My work as a therapist has been the primary vehicle for my personal and spiritual growth. Practicing in the role of listener, sojourner and co-author has consistently compelled me to meet personal challenges and stretch myself beyond the confines of personality and conditioning, to practice inner wisdom and to be stretched beyond my ‘comfort zone’. Being compelled to face my ‘shadow’ was one such stretching.
If people have a propensity to observe their own unconscious tendencies in other people, this is commonly called “projection.” Political agitation in all countries is full of such projections, just as much as the backyard gossip of little groups and individuals. Projections of all kinds obscure our view of the “Other”; spoiling all possibility of genuine human relationships.
There is an additional disadvantage in projecting our shadow. If we identify our own shadow with another, we shall constantly (though involuntarily) do things behind our own backs that thwart the “Other”, and thus we shall unwittingly shoot ourselves in the foot. If, on the contrary, we realize the projection and can discuss matters without fear or hostility, dealing with the “Other” sensibly, then there is a chance of mutual understanding…
As an ASpie, I’ve noticed how readily I project onto others.