Responding to Projection
A projector can exert enormous pressure on you to accept the projection. If you’re empathic, you’re more open, less psychologically defended. If you also have poor boundaries, as described above, you may absorb a projection more easily and identify with them as your own trait.
Understanding how projective identification works is crucial for self-protection. Recognizing the defense can be a valuable tool, for it’s a window into the unconscious mind of an abuser. We can actually experience what he or she is feeling and thinking. Armed with this knowledge, if someone shames us, we realize that he or she is projecting and reacting to his or he own shame. It can give us empathy, which is helpful, provided we have good self-esteem and empathy for ourselves! Building self-esteem by disarming our inner critic is our first defense against projection.