I'm looking for a word or short expression that might be used in place of projecting.
By projecting I'm talking about the phenomenon of how a person might misinterpret a person or situation by placing their own experience/emotion/motive into it. This is a loosened version of the original concept from psychology, which requires that they are also denying this property in themselves. Would it be invalid to use the word projecting in this way (even colloquially)?
So, one might say that an especially cynical/idealistic person projects their own attitudes by believing most other people are equally cynical/idealistic. Or someone might feel provoked by reading another's text message and project by mistakenly believe them to be very agitated as well.
If this is me going too far away from what the word was originally meant to be, is there an alternative? In fact, I wish I could go even further away: I want to describe a misinterpretation of emotions/motive/etc. caused by the influence of one's own emotions, experiences, or point of view.
So, is there a word for when someone is failing to empathize, while alluding that something is clouding the interpretation, the same way projecting does?
Here are some more examples where I wish I had a word such as projecting to use as a descriptor:
- A dog's resting face might look like a human smile, causing many to say that it is happy, even if the dog is not displaying any real happiness.
- Carl overhears a group of friends passionately arguing a topic with loud voices. While the group is actually enjoying their discussion, Carl is only able to recognize it as hostility and thinks they are fighting.
- (This one might be reaching a little:) Mia is convinced nobody playing cricket is doing it for fun; it bored her half to death when she tried it herself!