Posts Tagged With: projection

Day 3113: Time Out

Yesterday, Twitter put me in a “time out” after I tried to follow back too many new followers too quickly. That means I can’t let people know I like their posts or follow them back for three days.

I’m using this time out to catch my breath and ask myself this question:

Why do I feel like I have to get back to people so quickly?

This sense of urgency in responding to people as soon as possible affects me at work, in my relationships, on social media, everywhere. It makes me anxious and stressed.

When somebody reaches out to me, I imagine them waiting anxiously for my reply, and I feel more and more distress the more time I take getting back to them.

This has been a problem for me at work for many years. I know I blogged about it, in a post titled “The Doritos Cure.” That title was in reference to my supervisor suggesting that instead of my imagining patients waiting anxiously by their phone for my call back, that I imagine them eating Doritos and otherwise engaging in their day-to-day lives.

I’m taking a time out now to go back to my question above, “Why do I feel like I have to get back to people so quickly?”

My best guess, here and now, is that this relates to my experiences in the hospital when I was a child. Starting when I was eight years old, I spent a lot of time alone, in physical and emotional pain, in hospital rooms, waiting for nurses and doctors to respond to me. During those times, my only companion was the hospital heart monitor in my room, beeping out the tentative beats of my very unusual heart.

I would wait for the nurses and doctors to respond to the call light. I would wait for the precious hours when family and friends were allowed to visit me.

So perhaps I project the urgent needs of that scared child onto all who are waiting for me to respond.

I’m so glad I’m taking time out of my morning to make sense of all this.

Now I’m going to take some time out to share my images for the day.

The Daily Bitch is reminding me that it’s good to take a time out from toxic people.

“Time Out” is a GREAT Dave Brubeck Quartet album.

Thank you SO MUCH for taking time out of your day to read this time-out post!

Categories: heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2595: Attempts to be super

My attempts to be super at blogging this morning resulted in my finding this headline:

Moon attempts to be ‘super’ on Saturday night, settles for mediocrity

I think this is a super example of anthropomorphism (ascribing human characteristics to  non-human objects).

It might also be a super example of projection.   In attempts to be super in psychotherapy, we notice that when people see characteristics in others, that’s often a reflection of themselves.  Hence my super response to compliments: “It takes one to know one.”

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m trying to suggest that perhaps the writer of that headline attempted to be super and settled for mediocrity.

Let’s see if there are any attempts to be super in today’s photos.

Harley and Oscar sometimes attempt to be super tolerant of each other.

Here‘s super Stevie Wonder with “Superwoman.”

I’m looking forward to your super comments, below.

Here’s today’s attempt to show my super gratitude for YOU:

 

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1813: Yeah, I have a dark side.

Yeah, I have a dark side.  So do we all.

If we deny our dark sides, we tend to project them on to people we define as “the other.”

So if we’re characterizing people different from us as

  • cheap,
  • stupid,
  • lazy,
  • greedy, or
  • otherwise less than us,

we’re probably projecting our own dark sides onto them.

Yeah, I have a dark side and I own it, as a way of not imposing it on others.

Yeah, I have these socks.

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Yeah, I have two other photos from yesterday.

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Do those photos have dark sides?

Yeah, I have a Dark Side video to share.

Yeah, I have a dark side that’s greedy for attention, so please leave a comment below.

Yeah, I have another side that expresses gratitude for all who help me create these blogs and for those who read them, including multi-sided you!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 1124: When somebody leaves the room

Recently, at a therapy group of people who had all never met  each other before, somebody left the room and stayed away for quite a while.

I noticed the absence.  The other members of the group didn’t seem to, as they talked about everything but the missing person. However, because of my experience with groups, I knew that everybody was as aware of the absence as I was.

Sure enough, when I invited feelings and thoughts about that — simply by asking  “Is anybody having any reactions to ___ leaving the room?” —  that triggered an outpouring of thoughts and feelings, including worry, concern, projection (“___ looked very upset”),  personalization (“I figured it was something about me”), and wishes that I would do something (“Maybe you should go after them and see if they’re okay!”).  However, I know enough about group work NOT to leave the room, no matter what people’s worries and concerns are.

While people were talking about the person who had left the room, the door opened and that person came back in, bearing bags of food for the rest of the group.  Why?  Because several people had mentioned earlier in the group session that they were feeling hungry.

No matter how many times I’ve facilitated groups, I continue to be amazed at what happens there, including

  • unexpressed thoughts and feelings
  • people’s willingness to share, if they feel safe enough
  • projected fears
  • cognitive distortions including mind-reading, personalization, and catastrophizing
  • generosity  and
  • countless other beautifully human reactions.

As I said, a week ago today, at a presentation about group work to the Massachusetts Psychological Association:

When I watch the news, I despair for the future of this planet.  When I sit in my therapy groups and observe human behavior, I have infinite hope and optimism.

Before you leave the room today, here are some photos I took yesterday, inside and outside of therapy rooms:

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What feelings and thoughts might you express, before you leave this WordPress room?

Thanks to all the human heroes who helped me write this post and to you — of course! — for visiting here, today.

 

Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

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