Projection is a Defence Mechanism in which qualities, feelings and wishes that the individual refuses to recognise or rejects in themselves are expelled from the self and located in another person or thing.
For example, if you have a strong dislike for someone, you might instead believe that he or she does not like you.
Thoughts of infidelity to a partner may be unconsciously projected in self-defence on to the partner in question, so that the guilt attached to the thoughts can be turned to blame instead, in a process linked to denial.
A bully may project his/her own feelings of vulnerability onto his/her target(s). Despite the fact that the bully's activities are aimed at their targets, the true source of such negativity may be found in the bully's own sense of personal insecurity and/ or vulnerability.
Carl Jung considered that the unacceptable parts of the personality represented by the Shadow archetype were particularly likely to give rise to projection,
Projection works by allowing the expression of the desire or impulse, but in a way that the ego cannot recognize, therefore reducing anxiety.
The term compensation refers to a type of defence mechanism in which people overachieve in one area to compensate for failures in another.
It is defending ones inferiority by constantly mentioning or focusing on strengths in other areas.
For example, individuals with poor family lives may direct their energy into excelling above and beyond what is required at work.
Or a person with a lack of academic skills focussing and excelling on sports or music
While compensation is often portrayed in a negative light, it can have positive effects in some cases. Alfred Adler suggested whenever people experience feelings of inferiority, they automatically experience a compensatory need to strive for superiority. As a result, people may push themselves to overcome their weaknesses and achieve their goals.
Reaction formation reduces anxiety by taking up the opposite feeling, impulse or behaviour. An example of reaction formation would be treating someone you strongly