Transference distorts relationships. Transference is reacting and perceiving another person as if they are someone (often parents or parent figures) from our childhood. Usually we are not aware we are doing it. We believe we are really seeing that other person in the, hear- and-now. We may think we know what they are thinking and feeling, what their intentions are and what we can and cannot expect from them.
When we are in POSITIVE transference, we generally feel that the other person is ideal if not perfect. They are capable of giving us all the attention we want and have always wanted. We experience this when we fall in love. The other person seems to be everything we need or want. At these times we often cannot listen to other’s comments about that person unless they match our own views.
We often feel understood by them and so pleased to be in their presence we can give our power away to them: we can lose ourselves and become confluent like two rivers merging into one.
When we are in NEGATIVE transference and which is far more common occurrence for most of us, we feel the energy and certainty about the other person’s wrongness. Transference can be triggered by behaviour: They don’t look us in the eye, or they do. They may criticise our work or be sarcastic or have a tone in their voice.
We then go into a viscous cycle within ourselves as we feel something wrong has been done to us by the other person. We think we know all about them, what they did and what they will do, think, or feel.
We then give away our power and often feel little, like a child in the face of a negative parent. That is where we went internally even if we didn’t recognise this.
We have all experienced going into transference with lovers, spouses, friends or bosses. It happens all the time. As quickly as we can pop into transference we can pop right out.
In relationships the other person starts off as being seen as prefect. As times go by they suddenly fall off their pedestal. We ask how we could have got it so wrong and blame the other person. We then go into negative transference until they redeem themselves in some way and we then forget, and everything is all right again.
Being aware of and understanding your transference is essential in any relationship. In transference we are the ones going into patterns. The other person may have done nothing wrong. It is our reaction which throws us into vicious cycles – and keeps us there.
The actions of others triggers us because we have the pattern in ourselves.