Here at Vida Relationships Vancouver we firmly believe that being in a healthy, loving relationship is at the core of everything you do.
But in order for you to be in relationship with others, you first have to be in relationship with yourself.
Why is this important?
All your relationships rely on projection. Projection is simply how you view your own internal world and how you communicate that view onto others.
If you feel angry, upset or mad at the world and the cards you feel it’s dealt you, you are likely to be this way with others. It can seem that your ill’s are everyone’s fault at times and you can often find yourself blaming others for everything you can possibly find!
This is of course is a hard truth to swallow – but if you can get past the truth of your projection, you can go some way to healing it.
How projection plays out
If your inner world and the beliefs you’ve attached to it are strongly defined, this is the world you’ll think is your reality.
A bully may project his/her own feelings of vulnerability onto the target(s) of the bullying activity. Despite the fact that a bully’s typically denigrating activities are aimed at the bully’s targets, the true source of such negativity is ultimately almost always found in the bully’s own sense of personal insecurity and/or vulnerability.
Such aggressive projections of displaced negative emotions can occur anywhere from the micro-level of interpersonal relationships, all the way up through to the macro-level of international politics, or even international armed conflict.
Of course, here at Vida Relationships we deal with the micro-level of interpersonal relationships in couples everyday lives.
How do I see what I’m projecting?
In my counselling career, best piece of learning I ever received was simply this…
“You’re never upset for the reason you think you are. There is always something coming forward from your past.”
The reason for this is because you all have an ego, and it’s your ego that is often the source of your projection.
Your ego is something you feed and develop to protect you from hurt. For example, do you remember the first time you cried at something your Mom or Dad did to you? It could have been getting smacked or shouted at for doing something “wrong”, such as not eating all your food at the dinner table.
As you grow up, every time somebody mentions you haven’t eaten all the food on your plate, then you’ll revisit the trauma you felt as a child. This terrible traumatic feeling could be “I’m a bad person” or “I’m not good enough”.
This feeling obviously hurts, so your ego develops a defense mechanism to stop you feeling this way. It could be that you order less food as you don’t feel worthy of more, or you may be inclined to offer others food at your own expense.
Whatever behavior your ego has adopted, be it anger, shame, upset, deflection, distraction or humor, this becomes the behavior you believe about yourself to be true. In short, you believe your ego or “mask” that you’ve skillfully developed over the years and it’s this mask that your partner now gets to be in relationship with.
What’s the answer?
The answer is simply to be curious about the statement “You’re never upset for the reason you think you are. There is always something coming forward from your past.”
When faced with pain or struggle in your relationship, ask yourself what you are REALLY feeling? Underneath your anger, laughter, exuberance or defensiveness is the REAL reason you are upset.
So instead of blaming and projecting your mask onto others, get in touch with your sadness, your guilt, your shame, your unworthiness – and give it some comfort and love.
You have to feel to heal. Beginning with yourself is absolutely key before you can be in true healthy relationships more often with others.
I am the Clinic Director of Vida Relationships Vancouver. We are a team of highly skilled and dedicated therapists, counsellors and coaches specializing in the treatment and support of family relationships, couples counselling and individual counselling.
Visit our webpage at www.vidarelationships.com for more information and a free consultation in person, over Skype or over the phone.
We offer clinical counselling, communication coaching, individual psychotherapy and relationship coaching for couples and families.
We are located at:
200-1687 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC, V6J 1X2
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