Projection. Boy, I hate projection. Projection is a reaction borne of fear. If someone is terrified to be accountable, or responsible for what they’ve done, or caused….It is so easy to blame someone else. If a boyfriend cheats on a woman, and she finds out, and makes sure the other woman knows about both of them…..and then he blames the one who made him tell, that’s projection of blame. If he hadn’t done it, there’d be nothing to tell right?
If your child gets caught doing something wrong, and says, “But JOE told me too….”, he’s projecting his fear, and the blame, onto Joe. And quickly learns accountability when he’s told. “Well, that may be so. But you’re the one who’s going to get in trouble for it, aren’t you?”
How much nicer would it be if everyone learned to be accountable for their own actions at an early age? I know in my ex-husbands household that he grew up in, when something happened, like something getting broken, someone had to be at fault. And whoever was at fault was going to get a whuppin’. So….everyone projected the blame onto someone else, and the one who was the most convincing got a reprieve. But the other one, OUCH. Consequently, he learned to project blame instead of accept responsibility for what he’d done. It did him in….It did our marriage in. It did his relationship with his son in. It did his business in. Projection. It’s a sad thing to watch.
I spent years unteaching my son that behavior. I think I did an ok job. He’s an awesome kid. He’s more likely now, to say, “Yeah, I did that. Because of this…it was stupid, but I did it.” I have had someone close to me project their own mistakes with their children onto me. I didn’t even get mad. I just said, “You have no idea what my son and I have been through. Don’t ever try to get involved with how I deal with my son.” Projection. My son proved my parenting technique to be a valid one. He’s a self-sufficient successful kid. He has not asked me for one thing since he’s been on his own. I did, however, send him 3 dozen home-made cookies at Christmas, and again the other day, with $50. Because, I was projecting my joy at having him as a kid onto him. Well, not really projecting.g Really extending – love.
Think of projection as throwing something at someone, to get it off your hands. Think of extending, as giving someone a hand, to help. A loving helping hand.
There’s a big difference.
This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday writing prompt by Linda G.Hill. If you’d like to join the fun, please go to https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/24840312/posts/1362368175 for the rules.