I heard the late Jack Gibb tell this tale at an OD Network meeting. It shows how your self-image ("percept" or projection) determines your behavior. Imagine Dodge City, 1875. A cowpoke rides into town, ties up his horse, bursts into the saloon and bellies up to the bar. He’s 6’5”, 290 pounds, a week’s worth of whiskers, mad as hell. “Gimme a beer!” he orders the bartender. The cowpoke chug-a-lugs, wipes a sleeve across his mouth and shouts, “Gimme another!” He guzzles again, dribbling beer down his vest. Suddenly he spins to face the room, hands poised over two huge six guns in studded holsters. The card players go silent. The piano dies. The dancers freeze. “All right,” bellows the angry cowboy, "I want all you SOB’s outta here!"
People dive under the bar, out the door, through the windows, sending whiskey glasses crashing. In seconds everyone is gone, except for one little guy sitting in the corner with a ten-gallon hat pushed back on his head, still holding his cards, watching the action in amazement.
The cowpoke means business. Hands on guns he leaps across the room, towering over the little guy. “You!” he snarls. “Didn’t YOU hear what AH said?”
“I sure did, mister,” replies the little guy, flashing a big smile. “And weren’t there a lot of ‘em!"
In Chapter 8, "Get Used to Projections," we tell you how to make this phenomenon work for you. Here's an excerpt--
"Put on a uniform or clerical collar and people relate differently to you than if you were in shorts and a T-shirt. That’s projection. Or notice what happens in you the next time a leader stands up and says, “My name is so-and-so, and I’ll be running this meeting.” Whether you resist or cooperate depends largely on what you project on that person’s looks, demeanor, and tone of voice.
"We see, hear, or sense in others what our own psyches wish for us to see, hear or sense, apart from any motive or intrinsic qualities in them. When we project on other people, we find in them clues that remind us of parts of ourselves. These could be parts that we detest or deny, or parts that we like very much.
"This much of the projection concept is widely known in a post-Freudian age. At the same time, we often remain unconscious of the projecting we do. Nor do we realize the extent to which others project on us, especially when we assume leadership. We grow up believing that others 'make' us feel one way or another, and that we do the same to them."
Our colleague, the late John Weir, invented a "percept language" that helps you experience your projections. Master it and you will be less likely to "take it personally," whatever IT is for you. In Chapter 8 we tell you how. Go to http://www.bkconnection.com/pdf.asp to download the e-book version.