How to Tell if Someone is Projecting onto You: 3 Key Signs

Psychological projection is a mechanism or defense technique that most people subconsciously use to deal with emotions or bad feelings. It involves projecting difficult or undesirable feelings onto another person, instead of admitting or dealing with such feelings. A classic example of psychological projection is when you hate on a person only to realize that they had a vendetta against you. Luckily, there are tons of ways of how to tell if someone is projecting onto you and put an end to such a coping mechanism.

how to tell if someone is projecting onto you

Psychological Projection Explained

This theory was coined by Sigmund Fred, the famous psychologist from Australia who is commonly known as the “father of psychoanalysis”. As such, when a person projects onto you, we can say that they are doing “Freudian projection” or “psychological projection”. When he was having sessions with his patients, Sigmund realized that some patients would often accuse other people, say their spouses, of feelings that they were exhibiting.

Another classic example of projection is when a woman who has been consistently unfaithful to her husband accuses the husband of cheating on her. Or when a person who can’t resist the urge to steal things proceeds to project those feelings onto other people. It’s not uncommon to find a hardcore thief fearing that her luggage is going to be stolen or that they’re going to be shortchanged when they buy something.

Oftentimes, projection is not necessarily dramatic or even identifiable. One instance of projection that we can all relate to is when we come across people we don’t like but then we have to interact with them on a polite level. For example, Jane resents her sister-in-law for being overly close to her husband. Jane knows that she has to act nice to her sister-in-law, for the sake of her husband.

After some time, Jane starts to notice that her sister-in-law doesn’t like her either. So much that whenever there’s a family gathering, there’s tension between Jane and her sister-in-law, where they both feel (albeit subconsciously), that either of them is being snippy, especially when Jane’s husband is around. As you can see, both Jane and her sister-in-law have projected their feelings of resentment onto each other.

There are many reasons why we project, but the most common ones are denial, distortion, passive aggression, repression, sublimation, dissociation, and such jokes.

Now, on to how to tell if someone is projecting onto you. We are going to look at three key signs that you can’t afford to ignore. Read on.

Signs That Someone is Projecting onto You

Selective Hearing

When you talk to them, they choose what to hear and what not to hear. They’ll take pieces and bits of your words and distorts the original meanings to form something different, at least to fit what they’re used to hearing.

If you are the pretty chill types, they might still perceive you as the high-maintenance types because those are the kinds of people they’re used to. For example, regardless of the number of times you say that you are feeling fine, a person who’s projecting onto you will still insist that you are not fine. Do you get the idea?

They See You as an Amalgamation of Their Past

This is especially true for modern couples, whereby a partner thinks that all members of the opposite sex are all the same. Let us talk in simpler terms, can we? Well, first of all, every one of us has their unique abilities that define our true selves, right?

people talking over drinks

If your partner is projecting their past relationships onto you, they don’t see you as a unique person with different and unique qualities. Instead, they see you as a pure amalgamation of every other person they’ve dated previously.

After that, they have gotten into the behavior of generalizing everything and everyone. You will hear them say that “all men are the same” or “all girls are jealous”. They create their interpretation of you in their minds that is different from who you feel you are. Worse still, they proceed to use the interpretations and assumptions they have of you and acts on them.

Treating All Arguments in the Same Way

Anytime you argue with them, you realize that they default to the same reaction for every argument, automatically. Maybe they could just shut down immediately or they can start assuming that they know exactly what you are going to say. Whatever the argument is, they have decided that they already know the outcome because they have already argued with many other people in the past.

However, we are different and that’s why we all treat disagreements and arguments differently. Instead of yelling or getting vindictive, you can choose to be a reasonable person who wants to arrest a situation calmly. Unfortunately, this won’t matter a lot because they already have a presumption that you’re a crazy fellow, which is just but one sign that they’re projecting onto you.

Other Ways of How to Tell if Someone is Projecting onto You

They Expect a Repetition of History

While they are interested in you or even have fallen in love with you, they still hold on to the belief that this relationship will eventually be like their past engagements. They seem to have unresolved issues with their exes, and that stuff is bleeding through to this relationship. If they were cheated on before ending their past relationship, you will realize that they’re exhibiting insecurities about the possibility of you cheating on them, when in reality, that is something you can only dream of.

Overreacting

If they have been particularly hurt or traumatized by other people, for example, their previous partner, they are likely to overreact in case you say something that hits that nerve. In psychology circles, that is referred to as “triggers”. In simpler terms, it’s a natural human reaction by humans, which can potentially ruin relationships in record time. You can help them deal with this reaction and avert the risk of it happening again, but then again, you may not be able to help them through.

