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Projection Theory (also explaining all the wolves)
Nightflame
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Post: #1
Projection Theory (also explaining all the wolves)
I like to think about psychological causes of therianthropy, since I do not believe it to be something one is born with/something spiritual. After some time of thinking, I have come up with a possible explanation, which at least works for my case.

My idea is, that identifying as something other than human is a projection of the human mind (If you're familiar with it, Feuerbach used a similar approach trying to explain religion on a psychological level).
I mean that there was at least one experience of a person, that made them feel weak. Maybe other kids were mean to them or they were always alone, problems at home, physical/emotional abuse...there's a ton of things that can happen in someone's life that makes one feel powerless, weak and afraid.
From this feeling, the brain usually develops a coping mechanism. It might shut-off, develop DID, give the person anxiety etc.
I believe that therianthropy develops as a coping mechanism. For things many of us might not even remember.

Getting to the part, that many wonder about: Why so many wolves? Why dragons and overall strong creatures, which are mostly feared among humans?
I think it's because those animals we see irl or portrayed as strong in media, make us feel powerful. They give us something to latch onto while/after facing harsh situations. It is an inner projection of our self onto a stronger being. A wolf for example can run fast, has strong muscles and could easily defend itself by biting and scratching. It often has a loyal pack that will always be there for it. It is feared by humans.

If people who did you wrong would see that strong animal side of you, they'd be scared and have respect of you and never dare to hurt you again. When we feel weak -or different- because of others, we want to escape that feeling. We need something to help us feel strong again. Many people have their family or friends to tell when they need help, and if all goes well they get the help they need to feel okay again.
Not everyone has that. Not everyone can ask for help. Not everyone gets it when they need it.
If that is the case, your brain will find another way to cope. Be it aggressions, antisocial behavior or feeling that you are an animal born into the wrong body, the wrong life.

To sum it up:
I believe therianthropy develops out of trauma (or just feeling weak) and leads to the feeling that you do not belong into this life and are something different from those other people that did you wrong, usually something stronger.

As a reminder: It is just a theory of mine, not a fact. It is what I find most rational and believable among the theories I have read so far. It is also not an attack or criticism of therianthropy in any way. I am a therian myself and don't think of it as something bad in any way. I think it's amazing to be able to see the word from this angle and be far more open-minded than 'normies'. I hope this gets some people to think and theorize for themselves.

Have a great day, stay yourself. Awoo
2022-05-02 12:56
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Pushy zver
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Post: #2
RE: Projection Theory (also explaining all the wolves)
how does this explain my phantom ears and tail?

My native language is russian, and I use a translator.
...and because of the difference in dialects, I may sound rude.
2022-05-02 13:22
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CanineCaiden
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Post: #3
RE: Projection Theory (also explaining all the wolves)
When I tod my parents that I rejoined the community, they were worried.
I wasn't in a very good mental place when I first got into the community and they were worried that I was grasping onto an alterhuman identity again to escape reality.

Truth is, I took a break because I needed to focus on my gender identity. And I was living in survival mode for a while...

I don't necessarily dislike the coping mechanism theory, it sounds quite believable, but the issue I have is that it souns like copinglink... aka choosing an animal to identify as. (It's often not seen as part of the alterhuman community.)

For me, the theory is very plausible, I never chose to be a therian. (Having a pretty common thereotype doesn't help feeling like an imposter...)

The "weak and strong" part feels a bit subjective, it's different for everybody (DUH CAIDEN! It's a theory from someone's own experiences!). I first thought I was a red panda, which isn't one of the strongest out there.

Thank you for sharing your theory!

▼△▼△▼△▼△▼

Don't you know I'm still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid ↺


Caiden + he/him + 16 + wolfdog
2022-05-02 13:46
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Nightflame
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Post: #4
RE: Projection Theory (also explaining all the wolves)

(2022-05-02 13:22)Pushy zver Wrote:  how does this explain my phantom ears and tail?


I see it as a part of the coping. The human mind is incredibly strong, and I can imagine that through (even unconscious) projection, those things become part of your experience. It's part of what you identify as. I's a part of you.


(2022-05-02 13:46)CanineCaiden Wrote:  I don't necessarily dislike the coping mechanism theory, it sounds quite believable, but the issue I have is that it souns like copinglink... aka choosing an animal to identify as. (It's often not seen as part of the alterhuman community.)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
I understand your point and admit, even though I knew about copinglink very long ago, I forgot about it. Maybe it shaped my theory subconsciously...

Though, in my theory, I don't mean that someone chooses an animal. I believe it happens subconsciously. When I felt bad, I didn't exactly choose to not feel emotions anymore. It just happened. Though of course, you also make a lot of choices in situations like those.

(2022-05-02 13:46)CanineCaiden Wrote:  The "weak and strong" part feels a bit subjective, it's different for everybody (DUH CAIDEN! It's a theory from someone's own experiences!). I first thought I was a red panda, which isn't one of the strongest out there.


Yes, it is quite subjective. You made a really good point; I'll think about it more!
Maybe I could leave out the "strong" part and instead just focus on the "wrong life" part.
Then I'll have to think about how the specific theriotypes happen tho... Really interesting.

