Projecting opinions

Whilst we easily identify the process of projection in others, few of us will equate that in ourselves, unless we know of course and choose to opt out.

Growing up, parents will often project their opinions on us, as their parents did with them and in turn we will project our opinion on our children. How many times have you caught yourself saying the very things your parents said to you and then stop yourself in mid-sentence when you realise you sound just like your parents?

Unfortunately, unless we consciously think about what we say, projections are often more difficult to spot. We’re not always aware unless our conscious and unconscious thoughts are in sync with each other on what those projections are. Unless we’re aware of the things we say, we will always continue to project on to other people, without knowing we are.

Projecting opinions, isn’t just about telling someone how to live their life. We often use projection negatively to complain about our daily stress, offloading our moods on to those close to us, because we’ve failed to deal with our stress.

It’s never okay to offload. If offloading happens frequently, it can leave the other person irritated, upset and disillusioned with where they are.

18 Nov, 2016

8 thoughts on “Projecting opinions

  1. I love this and absolutely agree! I find myself saying certain things as my parents did, but I try to he careful as my mom did and still does.

    My dad tries, he really does. He doesn’t mean to say things that hurt others, but instead will say something like “I’m just messing with you,” and all I want to say is, “no you aren’t!”

    1. Thanks Bonnie. Yes, not meaning to put the spokes between family, but I think you’re spot on with your dad.

      I can’t think of any reason to warrant that kind of behaviour, particularly when it means the other person having to come in and defend their ground. I don’t feel that’s not right.

      If your father was saying something that you were okay with, I am sure you wouldn’t have to go in with, “no you aren’t!” I’ve had it done to me. As a child I was constantly being teased by one of my siblings and looking back I know that’s all it was, but at the time it was a constant struggle for me to get my sibling to stop.

      Being teased by a sibling, isn’t the same as by a parent. With respect to any parent, a parent should know better. But if your father only does it with you, it’s sounds as though it clearly is a tease, but if it’s done in a way that hurts, then it’s no longer a tease, even if starts out that way.

  2. Yes I do agree with you, no doubt. When I think of my siblings being mean, as a child I’d go to my parents, my mom would tell them to stop and they’d laugh.

    When going to my dad about it, he’d say: “they’re just playing,” well their playing turned into verbal abuse and I no longer speak with them, unless I have to.

    My dad now says it bothers him we don’t get along. I don’t say anything back, except in my mind I think maybe you should have interfered when we were kids, instead of shrugging your shoulders about it.

    I don’t blame him for all that. My sisters are adults and for sure don’t act like it. That’s their responsibility and I believe they should know better.

    1. I’m smiling Bonnie, because unfortunately I’ve grown up around the same mentality to a certain extent.

      My parents either told me my sibling was teasing me, or they ignored the problem altogether depending on how many times I complained; but it happened every time I sat down at the dinner table.

      I still believe and you’re being gracious with your dad, but if he had have brought your sisters to task appropriately, you’d be talking to your sisters now and there would be little to no animosity around any of you now.

      As you say, verbal abuse comes in all forms. Taunting and teasing are both forms of verbal abuse. There’s no point in your dad saying now, it bothers him that you don’t get along; it was important back then your sisters were brought to task over their conduct of you, particularly as you already had a physical disability to deal with.

      Unless siblings are brought to task this is what happens. while you were having to put up with your sisters’ taunts, your dad should have dealt with them appropriately.

      As the adults now of course your sisters can change, but they may not want to, or still don’t believe they’ve done anything wrong.

  3. My parents were fantastic at doing this even though I don’t know if they ever realized it. My Mom would blame dad for all her problems, my dad would always blame her and her family and we were left stuck in the middle.

    It was kind of like being in the middle of a boxing match, except the punches were verbal and we had to learn how to avoid them. Most of the time it was kind of ridiculous considering they were arguing about the least little things. T

    hey acted like they hated each other, but were always howling like monkeys in the bedroom just about every night. I only mention it because there were so many mixed messages in our lives about things that we really didn’t need to know.

    My Mom tried to brainwash us into thinking we were better than everyone else, because her family had money, when she didn’t seem to notice that we were living like poor white trash.

    My dad spent most of his time trying to make her happy which didn’t matter because she wasn’t ever happy about anything. They blamed everybody else for their problems, without stopping to look at what they were doing. The reasons for their problems were as obvious as the noses on their faces, but they seemed blind to the truth.

    They wanted us to think, act and feel the same way they did about the other parent and the rest of the world which wasn’t right. It’s only now at 48 years old that I’m finally starting to feel like it’s okay to figure out how I personally feel about everything.

    So very sad, but it is what it is.

    1. Thanks Randy. A lot of what you write resonates with me in similar ways, but different circumstances. I honestly don’t think your circumstances are unique. It seems to be the nature of some families, not all but it’s always incredibly sad when children get caught in the crossfire and seem to be used as pawn.

      As you say though, it is what it is, you cannot change that and it’s always about opinions. You see what you need to see to change your own life with your own family in the equation.

      From all of our experiences that’s all we can do, so that history doesn’t have a habit of repeating itself.

  4. When projecting opinions and or lies, one begins to think that everybody is fooled, living their whole lives trying to turn other people into monsters; we never speak about that, but we’re always being conditioned, more often subliminally.

    So it makes sense that we think about the opinions we let people live with; opinions with no muscle, no brains and no truth.

    1. Thanks Tim. Yes, a lot of what we say is done through subliminal thinking, unfortunately for those of us on the receiving end. I think if more of us took control of our past experiences and dealt with them, we would be more aware and in control of what we say to others.

      I believe though that as long as were clued up and we have our wits about us, we will always see through what other people say. It’s not right for anyone to project their opinions on anyone.

      Having been part of that scenario for many years, it’s important we have support in a way that allows us to thrive.

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