I can't tell you the number of times I've had the misfortune of being let down by others, or victimized by their 'bad behavior'. Seems like the world gets worse and worse (morally) as time goes on, and all a person can do is wonder why.
I remember some years ago being in a religious debate with my uncle. I was starting to see things differently and brought my ideas forward. Naturally, he wasn't able to see things the way I did, nor (it seemed) did he try. We had a debate, and I went off thinking "man, what a religious stick in the mud."
Of course, that was then, and things have changed a lot for me since then. Which brings me to (perhaps) the most important discovery I have made in my life. I have chanced upon Jung's Shadow Theory.
I honestly see this as quite possibly one of the most important things that people should know. It should be taught to children in school, and we should develop it throughout our lives. You can read a short introduction about it here: Carl Jung and the Shadow: An Introduction
But I strongly recommend reading the book: "The Shadow Effect" or any other material available on the subject as it is the answer to most people's problems. I could write an entire book on the subject with what little I know already, but I'll leave that to the experts and simply provide a snippet from "The Shadow Effect" to (hopefully) spark some intrigue and prompt further investigation.
Here are the typical forms that projection can take:
From Part 1, written by Deepak Chopra:
"Are You Projecting?
Superiority: "I know that I am better than you. You should see this and acknowledge it."
Injustice: "It's unfair that these bad things are happening to me," or "I don't deserve this."
Arrogance: "I'm too proud to bother with you. Your very presence irritates me."
Defensiveness: "You're attacking me, so I'm not listening to you."
Blame: I didn't do anything. It's all your fault."
Idealizing others: "My father was like a god when I was little," "My mother was the best in the world," or "The man I marry will be my hero."
Prejudice: "He's one of them, and you know what their like," or "Be careful. Their kind is dangerous."
Jealousy: "You're thinking of betraying me, I can see it."
Paranoia: "They're out to get me," or "I see the conspiracy no one else sees."
Whenever any of these attitudes appear, there is an unconscious feeling hidden in the shadow that you cannot face. Here are some typical examples:
Superiority disguises the feeling that you are a failure or that others would reject you if they knew who you really are.
Injustice disguises the feeling of sinfulness or the sense that you are always to blame.
Arrogance disguises bottled-up anger, and beneath that lies deep-seated pain.
Defensiveness disguises the feeling that you are unworthy and weak. Unless you defend yourself from others, you will start attacking yourself.
Blame disguises the feeling that you are at fault and should be ashamed of yourself.
Idealizing others disguises the feeling that you are a weak, helpless child who needs protection and taking care of.
Prejudice disguises the feeling that you are inferior and deserve to be rejected.
Jealousy disguises your own impulse to stray or a sense of sexual inadequacy.
Paranoia disguises deep-seated, overwhelming anxiety.
As you can see, projection is far more subtle than anyone imagines. Yet it is the open gate to the shadow. It is a painful gate, though, since what you see as faults in others masks what you feel about yourself. It would be ideal if we could stop blaming and judging all at once. In reality, undoing the shadow is always a process. To stop projecting you must see what you're doing, contact the feeling that is hidden beneath the surface, and make peace with that feeling."
(Deepak Chopra, 38-39)