We’re often, without knowing it, subtly projecting our experience in one domain of life onto our experiences elsewhere. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than the ways in which we project our experiences of growing up onto situations we’re in the midst of now.
This should not surprise us. Our very relationship with life itself, and with the world, was mediated through the family situation in which we first discovered our sense of ourselves as distinct human beings.
If you turn your attention to it, you may start to see in particular how you’re projecting your childhood memories onto people you work with now, especially those who have some kind of hierarchical authority over you.
How are you treating managers, bosses, leaders as images of your parents?
Are you relating to them as if father, or mother?
And are you relating to your colleagues as if brothers, or sisters?
Does looking this way explain anything to you about:
Who you’ll talk to? And who you won’t?
What you get defensive about? What’s wounding for you?
Who you ask for help?
What you fear people are saying to you (directly or behind your back)?
It’s always a powerful move to get onto all of this, and to see how much of the time what you’re responding to is a memory. And then to find out how to let this go so you can respond to the person, alive and real, who’s in front of you right now.