Perception is Projection

Have you heard the saying perception is projection before?

Or maybe you know it better as the annoying comment your mum would make when you exasperatedly told her how frustrating a kid at school was, and she replied to you “you’re not so different”

Well it is true!

We cannot see in others what we do not already have in ourselves.

If someone is irritating you, you need to look at why. Not in why in the sense of “he never stops talking it drives me insane” but why does it bother you.

  • Is it because you talk a lot and you are recognising the trait in yourself?

  • Is it because you want to speak up but you don’t have the courage to, and maybe you actually wish you had some of the courage this person has to speak their mind?

  • Is it because you don’t have the time to listen? – and if you don’t have the time to listen, are you doing too much? Are you annoyed because you are stressed out and need some more time for yourself?

By understanding why we get annoyed at someone, it helps take away our feelings of anger and annoyance for the other person, and also helps us understand ourselves better. When we understand why we are annoyed, we have the ability to change how we feel about that person and also grow into better people ourselves.

For example- that person who annoys you by talking all the time could be here to teach you assertiveness and to teach you how to set healthy boundaries.

Have you ever asked the person if they could come back later?

Told them that now is not a good time?



Because you didn’t want to hurt their feelings?

Well now is your chance to learn to speak up and be tactfully assertive.

If they get annoyed or upset by it, it may be a chance for them to realise that they are being inconsiderate by valuing what they have to say over your time. It may cause them to become a more considerate person.

Do you see that by developing a better understanding of yourself you have the opportunity to help someone else grow as well.

The beauty of projection is perception, is again that you cannot see something in someone else that you do not already see in yourself. This means every time you pay yourself a compliment you are also technically paying yourself one. So next time you tell someone you admire their intelligence or the way they hold themselves, notice that you are also carrying those traits.

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