A wise man I know, Dick Nodell, once said to me 99% of what people think about others in this world is projection. In other words, what other people think of you is not necessarily who you are, it’s their projection of you.
Think of this in terms of movie stars. We project all sorts of things onto celebrities, because of how they look, the characters they play, etc. Whatever these projections may be, their personal lives are sometimes seriously different from what people project onto them. The stars get in trouble when they start to believe too many of the projections, or experience the disconnect between who they really are, and what people believe they are.
We fool ourselves when we believe the projections we put onto others.
So how to combat this constant projecting?