An example… Let’s say that I believe Daniel is putting me down with something he said. This causes me to see him as being unkind perhaps and as trying to belittle me. I react accordingly. Perhaps I am short with him or confront him angrily …. Meanwhile, Daniel is highly insulted by my unfair accusations. He tells me he said what he said thinking I had asked for feedback and that he was not trying to put me down. But when I react negatively he gets angry and ends up saying things that I then use to justify my feelings. Now I KNOW I was right and there’s nothing he can say to convince me otherwise … I’ve just proved that my story is true!
What I may not be conscious of is how our external interaction is mirroring exactly my own internal beliefs about myself. If I take the time to stop and explore I will find that there’s a part of me that is judging myself in the very way I accused Daniel of judging me. I simply projected that judgment out. The thing I accused him of doing to me turns out to be what I’m doing to me. It turns out that I’m the one who is treating me unkindly! The good news is that by projecting my judgment out I’ve made it visible. All I have to do is connect my story about Daniel with my judgment towards myself. This brings me an opportunity to understand myself better.