Based on hanging around myself for a long time, I know the harm that comes from projection.
I’m not a psychologist or therapist, but as an older man who likes people, I see the harm that comes from projecting my own problems onto others on almost a weekly basis.
This is how I describe projection to myself: If I’m feeling guilty or concerned about some behavior I’m engaged in, I find someone else that I proclaim has the problem I’m hiding from. In the short-term, it may take the pressure and focus off me and put it on someone who happens to be in my circle of acquaintances or friends. Often, I don’t even recognize what I’m doing.
For example, if I’m concerned about taking too much pain medication, drinking too much or eating too much junk food, I’ll pick someone out and claim he or she has been behaving in that same unhealthy way.
Look out for doing this projection thing. Just when I think I’ve figured it all out, I’ll be insinuating you are failing to take charge of your financial obligations. Then I’ll go home and sort my unpaid utility and credit card bills.