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Episode #014

Psychological Projection: How Your Mind Tricks You Into Being A Bad Person

"If you can spot it, you've got it."

This phrase emerged from the idea that what irritates or disturbs us the most about other people is often a reflection of ourselves.

When another person pisses you off, how often do you stop and consider exactly what it is about them that bothers you? 

You might say "it's because he/she is annoying/arrogant/obnoxious" but what would you discover about yourself if you dug a little deeper and asked "why does this bother me?"

In this episode of the ikario podcast, Shane and I dive deep into the topic of psychological projection and share our own experiences with this unusual quirk of the human mind.

And as always, we attempt to provide practical takeaways, specifically for spotting your own psychological projections and emotional triggers.

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In this episode...

Some of the points covered in today's conversation:

  • Why we often fail to see the flaws in our own character whilst exaggerating those of other people.
  • "Why do some insults hurt and others don't?" (an example of psychological projection) 
  • How Ollie resolved inner conflicts with others by using shadow work.
  • Why awareness may be the most powerful aspect to positive change.
  • How to build compassion and tolerance for those who we think are different to us - and why this is a challenge.
  • A brief introduction to shadow work.
  • Ollie's tips for handling emotional triggers from other people - and why this is essential for having great relationships.

Over to You

We hope you found this episode useful! What brought you the most value? Do you have questions or feedback? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

You can follow the ikario Podcast on YouTube and also subscribe to our clips channel.


Oliver Cowlishaw

About the author

Ollie is an avid pizza connoisseur, accomplished drinker of coffee and lover of soul music. Heavily influenced by Zen & eastern mysticism, his curiosity regarding the human experience is insatiable. Despite having a strong vocabulary, he swears a lot and uses slang phrases ("ollie-isms") that almost nobody understands, not even himself.

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  • I LOVED this episode.

    Didn’t even wait till the end to leave a comment. 😄

    In min 44, when you guys are speaking of the practicality of dealing with triggering emotions as they come…

    It reminded me of a technique I learned from this girl.

    She’s an olimpic skier or something crazy like that, and spoke of how she deals with fear when it comes up.

    (Especially before doing a dangerous jump or something extreme like that).

    She recommended taking 60-120 seconds, closing your eyes, and focusing on the sensation that emotion arouses in your body.

    Since emotions are nothing but chemicals running through our blood and are meant signal us – once we focus on them, and basically get the signal, they pass.

    But when you suppress them, the chemicals will continue to be released in an effort to draw your attention.

    Super cool trick to dealing with any negetive sensation and learning a lot about yourself 😊

    • Oliver Cowlishaw says:

      Thankyou Nataliya!

      Glad you enjoyed the episode. Great technique. It’s a strange predicament that most of the solutions that manage the thinking mind (and the suffering it inflicts) are things that the thinking mind finds unsatisfying or overly-simplistic.

      There’s a zen quote that I read in a little book a long time ago:

      “If one attempts to work on the mind with the mind, how can one avoid immense confusion?”

      • Haha loved that one!
        So true. Been thinking about this lately.
        I read soooo many books and take sooo many courses,
        when in fact my best moments, ideas and what not come when I’m just hanging out and get a flick of inspiration from my intuition.
        Figures 🤭

  • Christina says:

    I could write volumes about the subject myself, but I would love to hear your take on this, so I’ll put it simply. What about the overwhelming problem of narcissism in the World? How can we handle it? I would love to see a full podcast on this topic. Cheers.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      That’s an intriguing question! I will try to invite someone on the podcast with some expertise in this area, to have a discussion about this with. 🙂

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