The consequences of projecting

A few days ago, I slept in. This happens to the best of us, but because I could literally sleep through a bloody hurricane, it tends to happen to me more often than I would like it to.

One of my responsibilities with the farm is work affiliated with our poultry barn, which includes walking the barn every morning along with other duties to ensure the birds are well taken care of. My dad called me and asked me to give him a ride as he was moving around equipment, and because I overslept and was already running late, I was irritated.

My dad is arguably one of the most understanding people I’ve ever met, so he wasn’t overly upset with me for being so tardy. I, however, was seriously pissed off at myself, and instead of properly navigating my frustrations that had relevance to no one but me, I projected my emotions onto my dad. I was not particularly nice, and after I took my anger with myself out on him, I felt like a tremendous asshole and apologized. He was laughing about the ordeal later on in the day, but it really bothered me how I handled my annoyance. My dad was rather patient with my screw-up, yet he was the one I decided to trample like a doormat.

Makes a lot of sense, I know.

Afterwards, I was reflecting on the situation. Projecting my emotions onto people who don’t deserve to be lambasted by my inner demon is not something I enjoy doing in any way, shape or form, yet it tends to happen more often than I would like. I’m trying to work on navigating my emotions prior to launching them onto someone like a rabid raccoon whose dumpster dining was interrupted, and I definitely have some progress to make.

Inappropriately projecting emotions can have serious consequences, especially if we aren’t able to recognize our poor behaviour and make an effort to correct ourselves.

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