Projections & Foreigners

Foreigners are always good projection objects, especially for the shadow.

I notice a tendency in the western world, even among educated people, to demand that foreigners who settle in their country adopt also their views and traditions.

At the same time, when these same people move abroad – for shorter or longer periods of time – they are insistent to keep their own views and traditions.

This is of course only natural. We have a tendency to experience discomfort when the “others” come here, and want to make them less others by having them change. And we want to stay comfortable when abroad by maintaining what we know and identify with.

It is also a good example of various forms of projections. We may project (part of) our shadow onto the foreigners, experience discomfort, and then demand they stay out or change. And although not a typical projection, we require others to change, not ourselves – both when they come here and we go there.

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