Reverse Psychological Projection

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. Identificationmay also be a form of reverse projection.Projection is one of Anna Freud’s original defense mechanisms.
http://changingminds.org/explanations/behaviors/coping/defense_mechanisms.htm

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