6 Examples of Psychological Projection We All Commit

Posted by on September 6, 2016 in Psychology-Psychiatry, Sci-Tech with 2 Comments

By Aletheia Luna | Loner Wolf


I tend to make assumptions a lot, about everything and everyone.

While I have mostly learned the hard way that most people don’t actually think, feel and reason the same way I do, I realized long ago that the tendency to make assumptions is a form of naivety that we are all born with to some extent.

Unfortunately, making assumptions – which is closely linked to something known as psychological projection – is not only something that we all do, but it is common for us to suffer greatly at the expense of such a habit. If you are a chronic projector you will experience a great deal of anxiety around other people, as well as other unpleasant emotions like anger, disappointment, resentment and prejudice on a daily basis.

Keep reading to discover whether you’re a “serial projector” or not in your daily life.

What is Psychological Projection (In Layman’s Terms)?

What happens when you have a whole bunch of uncomfortable, embarrassing and annoying emotions that you don’t want to unconsciously deal with? According to famous psychologist Sigmund Freud these emotions are projected on to other people, so that other people become carriers of our own perceived flaws. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for us, this form of emotional displacement makes it much easier to live with ourselves … because everyone else is responsible for our misery – not us!

As a result of externalizing our emotions and perceiving them in others, we continue suffering terribly, often creating false self-images that portray us as “the victim” or “the good/righteous person” when the reality is that we aren't.

Common Examples of Psychological Projection

The trick to seeing through the guise of projection is to become aware of the sneaky habitual cycles we get into on a daily basis. Some of the most common examples of psychological projection that we all commit are expanded on below:

1. “He/she hates me!”

Whether at home, at work or in any other situation, we have all believed that our bosses, co-workers, mother in laws, extended family members and other people we’ve come in contact with “hate” or “dislike” us for no reason. While we are convinced that the words, intonations and brief looks given to us are reflections of hidden hatred, most of us fail to realize that believing someone “hates us” is often a result of projection. If we have a strong dislike for someone in the first place it is common for us to protect ourselves against this feeling by projecting it into another.

2. “Oh my god, she’s so fat/ugly/slutty!”

How often have you bitched about another woman (or man) whose physical appearance was somehow displeasing to you? You might have felt an immense sense of distaste and dislike for this person, when in fact this chagrin is a protection mechanism veiling your own deeper body-image issues. Likely, you are deeply insecure about your own body, and thus unconsciously project this loathing onto others.

3. “Other people make me uncomfortable.”

Often the anxiety and tension we feel around others is a reflection of the way we perceive ourselves. When we are insecure or have low self-esteem, it is common to perceive the problem as being with other people and not ourselves. This classic form of projection is common amongst those suffering from social anxiety.


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