It’s you, not me – projection bias
“Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings.” (Wikipedia)
I had some friend, or rather class fellow at university. There was three of us, Jane, me, and Meg. I changed names, but it’ll be easier to use some. We were going very often outside together. Jane was the most attractive girl. She wasn’t very pretty, but she had that “something”, what made men following her. I also didn’t have a problem with getting attention of men. I had rather problem with getting peace. Especially, when they drunk a little, and they felt more brave. Now I’m laughing at memory of it, but that time it was sometimes very annoying. Meg was transparent. She was mostly sitting in the corner, and observing. I thought, that she is normal, but just shy. I was mistaken.
Meg was used to talk, how good friends they were with some very handsome boy from our class. They had some classes without me, so I couldn’t compare her stories with reality. And in fact I didn’t care too much. One thing should warn me, but I didn’t pay attention. That boy, lets call him Ben, had some problems with study. It ended with repeating a year. But it’s not about it. Some day Ben was at class. I was in hurry, so I went fast out. He ran afer me to talk. Meg stood 2 metres far from us, not participating in conversation, but listening to it. It should be a sign for me, that there is something wrong with her.
After some time a girl, Meg’s room-mate, asked me, how was Ben? I repeated her our conversation. She looked at me strangely. I asked – what happened? She said, that Meg told her word in word the same situation, but without me there or with me staying two metres far and listening. I though, that it was some bad joke. That way I met in real mechanism of projection as psychological defence.
It wasn’t the end of that story. Meg so sickly wanted to keep her self in imaginary world of being the most attractive girl on the Earth, that she dared even to attack me, that I am a liar. She said, that she was always in the center of attention, and Jane and I were envying her everything. That we both were ugly, and without a class, and she was the only one worth attention. I was in shock. I’ve never before met anybody like she. I didn’t know anybody, who had to steal somebody’s life to make her own more interesting. Mean, I could understand stealing, but not believing, that it was true. The most scary is, that she is probably working as psychologist!
Meg was very manipulative person. She tried to destroy my friendship with Jane or although make us fight with each other. Sometimes we even let her involve us in her dirty games. But years passed away, and me and Jane are still best friends. Meg disappeared from our life. Mean her husband is sending me every year Christmas and Easter cards with wishes from them both. Oh, I forgot. Her husband was also our class fellow. She even made him believe, that I am a liar, and I stole her story. He even attacked me in her “defence”. But I guess, that with time he regained sight. At least he was smart. They were working 4 years in London. After coming back, they bought a flat, and he invited me there a couple of times. I even went there once. But her mad sight convinced me, that better is to not go there anymore.
About mechanism of projection as mechanism of self-defence. People keep believing, that all is fine with them, and other people have problems. Meg subconsciously felt unattractive, not pretty and not interesting for men. Instead of making her self better, she was projecting her complexes, fears on others, and believing, that they were unattractive, full of complexes, and envying her everything. Mean, that other people were exactly, what she was. I had that bad luck to be close. Why she chose me? Probably even she didn’t know. She just needed somebody to make projection. I guess, that after our separation, she always found somebody to make projection, and somebody to believe her.
Psychological defence is good for short periods, but it doesn’t solve problems. It’s running from problems, not making them disappear, but making them growing bigger with time. After time person is losing at all orientation, what is true and what is only imagination. She/he is keeping believing, that other people have their problems, fears, frustrations, tensions, but not they. If it’s not cured, it’ll can finish very bad. For themselves or for people, whom they chose for projection, if they are not strong enough to survive.
How to cure psychological bias? Selfknowledge, and selfacceptance. When patients will see possitive sides of their real life, when they will see them selves healthy way as valuable people, a reason of making projection will disappear.
Posted on August 31, 2011, in My Blogs and tagged mental health, projection as psychological defence, psychology, relationships, running from problems instead of solving them, sick personality. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.