Projection: when you criticize others, you talk about yourself

Criticizing others is a widespread “sport” among many people. We are talking about how other people dress, how they think, how they behave, how they lead their life …

But … what is behind a review? What mechanisms prevent many people from suppressing the urge to judge others? The humanist psychology of Gestalt promoted by Fritz Perls in the 1940s explains this phenomenon through a concept called “projection”.

    Critique of others and neurotic mechanisms

    As a humanist therapy, Gestalt is characterized by pursue personal development maximizing human potential. One of its pillars is self-knowledge to recognize the relationship between the bodily sensations that provoke our emotions and link them to our needs in order to learn how to satisfy them.

    When the person she doesn’t know how to give herself what she really needsIt is when the neurotic mechanisms appear according to the Gestalt, that it is all these disturbances both in thought and in behavior that arise due to the inability of the individual to do what he really wants to try to do. adapt and be accepted by their social environment. Projection is another of these mechanisms and is the basis for criticism of others.

      What happens during the screening?

      What he projects, he rejects certain aspects of himself and attributes them to others. What one person criticizes another always has to do with what he judges; maybe it is something he would like to do but not allowed to do, or something of his own personality that he does not like.

      For example, if someone rejects another person’s extreme anger, it is possible that that anger does not recognize him as his own, because he is unwilling or unable to express it, or because he doesn’t like his own unchecked anger. When you criticize you will sometimes be right, but most of the time he will pass his opinion through the filter of his own experience and will make serious mistakes in judging others. In addition, he will feel powerless to change the situation, as the blame will always be external.

      Therefore, the act of projecting or criticizing is attributing to something or someone one’s own qualities or feelings that we are not ready to recognize as our own.

      The role of dreams according to the Gestalt

      Another curious fact about the Gestalt paradigm is that, according to it dreams are also projections. In other words, what we dream of is that part that we do not integrate or have not resolved on ourselves, so dreams can give us a lot of clues about who we are, which worries us or what we need to correct at some point.

      This dream world perspective tells us that behind much of the criticism of others are very deep psychological mechanisms that affect us even when our mind has “disconnected” from the immediate surroundings of the present.

      Close the cycle of our needs

      So when we criticize others we are actually talking about ourselves and instead of becoming something negative and looking from that new point of view it can help us to be more understanding and empathetic with what others say or think.

      On the other hand, he can guide our steps, because instead of remaining in the criticism and always seeing the blame for what is happening in others, he can show us the steps to follow so as not to take paths and paths. decisions that do not match. to us and be consistent with how we feel.

      Gestalt therapy it helps us to identify these neurotic mechanisms that keep us from closing the cycle of our needs and being aware of where we cut our desires, deciding if we want to do the same and continue to criticize, or if we want to dare to be ourselves and don’t need to do it. One of the important objectives of Gestalt therapy is precisely to assimilate these projections, that is, to accept within the framework of our experience what is rejected.

      So, when we feel the uncontrollable temptation to judge others, it is more useful to stop to feel what is going on in us and know how to take advantage of what our emotions and our feelings are telling us.

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