Reverse projection psychology



Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Projection

Description | Example | Discussion | So what?



When a person has uncomfortable thoughts or feelings, they may project these onto other people, assigning the thoughts or feelings that they need to repress to a convenient alternative target.

Projection may also happen to obliterate attributes of other people with which we are uncomfortable. We assume that they are like us, and in doing so we allow ourselves to ignore those attributes they have with which we are uncomfortable.

  • Neurotic projection is perceiving others as operating in ways one unconsciously finds objectionable in yourself.
  • Complementary projection is assuming that others do, think and feel in the same way as you.
  • Complimentary projection is assuming that others can do things as well as you.

Projection also appears where we see our own traits in other people, as in the false consensus effect. Thus we see our friends as being more like us than they really are.


I do not like another person. But I have a value that says I should like everyone. So I project onto them that they do not like me. This allows me to avoid them and also to handle my own feelings of dislike.

An unfaithful husband suspects his wife of infidelity.

A woman who is attracted to a fellow worker accuses the person of sexual advances.


Projecting thoughts or emotions onto others allows the person to consider them and how dysfunctional they are, but without feeling the attendant discomfort of knowing that these thoughts and emotions are their own. We can thus criticize the other person, distancing ourselves from our own dysfunction.

One explanation is that the ego perceives dysfunction from 'somewhere' and then seeks to locate that somewhere. The super ego warns of punishment if that somewhere is internal, so the ego places it in a more acceptable external place - often in convenient other people.

Projection turns neurotic or moral anxiety into reality anxiety, which is easier to deal with.

Projection is a common attribute of paranoia, where people project dislike of themselves onto others such that they believe that most other people dislike them.

Projection helps justify unacceptable behavior, for example where a person claims that they are sticking up for themselves amongst a group of aggressive other people.

Empathy, where a person experiences the perceived emotions of others, may be considered as a 'reverse' form of projection, where a person projects other people onto themselves. Identification may also be a form of reverse projection.

Projection is one of Anna Freud's original defense mechanisms.

To work authentically with other people, avoid projecting your woes onto them. When you see others in a negative light, think: are you projecting? Also understand that when others criticizing you, they may well be criticizing a projection of themselves.

When others are using projection, you can hold up a mirror to show them what they are doing. As usual, this may well be met with other forms of resistance.

See also

Projection and Introjection, Projective identification

Displacement, Fantasy, False Consensus

What Is Reverse Projection? | Cynthia Bailey-Rug, Christian Author

Those of us who have experience with narcissists understand projection.  That is when the narcissist accuses you of doing what she is doing.  She lies regularly, but calls you a liar.  He is critical & judgmental, yet accuses you of the exact same behaviors while denying he is that way.


So what is reverse projection?


I’m honestly not sure it’s even a known psychological term, but the name does describe the behavior well.  Reverse projection is when the victim tries to project her own good qualities onto her abuser.  She tries to see the good in a bad person so hard, that she says the abuser is the good things that she really is.  She claims her abuser can be very caring & compassionate when the truth is she is the only caring & compassionate one in the relationship.  Or, she believes her abuser is as honest as she is, when the fact is the abuser is a liar.


I believe reverse projection may be pretty common in those abused by narcissistic mothers.  Not only have I done it, but have known other victims who have as well.


It seems to be a coping skill.  I told myself growing up that my mother was overprotective because she loved me so much rather than face the truth that she was extremely controlling, & not out of love, but because I was there to serve her as she wanted.  If the victim in the throes of abuse can believe the abuser is abusing them out of love or is basically a good person, it makes the abuse more tolerable.  Believing what is done is being done for you own good or out of love makes you willing to tolerate it because it’s a display of the love you’re so starved for.  You also take the blame off of them for abusing you, & accept it onto yourself.  You begin to believe you deserve those terrible things done to you, so in your mind, the abuser is absolved of responsibility.


While these things may help you to get through a traumatic situation, it’s not good to hold onto the beliefs!


