Degrading A Person Because You Feel Bad

8th house astrology death2“You feel bad about yourself, so you’re degrading me,” I said.

This is a common scenario but few are aware of it (on either side of the equation). Having grown up with a packed 8th house and a parent who had Pluto opposing their Sun, I can tell you a lot about this. A person gets to feeling bad – they’ve just got to degrade someone near them. This is a survival mechanism.

You can see this clearly, when someone launches venomous attack against a loved one or an associate or even a celebrity they’ve never met.

If a person does this, it’s their problem. But it is also the problem of the person they degrade if that person internalizes what is said about them.

Have you ever seen someone mad or disgusted with themselves be mad and disgusted with you? When you are venting your spleen on someone, do you ever consider the idea that you might be the shadow figure? 

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Degrading A Person Because You Feel Bad — 66 Comments

  1. “Have you ever seen someone mad or disgusted with themselves be mad and disgusted with you?” Yeah, sun conjunct pluto and mercury…took me forever to figure out wth was going on.

    and this: But it is also the problem of the person they degrade if that person internalizes what is said about them–is what I’m working on. It messed up my head so badly that I didn’t know what the truth was anymore..as in how the person actually felt about me. And, I told them that because after each episode they would apologize and I was just supposed to let it go away but my head was too busy spinning over which part they really meant. As in, “I love you with all my heart” or “You are a selfish delusional c-word”
    I didn’t know what the hell to believe so I just told them I wasn’t going to believe ANYTHING they said. Boundary thing for me. Saturn in Libra is determined to grind this til its very last day in my life, I’m guessing.

  2. And as for the last part of your question, I guess there is purpose in everything somehow. I learned about the projection of my own shadow through this experience. Before, not a clue.

  3. My older brother explained this to me when I was eight years old and came home crying after being bullied at school. Understanding this dynamic has saved me a lot of grief over the years, and I try really hard not to take my shit out on other people. Working customer service you see this a LOT. I try to just let it slide like water off a duck’s back.

  4. I have had this done to me. I don’t know if I have done it someone else.

    I find it hard to take even though you know “it’s them not you.” I still have to deal with the situation.

  5. I am so glad you brought this subject up Elsa! I am right in the middle of this issue right now, with my husband. I have wanted to leave the marriage for some time now, but for some reason my instincts kept telling me ‘not yet’. I understand why now.
    I have come to realize that all his anger, and hurts he puts on me, are his hurts he has yet to deal with in his life. I am to the point after our therapy session yesterday, that he either starts dealing and healing, or I am as good as gone. I am no longer tolerating anymore, boundary lines have been drawen. Life is to short to keep putting up with BS.

    Me-pluto transiting 1st house=feeling my power and mastering it!

    Him-Pluto transiting his 12th house=he is not liking it!

  6. Hell yes. I’ve experienced this all my life. People who don’t have Pluto tend not to believe it, either.

    Great post.

  7. Oh yeah, I recognize this. Both sides, unfortunately. Trying to un-believe all the things said -that I thought I’d rejected- that I recently realized I’ve believed for most of my life. Gaaah!

  8. Yes, on both sides of the equation. Although I identify more as the underdog, which may or may not be right. It was when I was a child but now I don’t know. I hope I’m not turning into the same sort of monster the adults around me were, ha.

  9. Yes I have had this happen to me. I have also internalized it. I had no idea it had to do with me having Pluto. Pluto in Virgo, I’m a Virgo Sun and Virgo asc. Fortunately, I have recently realized that it wasn’t about me. Still moping up the damage. I’m a slow learner for someone with so much Mercury.

  10. Elsa, what do you think it is about being Plutonian or strongly 8th house that draws this out? I have often thought about it. I have a strong pluto (full 8th) and I have often been the bearer of other people’s projections and “dumping”. But what specifically is at work?

    Is it that we embody our shadow more visibly, or is that we are clearly survivors of our own emotional, psychological and existential troubles (for the most part)? I’m curious.

