This second journal entry, The Cast of Characters easily helps us identify how we psychologically project ourselves upon others. I found this transformative within a short amount of time and now only need to check it occasionally when I’m frustrated or furious at someone before I “look inside”. After using this a few weeks, I began to see my life as my personal movie and my “cast of characters” was the listing of the actor’s in my life. They were helping me create the movie I wanted. There was also a rapid decision for me to stop creating the melodrama in my life and to work toward creating a movie of victory and harmony.
Here is Google’s definition: Psychological projection is a defense mechanism people subconsciously employ in order to cope with difficult feelings or emotions. Psychological projection involves projecting undesirable feelings or emotions onto someone else, rather than admitting to or dealing with the unwanted feelings.
With the following method at the end of each day we end up with a clear barometric reading of how our individual emotions fluctuated in that day with the people who move in and out of our lives.
To start: On the left of a page make a list of the people that you see every day or almost every day. Leave a few empty spaces at the end of that first column for the unexpected people who pop up in your life. Those spaces can be filled daily with wait person, store clerk, security personal, etc. After creating your “cast of characters” list of the people playing in the movie of your life, make 7 columns for the days of the week.
Then each night, put one descriptive word in the column after that person’s name.
Here is an example below. I will not deal with creating columns in this posting. I’ll just use semi-colons:
Person A.: bright; happy; encouraging; helpful; inquiring, knowledgeable; professional
Person B.: boring; cruel; polite; destructive; egotistical; agreeable; pathetic
Almost everyone in my life today end up with adjectives that I use to describe Person A. In Washington DC, I use more “reserved”, “cautious”, “careful” and “uptight” than I would use in New York or Virginia Beach! It has been my experience that many professional people I meet in capital cities (D.C., Oslo, Den Hague) seem to think that they should present themselves as if they have a “rod up their ass”. The energy of New Yorkers and Virginia Beach residents is much different.
What I discovered when I first began this process 40 years ago was that I used the words “kind” and “nice” and “helpful” 90 % of the time for the 20 or so people on my list. After noticing that, I quickly understood that I had become the person my parent’s wanted to create. I had bought into the sweet, kind, nice Indiana farm girl persona. I projected it onto almost everyone I met. After that insight, I began to polish other facets of my personality and to broaden a freedom of expression which has made life interesting.
I see our characters as diamonds. When we come out of our childhood homes, too often we have been encouraged to polish only a few aspects of our personalities. So, as I project myself onto Person A. above in 2019, I can list other admirable qualities than just “nice” and “kind”.
Obviously Person B. above allows me to look at my less desirable qualities. If I were unattached to my projections I would objectively have compassion on someone with a personality disorder.
I hope this journal entry of the Cast of Characters assists you as much as it has me.