Projection describes interaction between the inner and outer worlds. With projection, the subject expels or refuses to recognize or acknowledge qualities of the self: thought or feeling, or wish or internal objects. They are projected outwards and onto a person or thing. As a defence mechanism, projection is used to keep out of awareness undesirable aspects of the self by attributing feelings and thoughts (e.g. sexual, destructive) to others and thereby altogether avoid them. The projection of a thought or emotion enables the self to consider the disturbing nature of thoughts or feelings without having to know or feel that they truly belong to them. By disavowing what we do not want to acknowledge about the self we find in the external world feelings, thoughts or other qualities of objects, which have their origins in our own unconscious. Projection works by enabling the expression of desire or impulse, but in a form sufficiently modified that it cannot be recognized by the ego. The theory holds that it is easier to tolerate punishment from the outside than to accept impulses in conflict with moral standards or self-concept.
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