Who, ME?

Projection is when you attribute to another person a quality you consider undesirable about yourself. For example, being quick to call Joe a liar when you consider yourself a liar–but won’t admit this fact. Or, being quick to call Mary inconsiderate when you know you are inconsiderate–but don’t want to own up to it. Projection is usually, although not always, inaccurate. In other words, Joe probably isn’t a liar, and Mary probably isn’t all that inconsiderate–but the person accusing them of such (the one who’s projecting) IS quite possibly one of those things. Projecting is kind of a “defense mechanism” in the sense that the person doing it is struggling to deny or evade knowledge of himself as possibly flawed. Projection is not rational, not necessary and is ultimately not excusable. A healthy person has an obligation to him- or herself to be self-aware, objective and honest. Projection is not an honest error, but the psychological consequence of failing to be self-aware, objective and honest. It’s a symptom of an even bigger problem. The solution is being willing to see yourself as you are and change what you do not like.