They Keep Talking About Their Exes

Naturally, it does not harm talking about your past relationships. It’s even healthy to talk about your exes, but up to a certain level, that is. You see, it helps to understand where you and your significant other have come from, right? This way, you get a chance to clearly understand what other people have experienced in the past, so that you may be able to treat them even better.

But then, your conversations with them shouldn’t have to revolve around their exes all the time. If you realize that they keep referencing their exes a bit too often, then that means that there’s something about their past engagements that they are preoccupied with.

They Have Put Up a Wall

The best part of a relationship should be the feeling of being their closest friends, right? That means that there should be open lines of communication. At times, however, partners will allow each other to draw closer to each other, regardless of the months, they have spent together or how often they sleep together.

If you sense that they’re somewhat emotionally hard to reach, it means that they’re either emotionally detached or that they aren’t willing to let you into a certain point in their heart. Truth be told, all of us have some sorts of walls inside our hearts, but the most important thing is what we decide to do with those walls. If they are not into helping you to tear down their walls, be sure that they will without a doubt be going to project their past onto you.

Negativity

We can’t afford to omit negativity and insecurities from the list if how to tell if someone is projecting onto you. 

Insecurities in relationships manifest themselves in the form of negativity. Things will be fine until a point when they get overly mad about everything on earth. You end up taking the blame for things you know nothing about. Other times, you find negative vibes thrown your way despite you having positive energy and good intentions that can benefit your relationship. If this happens more often, then you should start getting worried because it may end up creating unhealthy situations for you and your engagement.

They Offend You Because They Care

At times, they say things that put you down and then go ahead to “suggest” a variety of ways you can use to “change”. If this rings true for you, note that you can’t stop them from projecting onto you, so have them work on themselves first.

They Feel That They Want to Be Alone

Sometimes, they will begin to feel that they don’t deserve you, maybe because they are traumatized by their childhood abuse or harassment. This may have impacted their feeling for self-worth or self-esteem, which makes them feel that they don’t need to be with you, for no present reason. If they are feeling unworthy of your love, sit them down and try to figure out where that problem could be emanating from.

two women talking

Now, there you have a hint of how to tell if someone is projecting onto you. Of course, if you can’t rebuild what is broken, then it’s important to walk away. Call it quits right and then when you feel that someone is continually breaching your trust. 

How to Forgive When You Don’t Feel Like It

We all experience disagreements at some point in life when interacting with various people. No one is perfect in this world. When someone wrongs us, we cling to our resentment and bitterness rather than letting go by merely forgiving.  However, for you to overcome all this and live a good life with humans, you must learn how to forgive when you don’t feel like it.

two people hugging

 Some people find it easy to forgive while others take time before they forgive. It takes wisdom and self-control to forgive someone, especially if he/she has hurt you the most in an unexpected way. There is a need for people to be taught how to forgive, even when it is hard for them. Even God, through His word in the Bible, commands us to forgive one another.

In this article, we shall give you useful tips on how to forgive when you don’t feel like it. Let’s find out more.

Get to the Root of Your Pain

Acknowledging the reality of what happened that led to your resentment and bitterness is the first step to forgiveness. People tend to jump into conclusions without having explicit knowledge of where their anger resulted from. Accept that you were affected in one way or another.

Figure out why the other person did what he/she did and with what purpose. Find out if he/she meant to hurt you or whether it was a mistake. Determine the impact that will come as a result of withholding your forgiveness.

Start by Forgiving Yourself

It all starts with you. You must learn how to forgive yourself before extending the same hand to others. You aren’t the cause of anger and resentfulness. You will only do this after acknowledging your emotions. Find out how you feel about the hurt. 

After forgiving yourself, you can quickly get rid of your anger and grief.

Express Your Anger or Feeling

It is better to share your emotions with someone rather than keeping it to yourself. Most of the people who don’t show their anger and bitterness do not forgive easily. Talk to someone, maybe a close friend, who understands you. Speak out and let the pain get out of your chest. 

There will be nothing to hold on to after speaking to someone. You will realize how important it is to forgive and let go. You might also get some advice from real-time experience, which could make you have a heart of forgiveness. 

Think of the Other Person Who Wronged You

Before someone wrongs you, there must be a relationship or something you shared. He or she might be your friend, family, spouse, or a workmate. Put yourself in the person’s shoes. Think of the good qualities of the other person.  Try assuming that their intention wasn’t to hurt you. Focus on the positives rather than the negatives. Determine the relationship and the bond you share. Is it worth losing such a person by not forgiving? 

The only time to cultivate empathy is when you don’t have many emotions and feelings. Focus only on the good deeds, and you may find a reason to forgive the person. Some people, no matter how much they wrong you, deserve your forgiveness. What if the person was only trying to protect you but ended up hurting you? The process of forgiveness will be effortless after you cultivate empathy.

