These two types of behavior – denial and projection - are characterized as defense mechanisms.
With denial we try to ‘disappear’ things and with projection we see our own attributes and behavior as belonging to others.
We develop these ways of acting as an attempt to cope with situations, feelings and attributes that seem unacceptable to us.
This tends to sensitize us to these same behaviors in others.
DANCE WITH IT! EXPERIENTIAL APPS
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...
TRY THIS ON FOR SIZE. . .
This is a perfect time to experiment with what we call ‘hot seat’ work, a fascinating tool used in Gestalt Therapy.
It is believed that this technique actually evolved from Actors Studio techniques of the 1940’s and ‘50s!
Give it a try!
Set 2 chairs up facing each other...
Sit in chair #1 and face ‘empty’ chair #2.
In the empty chair imagine someone you are angry with (for those of you who deny anger you can substitute the word ‘annoyed’.)
Really focus until you can see them clearly. How do they look?
Now begin an imaginary conversation with this person telling them how annoying they are!
It might start something like this:
You: I don’t like the way you act. You are so annoying!
Tell them why – really get it off your chest.
Now switch chairs.
Yes, actually go and sit in the empty chair.
This is the acting part and of course where we find projection…
So much easier to feel it in the role of someone else, right?
Become this other person. Hold your body like they do – try out their tone of voice, their facial expression.
As person #2 respond to the accusations of person #1. Really get into this role and give as good as you got!
For the non- actors among you it’s easy to accomplish the same thing by using your two hands. Hand one is you – hand two is the other person.
Go at it!
Like many of the experiments we do, the more you exaggerate and allow yourself to laugh, the easier it is to accept the kernels of truth!
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