Think of someone you irrationally dislike.
Why do you dislike this person?
[FAP are my initials. Conversation modified for drama]
FAP: “we just don’t get along. No, actually he’s just a freaking idiot.”
FAP: “he can be so aggressive, resentful, cold, and he changes how he behaves around certain people.”
Therapist: “would you say he’s the opposite of how you are?”
FAP: “literally the complete opposite, we could not be so different…” + blah, blah, blah, random thoughts…
Therapist: “I’m going to suggest that these are qualities that you dislike in yourself, so you project them into this person. Some people call this your shadow or dark side.”
It’s not them, it’s us.
Not fun, right? Good news, it can also work the other way around.
Think of someone you admire.
Why do you admire this person?
The attributes we like in other people are usually our own, and often, we don’t give ourselves enough credit for them.