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Introjection

 

Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Introjection

Description | Example | Discussion | So what?

  

Description

Introjection occurs as a coping mechanism when we take on attributes of other people who seem better able to cope with the situation than we do.

Example

I have to give a presentation but feel scared. I put on the hat of Abraham Lincoln and imagine I am confidently giving an important address to the nation.

A child is threatened at school. They take on the strong-defender attributes that they perceive in their father and push away the bully.

A business leader sets high moral standards within the company. Many others follow her lead.

Discussion

We often use admired and respected others for the models from which to draw out introjected qualities.

When we introject aspects of another person, it is possible that we also bring in attributes that are less helpful as we take on their persona. Thus a person taking on the strength of a more senior manager may also take on unwanted aggression and distain.

So what?

When you feel threatened, think about a person who is able to cope well with the situation. Put yourself in their shoes. Get inside their body. Think like them. Be them. Then manage the situation like a pro.

And then realize that you can do it.

See also

Projection

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