Projection: What loop are you in?

We all do it all the time. We show ourselves by our actions, speech, and body language. By the colours that we wear. We are our history.


We also project our pain on to others, sometimes directly or indirectly. When we want to hide it from ourselves, we use sarcasm. Yet, this kind of leaves a bad taste in the mouth.  

Psychological projection happens when we put on to another that which we find difficult or unbearable to accept in ourselves. Another way of looking at projection is recognising "the loop" that we keep repeating. Same old talk that we keep bringing it up again and again. Think, do you find yourself bringing up the past? 

Discussing it with friends or even strangers. Looking for their acceptance or approval of your behaviour and consequences. Maybe what you bring up is to hear time and time again excuses that you tell yourself, and others, so you can stay exactly where you are. Yet the very fact of repeating the same talk shows the need for growth from this place. It is revealing to you where to start. 

Don't worry, you're not alone. We have all been there at some time in our lives. Stuck in a loop and sometimes not knowing that we are in there. 

You might ask, How do I move on? 

Answer this question. Am I defining myself by mine or other past choices? And as a result, holding back or suffering. Are you willing to look at what keeps showing up? 

Perhaps there is a need in you to tell someone of your past choices in search of acceptance or forgiveness. That in itself is a sign of your own self-rejection. This is also an excellent place to start the healing from. To ask yourself, why do I keep talking about the same thing? Or, 'what is really behind my anger, sadness or the neediness?'.

If you think more about projection, you will start noticing that it will also call you to claim back some of the other aspects, for example, wisdom. Perhaps you have identified with "stupid" and rejected intelligence. Maybe you see everyone as wise except you. 

After closer inspection, one of my clients realised that she feared her own wisdom. You might think, how is this possible, why would someone be afraid of that? Yet it is possible. After countless times as a child of telling the truth about what was her experience in the world, she was told that she is wrong and was physically rejected whenever she shared her opinion.

She began to doubt and rejected her instinct. Withdraw and told herself lies, as a way of protecting herself. Creating a fault in herself hurt less than the truth. So, the truth became dangerous. This was when she was a child and didn't know better, and now the time has come to claim back that aspect of herself. There is a new kind of fear to face now, the responsibility of all that, but that is another story.  

When you allow yourself the process of looking with kindness, at what wants to be understood, forgive and accept that in yourself, there will be no more need for external validation. There will be no more going round and round. This old conversation will be over, and a new chapter will begin. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Brentford, Middlesex, TW8
Written by Agnieszka Jacewicz, Psychotherapist | UKCP Accred
Brentford, Middlesex, TW8

Over the years I have worked with clients on short-term and long-term arrangements, dealing with anxiety, shame, suicidal crisis, abuse, anger, panic disorders, relationship issues, trauma, depression, questions of spirituality and meaning, such as Who am I? Embracing Integrative techniques, and always learning from my clients.

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