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Projection Is Such a Sneaky Interpersonal Dynamic

·445 words·3 mins

It’s been a rough few hours. You’re definitely unfocused. Making lots of little mistakes with the household tasks you’ve taken on. I quietly fix it up, figuring you’re not in the mood to be regaled with a list of your imperfections.

We all have moments when we mess up. It’s only when it becomes a pattern that it’s even worth noticing.

You’re usually on your game. But today, you’re totally off.

But me, I’m in a good mood. For once. I’ve gotten a lot of writing done. Had some great chats with people on the Poly Land Discord. And my recent ankle injury has been healing up a bit more every day.

So I’m getting a lot of things done, but am feeling good while doing so. But when I try to get your opinion about the timing for dinner (let alone what to cook), it seems to be a rather difficult conversation for you. Finally, we agree that I should just pick something and you’ll eat whatever it is, because everything sounds terrible to you in hypothetical terms, but when the actual food shows up, you’ll probably find it delicious. And I have a bunch of meals in my arsenal by now that you really love.

I confirm this one more time with you, that I can just cook whatever and you agree. But then you add on the most confusing addendum – that I don’t have to be so upset about it.

This is quite curious because I’m in a great mood. I tell you this, but you don’t seem to believe me.

But it’s only as I’m cooking dinner that I remember that unwanted psychological guest that often plagues folks, especially when they’re down: Projection.

“Hey love,” I say to you. “Are you feeling alright?”

And then it pours from you. The various little ways that you feel hacked to bits today. None of it is massive on its own, but a lot of little things are going wrong for you. We talk through it a bit. You go to take a shower while I make dinner.

When you get back, we sit down together for a meal. And despite everything sound awful to you in theory, you love what I made. We both do.

Anyway, I always forget about projection. It’s such a sneaky interpersonal dynamic. And if you don’t recognize it for what it is, you can get thrown way off track. End up arguing for hours about things that one person doesn’t even feel but the other person is convinced that they must.

Sometimes you just need to do a check-in. Cook dinner. And get away from all that.


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