Reverse projection means even if you’re no longer in relationship with your abuser, you may still thing well of her rather than face the truth- she abused you.  Being realistic will help you to accept that yes, you were abused, yes, things were bad & yes, you have been adversely affected by it all.  Once you admit these things, & only then, can you begin to heal.


And if reverse projection helped you to accept responsibility for being abused, that will create plenty of problems in itself.  It’s unhealthy to accept responsibility for being abused because you did nothing wrong!  Doing so creates a root of toxic shame inside, & toxic shame creates so many problems.  It destroys your self esteem, it sets you up to be abused by others, it makes you unable to accept help when you need it & more.  You also are carrying the abuser’s shame when it’s not yours to carry.  That shame needs to be laid square on the abuser, never on the victim.  Whether or not the abuser carries her own shame is up to her, but it is never your responsibility to carry it!


Accepting responsibility for being abused also takes it off of the abuser.  The abuser is the one who needs to be responsible for her actions, no one else.  Chances are, she won’t accept that responsibility.  She’ll blame you for making her do those things or flatly deny they even happened.  She may even accuse you of making things up just to hurt her, & make herself into a victim.  Even if she does such things, that still doesn’t mean you need to accept responsibility for her actions!


Whether or not you’re still in a relationship with your abusive narcissistic mother, I would like to encourage you today, Dear Reader, to start looking at her realistically.  Is she really caring?  Honest?  A good person who just has some bad moments?  There is absolutely nothing wrong with looking at someone honestly.  In fact, it will help you a great deal!

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Personal psychological defense mechanisms | Rest point for mother


admin Olga Sokolova Comment(0)

A person without complexes is a person with whom it is easy, others are drawn to him. He always confesses when he feels wrong or guilty. A person without complexes and psychological defense mechanisms is a person with correct self-esteem.

He has an undistorted view of himself and others. In any situation, he will look for an explanation of what is happening, and not try to evaluate someone. And this is the most important and the most difficult. Having the right self-esteem makes it possible to choose the right life partner and style of communication in the family.

Psychological defense mechanisms .

The mechanism of rationalization is the search for false excuses. A child who gets a deuce because he didn't know a lesson blames a pen that didn't write well.

The mechanism of fantasy is in the imagination to take revenge on the offender, to achieve a lot, to succeed in a career, love, respect for others. But it's all in dreams.

Projection Mechanism - There are two types of projection - forward and backward. The direct line is the attribution to others of one's own unethical impulses, desires, needs. The thief thinks that anyone will steal, given the opportunity. Reverse projection - attributing to oneself qualities that one would only like to have. The actor's wife considers herself an actress.

Compensation mechanism - emphasizing one's strengths in order to hide weaknesses. Every day lunch is on the table, the shirt is ironed - the ungrateful husband left, not a word about shortcomings.

Mechanism of regression - transition to the behavior of an earlier age - Increased emotionality, peremptoryness. Often happens during sor.

Mechanism of emotional security - withdrawal into oneself, passivity, apathy.

It is very important how often psychological defense mechanisms function in a particular person. In the perception of ourselves mechanisms of psychological protection of the individual play an important role. The claim that we know ourselves very well and judge ourselves objectively is often just a delusion.

Р.S. People often make mistakes when trying to get to know another, they attribute to him a trailer and a small cart of inconsistencies with reality.

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admin Olga Sokolova

Olga, your family and child psychologist, I help mom get important knowledge so that it is easy with a child, warm with her husband. I remember how mom and dad told me that they don’t take money for help) For me personally, this has become true and I take money when the help does not end. When I accompany mothers in solving a problem, when I serve to become the one their child needs and the one who can already make the relationship with her husband better

PEOPLE AND THEIR SHADOWS. Reverse projection of consciousness: kibernetika — LiveJournal

PEOPLE AND THEIR SHADOWS. Reverse projection of consciousness: cybernetika — LiveJournal ?
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Reverse projection is a defense mechanism in which people try to appropriate their own "dark side" to others. This is another way to adapt to reality. So expressions like “Did you hear? They're having a gay parade again! When will this shit stop! It seems we live in an Orthodox country! ”,“ Peter, are you undressed like a fag? or “Oh, look, both of them are just like doves. Are you generally of that orientation? indicate the latent homosexuality of the speaker.

