Projection is dangerous in relationships. Most people don’t know what projection is. Yet, we all feel it, when it happens.
In my world we are told to turn the advice we just said to others around to our self. That can be a powerful opportunity for growth. I experienced what felt like a huge “projection” towards me when an ex-boyfriend said a Buddhist quote and used it as a jab.
So the thing is, we often do not ask our self questions we just have this compulsion and we throw it outward. I’ll use my experience, as an example, because it is so blatant.
When you get angry at someone for “not letting go” and you are leaving messages and texts, letters and posts for that person. Who isn’t letting go? The one that is feeling the emotions, dealing and moving on, or the one that is leaving letters, texts, posts?
This is so very clear when I write it as such, and yet he, like so many others, cannot see it. He in his mind was using the quote to give me advice on “letting go” and yet he isn’t seeing that his actions are actions of “ hanging on”. A Buddhist would “let go” and move on peacefully, if they do, and not continue to try and convince someone of something.
Projection can be a dangerous thing in relationships, we are so attached to the belief that what we see is what that person is doing that is hurting us, and we are so blinded by the story that, we cannot see the bull in the room!
Letting go, I did, when I ended it, and I’ve been dealing with my own feelings and emotions, taking care of me, and protecting my heart. I had no contact and no compulsion to convince. I did take responsibility for my share, I own my own mistakes. This is the part that those that project want to avoid, their own part in it. It’s often too painful for them so they direct it outward.
How can projection be dangerous, many ways really, but mostly because we blame and shame, and try and guilt a person to see things our way. It is a way to avoid pain. It festers and will eventually come out again.
This causes drama, hurt, and huge holes in the trust system. It also creates a unsafe place for the person to express themselves and issues to be worked out. It can very well destroy a relationship.
Projection is dangerous in relationships because we don’t take time to look at our own part in a situation and we are using it as a weapon. How can it not be dangerous. In this case, what could have been more peaceful and eventually loving interactions, turned into a unsafe environment and severed any type of connection.
It’s always a good idea to stop yourself from taking those strong feelings (feelings are a response from our thoughts) and doing inquiry with them, before we project them onto the other person.
Taking ownership of our feelings, emotions, strong mental beliefs and giving it a good “house cleaning” before we move on it, is a healthy way to interact with our romantic partners. Actually, a good way to interact with the world.