Relationships: Can Someone Project Their Parent/S Onto Other People?

When it comes to how someone perceives another person and the experiences that they have with them, it might not seem as though they are having much of an effect. One is then just aware of what this person is like and when they spend time with them, they won’t be playing a part, either.

Therefore, one is just going to be an observer in both cases, which means that they won’t have much control. If they have a good view of another person and they generally get on with them, this won’t be an issue.

Another Scenario

On the other hand, if their view of another person is not particularly great and their experiences with them are not much better, they won’t be able to turn a blind eye to this person. If this is someone who they work with, they are going to see them on just about every day of the week.

There can be what takes place when they are around this person and what goes through their mind about them when they are not. At the very least, this person is going to take a lot of their energy.

Back In Time

If they were to reflect on how they saw this person and the experiences that they had with them when they first came into contact with them, they may find that their view and the experiences that they had with them were different. Thus, over time this would have gradually changed.

Also, there could be a number of other people where they work that don’t have an issue with this person. As a result of this, these people might wonder why, that’s if they know, one is not the same.

A Different Experience

However, if one can’t relate to this, what they may find is that the above scenario has played out in a relationship that they are in. Furthermore, it may have taken place in a number of other relationships that they have had.

In the beginning, then, they may have had one view of the person and had certain experiences with them, and, as time has passed, this will have gradually changed. Thanks to this, it could seem as though the other person has completely changed.

Two Extremes

The other person will have been one way earlier on and now they will be totally different. What this could mean is that one may have seen the other as having emotional control and now they see them as having anger problems.

Or, they could have seen them as someone who was fairly easy going and now they could see them as being controlling. Regardless of what is going on for them, it won’t be the same as it was.

An Important Question

Now, although one may believe that they are just an observer and are not playing a part in what is going on, what if there is more to it? What if this relationship, along with others, is simply mirroring back what they need to resolve inside themselves?

If this is so, it would mean that they are not merely an observer of their reality; they are both the observer and the creator of it. Nonetheless, in order for them to realise what is going on, they will naturally need to take a deeper look into how their mind works.

Back In Time

Deep inside them, they are likely to have a number of inner wounds, and most, if not all, of these wounds, are likely to be the result of what took place during their early years. As time passed, though, their conscious mind would have ended up losing touch with most of them.

But, while these wounds will be a mystery to their conscious mind, they will still be in their unconscious mind. And as they are there, it means that they will play a part in who they are drawn to and what they ‘see’ in the people who they do end up with.

A Blank Screen

So even though a lot of the wounds that are inside them are likely to relate to what their parent/s did or didn’t do, they are going to be projected into other people. For example, it won’t be that one is angry at their parent but can’t acknowledge this or that one parent lacked boundaries and they haven’t dealt with feeling violated; it will be that another person has anger problems or lacks boundaries.

It would be easy to see projection as being something that is bad or negative, but this would miss the point entirely. Due to the nature of the mind and how it will do what it can to avoid pain, it means that, in general, what is taking place internally can’t be known directly.


Defences mechanisms, such as projection, are then what will allow one to become aware of what is taking place inside them. Yet, if they are demonised or there is not even an awareness of them, this won’t take place.

The key will for one to reflect on the fact that they are not just an observer of their life and that what shows up is a reflection of what is going on in both their conscious and unconscious mind. To do this can require a certain amount of ego strength, or one can just feel like a victim and blame themselves or they can become defensive and blame others.


If one can see that they have been projecting their issues into others, and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.