When we were studying psychology in 11th and 12th, we were taught a concept known as projection. I give the following easily understandable example to portray what projection is: My mom always says, “Jab ma ko thand lagti hai to wo sweater apne bacche ko pehnati hai”(When a mother feels cold, she makes her kid wear a sweater). This is projection.
Our unconscious mind makes us believe that the other person is also going through the same emotions, feelings, thoughts as us.
So, why am I writing about it. One, because I want to. :p But more importantly, because each and every action of ours is based on projection.
Think about it, whenever we do Anything keeping in mind any other person (even if we are doing a personal thing), we are projecting. Here are a few examples to explain how we project in our day to day lives:
- I am writing this post thinking that at least one person will identify with this thought process because I do.
- I write my exam, and my answers are good or bad according to me on the basis of the projection I make of how the examiner will judge my answers.
- I say sorry to someone for doing something which I think he would have thought to be wrong because I feel so about the act. (Even if I don’t accept that I think it is wrong, the only reason I would say sorry is because I believe it to be wrong myself)
- I say thank you to someone for helping me because I would have expected to be thanked had I helped someone. (Despite of formal statements like, “Oh, it is ok. Not necessary” etc., we all want to be thanked for doing something good).
Every action of ours is a result of projection.
So, is projection good or bad? Before I answer that, I hope we have come to terms with the fact that whether good or bad or neutral, projection is always present.
Personally, I believe, projection does more bad than good. This is for many reasons. One, we start expecting too much, and when expectations fail, we get hurt. Two, in the pursuit of wanting to understand everyone and become like them when we are with them, we lose our own identity.
What we can do about it, as it clearly cannot be removed completely (much like corruption), is try to control it. Know our actions and thoughts. The more we live in awareness of ourselves, the more we start to understand the other person as he/she is, and not as we project upon them.
So, if you want to know others around you, know yourself.
Take care all.