He is terribly, tremblingly afraid to admit even to himself that he is also interested in men. Often he can be married and even have children who serve as a screen. The obsession with "damned gays" and the eternal struggle with them becomes an end in itself in the life of a person struggling with his shadow: "Well, hit me, cock, hit me! Can not?" such a man jumps on an innocent, modest guy with an earring in his ear, passing by, because he really wants to grapple with him and at least in this way feel the buzz from his breath on his neck.

Fighters against pedophiles are, as a rule, latent pedophiles themselves, who most often will never break the law, because they are smart enough and know how to keep their shadow in handcuffs. But since the thought that someone else might be bolder than them and have fun with impunity drives them crazy and excites their inflamed consciousness, they become fighters against pedophiles, publishing articles, organizing raids and so on. And they succeed because they perfectly predict the train of thought of their victims. After all, they are the same. Favorite phrases: “Where do you get so many of them? To their wall! I'm scared for my child!" etc.

People who yearn for a lack of sexual partners and are ready to change at any moment often behave like pathological jealous people. These are the ones who call every minute and ask: “Where are you now? And who is standing next to you? He is pretty? So you don't need me anymore! You knew from the very beginning that you would leave me.”

Bigots and fighters for morality are people who lack sex, intimidated and blinkered from childhood. These include grandmothers from the series “But in our time they didn’t behave like that!” and “Look, I put on a short skirt! Dressed like a whore!" By the way, according to statistics, for Internet queries “porn”, “sex with animals” and “same-sex love”, etc. leading Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan. That is, countries whose inhabitants initially position themselves as the most highly moral.

Prohibitionists are ex-drunk alcoholics. Seeing a mug of beer in someone’s hand, they rush, rolling their eyes angrily: “Do you know that alcohol is a poison? In any quantities! I also used to drink, I went through it and I want to save you, warn you, ”etc. etc.

No one is such a nationalist and provocateur as people who are regularly humiliated. On dating sites, blond beauties are invariably searched for by Pakistanis, Indians, and students from African countries. They will never get acquainted with a girl who looks like themselves, but if you say “no”, then you will instantly be slandered and called a “nationalist”, although they are the nationalists.

Those who hate fat are pathological gluttons who are afraid to break loose. They are usually of average build or thin, because they starve themselves and their rocking chairs do not crawl out, making this process the meaning of life. They hate “damned fat women who eat cakes and pies, and they still have a husband,” believing that they should receive all the attention of the opposite sex for their suffering. They often hypocritically talk about a “healthy lifestyle”, but at the same time they inject themselves with Botox, various anti-aging injections and insert silicone implants.

If a person has some feature that he has come to terms with, it does not create a projection. Thus, a person from the provinces can both be proud of being “from a small town” (or pretend to be proud) and love people who come from other places, justify them or say that it doesn’t matter, etc. and create a reverse projection, blaming them.

In addition, projections are divided into various subspecies: rational, according to need, complementary, etc. For example, projection on demand. Many years ago, I was told about an elderly woman from Turkmenistan who told about men who barely looked at her: “Did you see how he looked? He wants to drag me to the basement! Rape!" Of course, these were just her fantasies. A complimentary projection justifies a person: I'm not lazy, but everyone is preventing me from working, I'm not a coward, but people intimidate me, the circumstances are like this.

Pay attention to things that constantly irritate you in other people in order to better understand your own feelings and experiences. The person who yells the loudest: “Who farted in the elevator? Ugliness!" usually farted himself.

Tags: #psychology, #psychotherapy, #self-development, #sociology, history


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