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Re: Projective identification stands up/ recognize Dinah

Posted by Racer on July 2, 2006, at 12:16:39

In reply to Re: Projective identification stands up/ recognize gardenergirl, posted by Dinah on July 2, 2006, at 9:19:27

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> Is this supposed to be a matter of simple contagion? This will sound schizotypal of me (and is one of the reasons my therapist clings to the schizotypal personality disorder label for me) but I've always thought that emotions give off energy that can be detected to some degree or another. My husband laughingly calls me semipsychic because he can walk in the door and practically before the door shuts I can tell his mood and comment on it. My son does the same. When I pick him up from school, before he buckles his seatbelt he might ask if something's wrong or comment that I seem happy.
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Now, I'm just plain Froot Loops, but I think what you're describing here is just mammalian non-verbal communication. I know that I can do it with many people around me, and while I can't put my brain on just what it is, I can tell you it's based on very subtle body language.

I think projective identification is different, partly because it really is someone else, in GG's eloquent words, "flinging mud" at you. Like, my own experience of PI, someone who accuses you of what they're doing, and then you react as if maybe you are doing it. Does that make sense? (Oy, I can email you what happened in that case, but I won't post it here.) Think about identifying with someone: you hear someone say, maybe, "I just can't seem to wrap my brain around trigonometry," and you feel a little twinge of identification, right? (And don't tell me that, since I'll be taking that maybe next semester.) Well, in Projective Identification, rather than you voluntarily identifying with someone, they force that identification onto you. Think about someone who accuses you of prejudice or racism, as a way of reducing their own guilt over their own racist or prejudiced views? You may, indeed, have a reaction to that -- and are likely to try to throw that mud back, which kinda continues the problem.

Ah, if that doesn't help, there ain't no help in my dull brain. I hope it helps, though. And anyway, GG is the one to explain it. She's got a much sharper brain...


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