Thank you for pointing out mistakes and help me think deeper and include more experiences in my theory!

(This post was last modified: 2022-05-02 14:07 by Nightflame.)
2022-05-02 13:59
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Vintage
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Post: #5
RE: Projection Theory (also explaining all the wolves)
This is actually fairly common idea about the possible causations of psychological therianthropy. There are several therians out of a traumatic instance that will openly admit it is a coping mechanism. Often it goes on for so long that it does become apart of their identity even post recovery (in the case of a few therians I knew over the years who went through some awful things)..

As far as kintypes being based on a media-popular animal (wolves, big felines and other obvious predators), this is one of the harder things to answer given how prevalent it is. Not everyone purposefully picks their kintype(s), at least that's not how discovering a kintype normally happens. Yet I do know peer pressure exists, and the desire to fit in exists. I myself am a wolf (despite being not quite a fan of canines at times), and I am also a changeling type creature that most earth-based therians might consider "OP"...so I can only say so much on such an ongoing topic. I also know people who thought they were wolves and years later they figure they were not a wolf at all.
Yes I do think media might have an influence, especially over young therians.

**Timber wolf therian-- Zhuardarian changeling-- horse/crow hearted**

*~Being kin is a journey of finding yourself, losing yourself, searching and doing it all over again.~*

-Deviantart/Tumblr: Thebridgebeyond-
2022-05-02 15:57
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Nightflame
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Post: #6
RE: Projection Theory (also explaining all the wolves)
Thanks @Vintage for your thoughts on this!

I didn't mean media in the sense of looking at a wolf and saying "I want to be this, cause it's strong" but a subconscious thing of how "OP" these animals and creatures are portrayed in media. Picking your kin/theriotype is not how it works, as you said. I just think our surroundings, especially in younger years, might have a big subconscious influence on our mind, also about things unrelated to otherkin.

Everyone has their own experiences, so thank you for telling me/us yours. I hope I will be able to think of more possible psychological explanations for therianthropy, which include the experiences of many therians. I want to make people think and question and ask "Why?" as much as possible. Question everything!

Awoo
2022-05-02 19:01
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Velvet
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Post: #7
RE: Projection Theory (also explaining all the wolves)
I can see this being a possibility for some, but not all.

I don't think it would explain my therianthropy. As a child I hated the feline part of myself. It was something I didn't understand (having not yet found the community and not knowing anyone else experienced what I did), I thought I was crazy, I hated feeling non-human because it made me so different. Being therian was the cause of a lot of stress and trauma during my childhood. I tried to bury and suppress it until it almost broke me.
It would have been an awful coping mechanism... I had to develop coping mechanisms to deal with my therianthropy. Tongue

Velvet & Torahmi
May Lady Luck smile upon you
:lynx:
2022-05-02 20:07
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Nightflame
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Post: #8
RE: Projection Theory (also explaining all the wolves)
Thank you @Velvet gor sharing your experience.

That is very helpful for me to hear. I‘m glad to be able to share my theories and get responses from people who tell me their story. It helps me to see the situation from as many angles as possible. Before joining this community, I had only my own experience to theorize with. Now people like you help me to build potential theories including as many experiences as possible!

Your story is a good point. It definitely shows, that my theory is not applicable to everyone. Makes sense, I mean, everyone‘s experiences ist so different from the next.

I hope you‘re better now and finding this community has helped you copeSmile
Wish you all the best<3
2022-05-03 4:51
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Velvet
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Post: #9
RE: Projection Theory (also explaining all the wolves)
@Nightflame Thank you and yes, don't worry, I'm a lot better these days. Smile Finding the online community was certainly a huge turning point in my life.

I agree it is very interesting to hear others' experiences and perspectives.

Velvet & Torahmi
May Lady Luck smile upon you
:lynx:
2022-05-04 21:05
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little wolf
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Post: #10
RE: Projection Theory (also explaining all the wolves)
I personally know my therianthropy is not a coping mechanism because my trauma happened because of it. Before that, I never had anything particularly bad in my life, and my animal tendencies were still there. My animal behaviors are there in home movies my parents shot before I was fully forming memories (cause I don't remember it). I definitely accept the coping mechanism and other psychological causes as one origin point for therianthropy though, just not in all cases.

One theory that could potentially explain my theriantrhopy in psychological terms could be that my parents (to my knowledge) never really tried to "correct" my more animalistic behavior when I was real young. I obviously don't remember that part of my childhood, and I've never really talked to my parents about it, but I have to wonder if maybe because they didn't try to teach me different or maybe even enabled my behavior as parents do with kids, I know have extremely strong animalistic instincts? I still don't know if that totally explains why I first developed animal tendencies in the first place... this is something that kind of just occurred to me, haven't really had much time to think about it, so trying to explain it might not be totally coherent.


As far as your theory with the brain subconsciously "choosing" strong animals, I found it super interesting. It's not something that had occurred to me, but does make some sense.

Power is knowledge of the inner self
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2022-05-05 3:09
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