Psychological Projection

Psych term of the day:

Psychological Projection —> Psychological projection is a defense mechanism people subconsciously employ in order to cope with difficult feelings or emotions. Psychological projection involves projecting undesirable feelings or emotions onto someone else, rather than admitting to or dealing with the unwanted feelings. Have you ever disliked someone only to become convinced that the person had a vendetta against you? This is a common example of psychological projection. Luckily, there are methods you can use to identify why you are projecting your emotions and put a stop to this coping mechanism.

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Other common defense mechanisms include:

Denial – Refusing to admit to yourself that something is real (e.g., not believing the doctor when she tells you some particularly bad news about your health).

Distortion – Changing the reality of a situation to suit your needs (e.g., thinking that your boyfriend cheated on you because he was scared of commitment).

Passive Aggression – Indirectly acting out your aggression (e.g., purposely parking in your co-worker’s parking spot as retribution for a previous dispute).

Repression – Covering up feelings or emotions instead of coming to terms with them (e.g., being unable to recall the details of a car crash you were involved in – the brain sometimes purposely “loses” these memories to help you cope).

Sublimination – Converting negative feelings into positive actions (e.g., cleaning the house whenever you are angry about something).

Dissociation – Substantially but temporarily changing your personality to avoid feeling emotion (e.g., trying to “keep yourself together” at a funeral for the benefit of others).

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