Projections – We See In Others What We Need For Ourselves

Why do certain people or situations trigger an emotional response in us? Maybe a work colleague is aggressive towards us and we react either by leaving the room or sitting frozen to the spot.


The answer lies in our unexpressed emotions. In childhood if our needs weren’t met, for example, a parent subdued our anger with a threat or named and shamed – blaming us for things that weren’t our fault – the emotion that we felt gets ‘split off’.

The strangest thing is that as we grow we begin to see the split off part all around us in others yet most of us are unaware of them.


So if someone says they ‘don’t do anger’ (or another negative emotion) and yet it seems to follow them around chances are they need to reclaim their split off part or their projection.

Five steps to reclaiming your projections:

1. Begin to notice what it is about people that get on your nerves or you just can’t stand being around.

2. Are there situations in your life that bring up certain emotions – e.g, abusive relationships, getting bullied often or do you meet lots of fearful situations in your life?

3. Write down each person’s name and what it is about each person or if it’s a situation what it is about each situation and write the emotion it brings up next to it in brackets (you may need a page for each person). For example, Jason always takes over (anger). He’s such a swot I can’t stand him (anger).

4. Notice if there is a pattern emerging, perhaps lots of anger or fear or sadness, etc. Understand that your reaction to these people or situations go way back. Try and remember the original person or situation that carried these negative traits (don’t worry if you can’t remember).

5. Now, cross out each persons name and write ‘I’ in its place. Then, taking the emotion you had in brackets use EFT and tap on the emotion and the reasons why you feel that emotion towards that person.

This will lead you to the emotion that you split off and help you get in touch with your real feelings. For example, if we use Jason again from step three ‘Jason always takes over (anger)’ you could tap on

‘I’m angry at myself because Jason always takes over’ (3 times karate chop point)
Then tap on the EFT points x 2 using ‘this anger’, ‘this anger at myself’.

The anger will probably change to another emotion as the real reasons for the anger at Jason are discovered. Perhaps the next step would have been:

‘Angry at myself for allowing Jason to take over.’

Followed by:

‘Mum used to take me over and consume me’

‘Mum used to frighten me when she took over (you could then tap on this fear)’

Then eventually the recognition:

Mum scared me and still does when she overwhelms me but I could never express it because I was afraid she would shout at me. I can never let others know when I’m scared. I’ve felt overwhelmed all of my life.

You will have found the root of the problem and started on the road to reclaiming your ‘fear projection’.