We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I discover, sometimes, that things about others which I detest are qualities of my own which I detest, reject, and attempt to disown by pinning them on others.
Although I am not a Borderline Personality, there is an element of projective identification in this. Whether in fantasy or in reality, we can mentally construct another person so as to contain, embody (or, if the person is in our personal lives, to even get them to enact) our own rejected demons. Then we can detest them or look down on them while preserving an illusionary and undeserved self-esteem.
I have learned to reflect on the qualities I seem to be most irritated by or contemptuous of in others and to do a little reality check to see whether it's more about my stuff than about theirs.
Do you find yourself doing this sometimes, as I do?
Yes, I have qualities I detest. When I see those qualities in others, I detest at least the quality and perhaps the whole person if I know little more of him. This is more a reminder of my own shortcomings than a means of esteem-building.
Projective Identification seems to require the object transforming to fit my perception. Most of the objects I detest I do not interact with, so there’s no mechanism for me cause their transformation.
After years of therapy, I can’t help but see “more about my stuff than others” as almost a tautology or description of the human mind.
Also after my time in therapy, “doing this sometimes” includes nearly everything. As it was presented to me, the question is not “if”, but “how much and how often”. And ultimately, “how does it serve you?”
A friend pointed out to me that the things that get me the most upset with my son,are the flaws in my own nature that frustrate me. He is an only child so it is interesting to see that the things that upset my husband the most, with my son, are the things that get in his way when he does them.