It is tough to replace someone in your life, especially if he/she is your life partner. Also, some people in your life can never be replaced, for example, your parents. You need to realize that if you keep holding grudges and bitterness, it will be hard to cultivate relationships with those around you.  You have to look at things from different perspectives, not just yours.

Forget About the Problem for a Moment

Your primary focus should be on how to forgive and not how someone wronged you. Most of us overthink the problem. This gives as very little time to think of how we can forgive and move on with our life. Even if you were hurt deeply, you have to let some of the anger go. 

One of the easiest ways to forget is to be positive. When you overthink about the negative side of the problem, you have the urge to fight back with similar actions. Revenge is not the best way to deal with anger. It might cause more harm than good to you. We are always told, even in the Holy books, to repay evil with good and not evil with evil. 

What if the person has done more good than the evil to you? What if this was the only thing he/she did that hurt you? What if he/she has always been a good person and has always been there for you? These are the questions that should be running in your head and not the wrong that makes you bitter.

Sometimes it might be challenging to forget about such painful actions. However, you will realize how worthy it is to forget some things in your life and forgive.

Decide on Whether to Share It With the Person or Not

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you must tell the other person about it. It is about you. Do you know you can forgive someone and not talk to him/her? 

While most people hold their forgiveness because of the other person, they are the ones who get hurt the most. How sure are you that the other person feels the same as you? Do they want to be forgiven? Do they deserve forgiveness?

When you forgive someone, it doesn’t mean the person will continue being part of your life. You might forgive someone and still cut off all the relationships and the bond you had with each other. Forgiveness is merely trying to make your life better and happier.  People who easily forgive and forget always have a happy life. On the other hand, those who don’t have the heart to forgive spend the rest of their life thinking of how they were hurt and how they can repay. 

Also, when you forgive, it doesn’t mean you will forget about everything. However, even if you remember all the bad memories, your heart will be at peace, knowing that you took some action on the matter. 

If you wish to develop a relationship with the person who wronged you, or if you cannot do without them, you should let them know about your forgiveness. However, if the hurt was very intense that you wish to cut off the person from your life, you shouldn’t bother telling him/her. 

Reach out to the Other Person

Lack of communication is the leading cause of most of the disagreements we face. You will never know what the other person is thinking unless you reach out to them and have a chat together. It will be hard to talk to the person, especially during such moments, but you have to make an effort.

Whether the person responds positively or negatively does not matter, you will have played your part. Also, having a chat with the person who wronged you might help you determine if the person deserves your forgiveness or not. 

Look into their eyes and ask them why they did hurt you. It is difficult to lie when you are in eye contact with them. But of course, there are those that lying is in their blood. 

a man an woman kissing

For couples, the best way to forgive is to talk to one another. When you maintain eye contact with each other, you create a bond. You forget about the bad things and start thinking about the good things. You recall the good memories that you’ve all shared.  You can easily crack jokes and start laughing together. Believe it or not, once you leave that room, there will be no anger and resentment left inside you but happiness.

Seek Help If Necessary

As we all know, it isn’t that easy to forgive someone without any help. This is where there is a need for a third party, more so, if the problem is capable of causing emotional trauma. Even after applying the above tips, you may find yourself not wanting to forgive.  It is at this point that professional assistance is inevitable. Therapists are the best people to go to for any help. 

Not only will the therapist help you work through your feelings, but also, will support you personally through the whole process. The therapist will give you essential tips and guidance on how to let go off the past and focus on the present.  They have the skills and experience necessary to help you throughout this tough moment.

How to Forgive When You Don’t Feel Like It

We should all learn to forgive each for a better life and future. Forgiveness is not about others; it is about us. We should use every possible means to find a solution to any problem. For if we do not forgive, we won’t forget, hence, we won’t live peacefully. We need to realize that sometimes holding on too much to something, does much harm to us, other than letting go. Let us embrace the art of forgiveness.

How to Make Peace with Your Past in a Healthy Way

If you are looking to how to make peace with your past, you are not alone. Many people have let the past hold them captive in one way or another. This is because they let the past determine any choice or decision they make in the present. So many people are not living their lives fully because they are afraid of repeating past mistakes.

the word peace in pink

When you let the past define your choices today, you will not enjoy the life you have, and you might not notice the pleasant experience you might have now. You might not let the past go, but you can make a decision not to let it define you today. The following are how to make peace with your past:

Forgive

If there are any mistakes you made in your past, you need to forgive yourself. You must realize that forgiveness is one of the initial steps you must take to try and ultimately heal from the past. This does not only apply to yourself, but you must also forgive others.

Anyone who you feel that they did you wrong, no matter how bad it was, whether they ask for this forgiveness or they do not. You can visit them and tell them that they did you wrong and you forgive them nonetheless. Remember to do this even if the person is no longer alive, whether it is a parent, sibling friend, mentor, role model, teacher, or anyone else.

