If you are familiar with the term, negative projection, then you know it gets a bad rap. It’s seen as immature defense mechanism we use to split off the feelings or judgements we have about ourselves and displace them onto others to feel better about ourselves.
But it’s not all bad. Negative projections can also be useful to us as gifts that can teach us if we’re willing to open them. How?
When you have strong negative reactions to someone, ask yourself:
- Is this perception or sentiment familiar to me? What am I reminded of?
- Have I ever done what I perceive them to be doing?
- Is the behavior something I find intolerable in myself?
- What stories am I telling myself about them?
If you realize that you are, even in part, displacing some feelings about yourself onto others – don’t despair! Your human like the rest of us. But don’t waste your newfound knowledge either. Instead, allow yourself to sit in the acknowledgement, feel the emotion that comes with it, and determine if it’s time to accept or change this characteristic about yourself.
The good news: whatever you decide, you’ll notice a deflation of feelings for the other and may even become closer to them.
We hope this helps!
As always, reach out if we can be helpful to you as you continue on the path of igniting exceptional performance at your company.
The HAVEN Team