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Projecting Your Shadow Material

Danica Joan June 16, 2022

The phenomenon of projecting your shadow is that of using another person, or nation, or culture as a carrier for your shadow – for those parts of yourself that belong to you but which are not recognized as belonging to you. These projections can go into directions. On the one hand, you might ask others to carry your “negative shadow,” those parts of the reality that you regard as negative and don’t want to be identified with, that you literally don’t see it as being part of yourself.

The black sheep of the family is the designated shadow carrier for unwanted aspects of a family, for example. This doesn’t mean that there might not be a hook in the shadow carriers, or that bad things weren’t done, but the projection of the shadow has to do with the way you relate to the other, namely, that you prefer not to relate, not to see the other as yourself. You may keep a distance. You build a barriers between yourself and “the other,” which more easily enables you to keep the projection going. Thus, a clue to a projection of your negative shadow is your passionate anger, judgment and critical of the other. Here lies a little-known profound aspect of an anger management. Whenever you feel passionate anger, judgment or criticalness, you have uncovered some of your shadow material.

Watch what really triggers you. Watch what you judge. Watch what you criticize. There’s a clue there for something that belongs to you but has not been accepted. In other words, if you feel something a little over-the-top, you can bet there’s some connection there. This doesn’t mean you’re exactly like the individual who angers you, but you’re in the same ballpark and don’t yet realize it. Maybe it relates to a similar issue with power, or self-importance, or weakness, or greed, or fear. If you wonder about your shadow material, watch what triggers your anger.