaking, I’m getting irritable, and the world seems like it’s ending, essentially. Say my dad comes over to where I’m working to check in and see how I’m doing. I snap on him and project my feelings of frustration and impatience onto him, he gets defensive and offended, I get even angrier, and the situation explodes.
See how projecting can do a tremendous amount of damage?
It is incredibly easy to project onto others when we’re pissy, but it isn’t all that difficult to stop ourselves before ripping someone a new asshole. Rather than producing verbal diarrhea and going off the deep end, it is far more advantageous, both for yourself and the other person involved, to take a deep breath, stop the personal emotions from pouring out, and think before you start spewing.
Projecting is a habit we develop over time, and it won’t be an instantaneous fix if it is something we wish to work on. But, with a little mindfulness, it doesn’t have to be overly difficult.