How can I put it all together?

According to David W. Johnson to build a relationship with another person you must be self-disclosing which depends on your ability to trust. Trust involves a risk, when you know you could be hurt and would suffer more than you gain. Even though you are relatively confident that the other person will not hurt you, there is no guarantee.

Trust, or distrust, is a self-fulfilling prophecy in that you project onto others your interpretations which are based largely on your experiences and your genetics. Trust is an abstract concept which is difficult to understand. Trust exists, in the relationship, not in the person, however, when one is in the error of disposition attribution, trust is often thought to exist in the character of the other person. On the other hand, when one is not trustworthy him/herself, dispositional attribution is often given, as the reasons,  i.e., that the person was a victim of circumstances.[1]

Knowing about projections can help you understand how everything you do creates your own experience in a relationship. Success in any relationship necessitates that you enhance the picture of the person in your own mind. You are actually the only one that can make a relationship desirable for yourself. Whether in a friendship, romantic, or love relationship, you .are the writer, producer, and actor of the movie in your mind. Understanding projections can assist you in seeing how manipulations, deceptions, or any other tactic you employ, can be the demise of your relationship.[2]

Explain how trust is a self-fulfilling prophecy and may actually be an example of dispositional or situational attribution, i.e., a problem of projection. Using the concept of self-disclosure, give an example from your own life which shows how projection has affected your interaction in a relationship in a positive or negative way.

    1. David W. Johnson, Reaching Out: Interpersonal Effectiveness and Self-Actualization, 8th ed., Boston: Allyn and Bacon, pp.93-103
2.George Weinberg and Dianne  Rowe,
The Projection Principle, New York, St. Martin Press,1988, pp. 160-191

Copyright 1998  [Robert Brehm]. All rights reserved.