How many times do you remember having a fight with your significant other for something they were blaming you for, but you never did it? You could count it on both hands, couldn’t you? It’s funny, because at the time, you couldn’t think what you had done wrong, or what you did to make them think that way, or saying exactly what they are saying you said? And my epiphany today, is that there is a psychological reason behind it all… and it’s call ‘psychological projection’, or ‘Freudian projection’.
For example, a situation I’m in constantly is one with my lover. He is always telling me that I am attacking his family life, saying horrible things about his wife and making out that it’s all bad, only because I keep asking him, if his family is so wonderful, why am I in his life? Of course, I don’t get a straight answer to my question, because I am ‘attacking’ his precious family. But through my question, I am not ‘attacking’ his family as he so ‘projects,’ I am asking a sincere question about my place in his life. But in the true essence, what he doesn’t realise, is that it is ‘he’ who is attacking his family life by running the risk of having me in his life…. It was an a-ha moment… that I am not the enemy that he is constantly suggesting, as it is HE who is the enemy to his own life. I am not the one who will lose everything if our secret gets found out, it is he who will lose the lot. And that scares him, so he ‘projects’ the blame on to me to make himself feel better.
And I’m not new to this. My ex-husband was the same. He would blame me for either not giving him enough time to help him with his business, or that I was getting in the way of how he wanted to run his business, so whatever I did, I wasn’t doing it right, and therefore, I was to blame for his business failing.
‘Psychological projection’ is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, and then projects them to the outside world, usually to other people. They then imagine that the other person was the origin of the feelings, thoughts or attributes. They take the anxiety off themselves when they project it onto someone else unconsciously, thus getting upset or anger with the person that they projected those ideas onto, as the conscious mind doesn’t recognise that they are the ones who actually came up with the idea, thought or emotion in the first place. It is purely a defence mechanism for the ‘projector’, protecting themselves of hurt and their own actions.
So next time you are confused about what you’ve done wrong, realise that maybe you didn’t do a thing wrong, and it is your fighting buddy who can’t live with their own truth.