You might get advice from many people to forgive and forget the past. It is not easy or sometimes possible to forget about history, but you can choose to forgive. There are times when one has done wrong, and it continues to hurt each time they think about it. When you do not forgive yourself or others, you will not heal from it. Learn to make peace with what has happened and ask for forgiveness or forgive those in the wrong.

Acceptance 

You need to accept that anything you did in the past or when you were younger will forever be a part of you. With the knowledge that you can never run away from your past, you can take steps to recover from it no matter how bad it was.

Some of the things might be too painful to remember, but by accepting them, you will be able to take steps to make peace. Take your time and figure out what happened and agree that you will not change anything about it. This way, you can finally accept the past and let it go. This is because the past sometimes leaves people with permanent scars. 

Many people hold on to experiences from their childhood or youth, and it keeps them from growing and becoming better people in the present. Most time, these experiences are unavoidable and were not their fault. By accepting that you cannot do anything to change what happened in your past, you can finally face a positive future.

Find Something Good about the Past Experience

No matter how tiny or small it might be, you need to ask yourself and find out any good that came out of the traumatic experience you had. What lessons did you learn and what would you have done to change it. If you have kids, you can use this to teach them about past mistakes.

If the past was not your fault and you feel that other people should be held responsible, then you can use this as a basis to treat other people better. If you were abused as a child, you could use this horrible experience to assist any other child that is going through the same ordeal

There is always a silver lining, and some pasts are what shape people to become what they are in the present. Make a positive change from the lessons you learn and ensure that you do not repeat the same mistakes. For example, if your father was an alcoholic, you do not have to use it as a crutch, but you can learn from this and build a better present and future for you and your family. 

how to make peace with your past

Make a Change

It is vital to use the past to change the present and the future. Just because someone in your past did something wrong does not mean that you should do the same. If your parents were not acting the way you would like, this is an opportunity to make a change and become a better parent. Teach your kids what your parents never taught you and treat other people the way you wanted to be treated.  Whatever you decide to do, do not let the past define who you are.

Convince yourself that you are a much improved individual. You might ask yourself how to make peace with your past in a healthy way, but not many will apply measures to make this happen. You need to ensure that you take a firm stand to change the present or the past will always haunt you. Do not let the past contribute to any decision you make today.

Seek Help

When you have tried everything, and nothing seems to work, it is time to seek help. Help can be from a professional counselor or a mentor or even the church if you are a believer. Most people recognize that there is a higher power, so this might be the time to seek help if you need it. Do not be afraid of looking for someone to help you get over past pain or mistakes. You must realize that many people have gone through similar ordeals or even worse.  

If you share your past experiences with others, you will be able to get the worst feelings off your chest. You can find a support group of people with similar cases and share them with others. Sharing will help you heal and get over anything that you have gone through. Do not isolate yourself because you will not get the help you so need when you are all alone. Get yourself some company and try to work through your issues.

Let Go of Negativity

Sometimes the only way you can learn how to make peace with your past is by letting go. It means that you need to try and let the past go so that it does not influence you in the future. It also means letting go of past friends and acquaintances who have a significant impact on what you went through during that time. If you need to move from a town or a state that reminds you of your painful past. Move elsewhere even if it is just for a while.  

Hold on to the present so that you can let go of the past quickly. Do not be afraid of moving to a new hose and starting all over again or burning up photos or even giving away clothes. Get rid of anything that will continuously remind you of your pain and make a better future for yourself and others around you. It is surprisingly easy to make new friends, and you might appreciate the new positive people. When you are healing from the past, you will not need anyone or anything to remind you of it, so let them go.

Meditate 

You can practice meditation and breathing so that you can forget about the past. Many people become angry and volatile because of their history, and it affects everyone around them. When you realize that you get angry quickly, you might want to take a minute and breathe so that you do not overreact about issues. Enroll yourself to a yoga class and find peace or learn to breathe when you need to. Learn a few meditation exercises so that you can do them at home too. 

Meditation is not only good for your healing process, but it is also great for your body. You can also do a few exercises to help you, and this will also keep you busy. When you take care of your body, your mind will also be healthier. Make time to meditate every day for a few minutes, and this will improve your moods.

Focus on Your Future

The healthiest step you can take to make peace with your past is to focus on what is coming ahead. Whether it is a new family, a kid, a new job, or even an original career path, you need to direct your attention to your future. You must believe that the past is gone and there is nothing you can do to change it. Stressing over what has happened is not healthy, and it will hinder you from becoming better in the future. Focus on your plans so that you can grow and get over the past.

A woman showing peace of peace
For many people, the past is not very easy to get over, but if you try hard enough, you will know how to make peace with your past in a healthy way. You will be able to face your present and your future positively, and you will not hurt the people you love.