Love and specifically romance are often described as an out-of-the-world experience where life suddenly becomes beautiful. You may feel ecstatic as if your problems have vanished, or you forget about them temporarily. Shakespeare described romance as “painted-blind,” which means that people in love have a tendency to live in a sweet illusion. When the novelty wears off, they have to come back to the real world and realize that there was a projection in their relationship. This realization may hit them hard, leading to a breakup. This blog post provides some insight into how projections affect relationships and how we can minimize them.

Illusion:

An illusion is defined as “perceiving things in a way that is different from reality.” It is a fake mental image that misrepresents a situation or an imagined scenario. It can also be described as a long-term bias that is difficult to alter.

A healthy relationship involves acceptance and acknowledgment of the partner’s flaws. There are no unrealistic expectations, such as expecting the other to know everything without communication or expecting the other person to drop everything for the sake of the relationship. These kinds of expectations lead to the illusion of a perfect relationship but are actually an unhealthy dynamic where both partners will eventually feel suffocated. The right kind of relationship provides room for growth for both partners on an individual and couple level.

Deception:

Deception is often used as a tool for blackmailing a partner into staying in the relationship. An individual might pretend to be someone else by putting on a show for the partner. This type of relationship is based on lies and is going to crumble faster than a house of cards. People usually believe that putting on a different persona might make them more acceptable. This approach may work in social situations and professional settings. But it usually backfires in intimate relationships leading to hostility and angst on both sides.

Projection:

We have talked about illusion and deception in relationships. But what’s their link with projection? Projection is defined as: “The mental process by which people attribute to others what is in their own mind.” Projection in relationships consists of some elements of illusion and deception. For example, an individual may notice that his or her partner is not interested in them anymore yet they would be disillusioned to think that’s not the case and everything is perfect. Similarly, a person may feel insecure in a relationship and act like nothing is wrong. Instead of communicating, he may believe that his partner is the one feeling insecure leading to unfair judgment.

How to Minimize Projection in Relationships?

Projection can alter your worldview drastically making you feel falsely optimistic about a situation and vice versa. Some ways to reduce projection in relationships are:

1: Self-Reflection:

Know yourself. This advice may sound cliche but is the best thing you can do for yourself. Reflect on your past, behaviors, insecurities, weaknesses, and strengths. Acknowledge your weaknesses and toxic behaviors.

2: Self-Acceptance:

Most people expect that acceptance from others will make them feel worthy. This concept is going to ruin your self-confidence. Accept yourself and keep working on yourself. Develop self-confidence and remember that your worth is not linked to acceptance from others.

3: Realistic Expectations:

Keep your expectations realistic. You are not perfect and your partner is not going to be perfect either. Try to improve your rapport with the partner by accepting him or her along with flaws. Some people believe that they can change their partner which is a huge misconception. Remember that you can’t control how others behave but what you can control is your own role. If the partner is not what you want then it is better to leave the relationship instead of investing energy to try to make them what you like.

4: Open Communication:

I can’t emphasize this point enough. Communication is the key. No matter how trivial or obvious some issues may seem, discuss them with your partner. If you feel hurt, talk about it, and don’t let it turn into resentment. You may think that your partner should know about it but he or she is not a mind reader. You will reduce a lot of emotional baggage by simply communicating openly. It will lead to a better understanding and strengthen your relationship.

5: Nurture:

You got the job but you have to work hard to keep it. Romantic relationships also need effort. You fell in love but you need to nurture it to keep it alive. Instead of projecting, try to make things work by actively doing nice things for your partner. Make time for your relationship just like you are dedicated to your job. Contrary to popular belief, love is not smooth sailing but needs dedication and constant effort to stay afloat.

6: Forgiveness:

You both got in an argument and harsh words were spoken. You both reconciled but you are still resenting them for what they said in the heat of the moment. But you haven’t let it go and keep replaying the argument in your head. Now you keep projecting that particular situation to all the other instances in your love life. Stop that. Forgive and move on. If you can’t forgive then be transparent about it. Pretending that you forgave them while harboring resentment is going to destroy your mental health. Seek professional help if required but don’t put allow yourself to get stuck in the loop of misery.

Conclusion:

Projection in relationships may make you assume things that are not there. It may lead to false expectations and heartbreaks when these expectations are not fulfilled. Individuals need to be more self-aware and accepting of themselves so that they are not bringing toxicity into relationships. Self-awareness, acceptance, and open communication are some effective ways to reduce bias and help your romantic life thrive. Make sure to not be complacent and keep nurturing your relationship. Remember that life is not perfect and human beings are not supposed to be perfect. Accept the flaws of both yourself and your partner.