Excerpt About Feeling

Our Projections Determine Many of Our Actions and Feelings

Projection is one of the main defenses we use to avoid seeing the truth inside us. Projection is usually seen in terms of negative emotions—hostility, anger, fear, jealousy, things like that. For instance, a paranoid person who appears to be scared of other people is not really scared of other people. He is angry and hostile. But instead of seeing the anger and hostility in himself, he sees it outside in other people. He thinks other people want to kill him, and so he is scared of them. The truth is that he actually has murderous feelings toward them and toward himself. That is projection, displacing what is inside you to the outside. Clearly, if you see something as outside that actually exists within you, you can’t be objective. Our projections determine many of our actions, our feelings, and even our life plans. Paranoia is one of the most well-known forms of projection, but projection is prevalent in other forms. Sometimes you project your fear or jealousy so that you won’t have to experience them or admit that you are feeling these things. Or you say, “Look at all these weaklings around me,” when it is you who are feeling weak. Since it is hard for you to feel that, you pretend you are tough and strong. Or you can project yourself onto your child, hoping that if she fulfills your dreams, you will be fulfilled.

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