Have you ever noticed someone accusing you of the very thing they are doing themselves? This is a more advanced or intricate work of the political spirit. Projection, as this might be termed, is actually a learned defense mechanism based upon the reactions of people to a person’s own pattern of behavior.
“Before attributing thoughts or ideas to someone else, you may want to reflect on whether those beliefs can also be seen in yourself. If they can, there’s a chance that you might be projecting, and you may want to seek out a more reliable source on what someone else is thinking.
Projection can take a range of forms. For instance, if you find that you dislike someone, you may decide that he or she doesn’t like you, responding to social norms which dictate that people should all like each other and get along. By deciding that this person doesn’t like you, you can justify your decision not to like him or her, thereby setting yourself up for a self-fulfilling prophecy, because most people end up disliking the people who dislike them, even if they didn’t start out that way. Projection may also cause you to assume that other people are as competent as you are at a specific task, or to think that other people share your political and social beliefs.”