Being yourself when others project themselves on to you

Photo by Vinicius “amnx” Amano on Unsplash

Projection is a behavior that we see in many family, friendship and romantic relationship dynamics.

Narcissistic projection is a quite a well known phenomena. But anyone can exhibit this behavior at certain times in their lives.

In healthy relationships, the two people have certain common interests, goals, values and needs that allow them to connect and share their lives together.

In an unhealthy relationships, where two parties are not on the same page, one person may project their needs and wants on to the other in unhealthy ways.

The expectation then becomes that the other person meet those needs even if they are not in alignment with the inner truth of this person.

We all need to compromise to an extent in relationships to meet the needs of others and get our own needs met. As healthy individuals, we communicate needs clearly to get them met and also try our best to meet the other person’s needs. This is how a healthy relationship based on reciprocity should function.

However projection is quite common in many relationship dynamics. It happens when one person projects on to another and shows no reciprocity. Its like one person becomes another person’s unofficial slave.

Negative projection could also happen when one person project their beliefs on to another expecting them to live by them even when this person may not resonate with them.

The person experiencing projection can experience a lot of inner turmoil. They feel an inner conflict around choosing their own beliefs over the ones that have been projected on to them. This can make life very unpleasant.

Not all projection is bad however. Sometimes, a person may project in a positive way as they see the other person’s capability and potential which they cannot see in them selves. In this case, projection is healthy.

The only real way to overcome negative projection is to start building a positive relationship with our selves. Learning about our needs and wants. letting go of hang ups, worries and fears through inner work, reprogramming negative beliefs and spending alone time getting to know our selves.

Once we know who we are at our core, it becomes hard for someone to project on to us that which we are not. It also becomes hard for us to be around people who don’t resonate with our inner needs and wants.

So it comes down to us learning about our inner selves and living in accordance with who we truly are. It takes some work to start building trust in our selves and to have a strong inner sense of self.

But once we have mastered our selves to an extent, most projection we experience will be of the positive kind.

Thanks for reading.

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