Original content by Ashley Berges
Have you ever been in a relationship where it feels as though your partner or friend is constantly pointing out your shortcomings? Every time you bring up their actions, they twist it around and put the responsibility on you. Most often it is a case of dealing with someone who is not self-aware. When a person lacks self-awareness, they use projection. They project their beliefs, circumstances, and short comings on you. Freud considered projection to be thoughts, motives, desires, and feelings that cannot be accepted by one’s own self. These feelings are handled by placing them on the outside world, putting them on someone else. When this happens to us, we are usually in a relationship of what we would call, “you are.” By this, we mean that you are the problem and you are the blame. These labels are used against us when we try to point anything out to our partner, often resulting in a fight with no resolution.
When thinking about projection and someone who lacks self-awareness, one of the more interesting points is their inability to take accountability. Very often they will say or do something that hurts us and do not follow up with an apology. If there is an apology at all, most likely it is weak and backhanded. In these situations, they do not want to take ownership, feel empathy, or see your side. This could be due to a sense of entitlement stemming from the way they were raised as a child. Their family dynamic may have permitted them to act how they wanted to avoid arguments. This type of behavior was enabled as they grew up. As adults, because of this enablement, they assume that everyone else is to blame and they do not take accountability for anything they do.
At the beginning of a relationship, we often do not realize what is going on. We tend to take ownership of what we are being told by our partner. Often we believe we are part of the problem and not the solution. It is very beneficial for us to look within ourselves and be able to see what is really going on. The down fall to this is that when we take ownership of the situation, we are not allowing the other person to see where they stand, what their role is, and what their contribution is to have gotten into the predicament in the first place.
Another interesting aspect to consider, is the mental and emotional abuse that may be associated with someone who uses projection and is not self-aware. We may find ourselves questioning if we are part of the problem or if we caused the problem. When we question our reality, we lose our boundaries and our identification. We allow our partners to do what they want in order to avoid arguments. Overtime the person that is not self-aware begins to believe these realities, and we enable that belief system.
The use of numbing vices is also another symptom of someone who is not self-aware. They may smoke weed and drink alcohol to numb themselves in order to continue their narrative that they have created. This narrative is the one that you are the problem. Drugs and alcohol can help their belief system of the false narrative.
Overall if you are interacting with a spouse, partner, or best friend who is projecting on you and lacks self-awareness, you need to ask yourself several questions. How are you going to continue the relationship? How are you going to move forward? What do you need to do in order to augment the situation? This can be a very challenging situation to be in especially if you are always the one to be blamed and the other person does not think they have any issues. Being in a relationship with someone who lacks self-awareness can have us feeling like we are always walking on eggshells when they are near.
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