Learn to Recognize When You're Projecting
and Get Out of Denial
People talk about denial all the time. No doubt, one of the greatest personal challenges is being able to recognize when you're in denial. By definition, you can't see what you're doing. But, this should help.
First, recognize that projection, one of the sour fruits of denial, is a part of human psychology at this point in our evolution. We all do it and we are likely to keep doing it for the foreseeable future. So, being in an evolutionary relationship or enlightened partnership is not about never projecting. It is about being mindful and self-reflective enough to recognize when you are doing it.
Here's a checklist to help you realize when you're in denial:
- You are interpreting other's behavior to be that to which you are accustomed, whether it is or not.
- You have a superior attitude.
- You tend to be blaming and have judgments of others.
- You see a need for punishment, and you feel justified and even righteous in inflicting harm (psychologically, emotionally, verbally, physically) against another.
- You feel defensiveness when someone suggests that you may be in denial (reaction rather than curiosity).
- Your unresolved fears from the past appear to be happening again, even when they aren't. Others can usually see this better than you can.
- You never experience being willing to look at parts of yourself that are difficult to look at.
If you find yourself engaged in any of the above, the first thing to do is acknowledge it. You may start to judge and condemn yourself and go into a "poor me" act, but that won't help you get past it. It will only reinforce it.
The best thing you can do is to forgive yourself and get support in learning to observe when you're doing it and develop a strategy to stop doing it. That's where a good coach, someone who understands how denial works, can be very useful in helping you get past the tendency and habit of denial. It will only open the door to a greater level of self-love and personal power.
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