  11. Over the years and after studying astrology for some time, I’ve come to understand that my experience with being “dumped” on or having lots of crap projected onto me is connected to having a lot of water in my chart (Moon in Cancer, Mars in Pisces, Neptune aspects). Water absorbs which is great for intuition, insight, and compassion; not so great when surrounded by negativity. I’ve observed that other signs/elements have other/better ways of handling some phenomena: fire will defend, air will detach or be objective, earth being more dense will just simply deflect. Water soaks it all in. Have had to learn to set strong boundaries in order to protect myself so that I don’t become “loaded up” with stuff that is not mine…

  12. My ex husband had the Sun conjunct Pluto and Mercury in Leo. He had Mars and Jupiter square Pluto. He also had Saturn conjunct Neptune. I could never be good enough for him and he let me know it. It took years, but I eventually figured out it wasn’t me, it was his own insecurity. He was so afraid I would leave him that he constantly tried to make me think I could never succeed on my own – whether it was at work (I had to work in the same place as he did so he could keep an eye on me) or school (I took classes and he would sign up for the same classes). For a long time I bought into his delusion that I was a broken person. When I figured out that wasn’t true and started building my self esteem, he couldn’t handle it and left me. I spent years trying to figure out who I really was and how I really felt. I’m in my mid-60’s now and I think I’m FINALLY coming into my own – better late than never, I guess.

  13. Always thought I was just trying to destroy the thing in the other that is what I didn’t like about myself.

    The strangest one is the cheating man who beats me up for cheating, when I haven’t cheated. What up with that.

  14. I have worked with the public almost all my life, so yes I have experienced this a lot. They are miserable and hey here is this gal who has to be nice to the public let’s go shit on her! I usually shut down and disconnect when this happened. As I have gotten older it doesn’t happen as much.

    Oh when I feel like venting or unleashing on someone, there is that thought in the very back of my mind, that says “the things that irritate you about others is usually a reflection of yourself” yikes! Sometimes I pay attention to it other times I squash down the voice.

  15. I get this a lot…and yes, sometimes I dish it out.
    But I will say that even in the moment I’m usually pretty clear about what self-issues I’m wrestling with. At least, I’m aware of the ones I’m aware of…it is entirely possible that there’s a range of trickier deeply hidden ones of which I’m unaware in the moment.

  16. Yes, often the person who is mad and disgusted with themselves takes it out on me.

    I rarely vent on someone so when I do I know it’s my own shite and try to figure out what’s going on.

  17. Here is something cool: The person I said that to, said, “You’re right, I am, I’m sorry”.

    That was pretty sweet.

  18. “Having grown up with a packed 8th house and a parent who had Pluto opposing the Sun, I can you a lot about this.”

    Because it happened to you with the packed 8th and the parent with Pluto/Sun?

  19. pearl, yes. A person with Pluto opposing their Sun is going to project their shadow and if there happens to be a second person ’round with a packed 8th house, you can bet they’ll be selected. It’s just nature. It’s astrology.

  20. oh so you’re saying that Pluto/Sun has the tendency to project not be projected on? I thought you meant both have the tendency to be projected on

  21. I am sorry, Pearl. I said exactly what I meant and no more, and no less. I don’t know how to be any clearer.

  22. I guess I can see how when I was younger this may ring true (Sun opposite Pluto rising in 12th) It’s really complex when I think about it though, knowing my own nature and all. I would like to propose that I had that tendency because I would feel bad due to be projected on as well, granted I also have an 8th house Mars and predominantly Mars & Plutionian chart. I would like to say through wisdom and awareness thanks to disciplines like Yoga that I have invited more compassion into my life (to myself and to others).

  23. You were clear, it just wasn’t clear initially. Initially it wasn’t clear that you meant one was projecting onto the other, but rather both were subject to being projected on in general.

  24. I shouldn’t of put a question mark at the end of that; it was more of a – Ah, I see what you were implying now.

  25. Ok I noticed this big time! Its out of insecurity and what not. Its an ugly emotion. I hardly ever make fun of a celebrity out of spite. Its really annoying. But I am guilty of making a joke when the timing is right about a person who is ridiculous.

  26. the big challenge is how to decommission the plutonic energies that you attract. my grandfather, my father and my expartner all had sun square pluto, so there must have been a lovely lesson to learn from it for me. getting older and learning to read the signals better and better, and with my libra asc conj libra venus, i always try to be gentle and firm, ‘love the sinner but not the sin’. kindness is such a hard weapon to beat…

    • “the big challenge is how to decommission the plutonic energies that you attract.”

      Maybe, but I don’t see it that way. Even if this is possible, energy is too useful (to me), I would not want to render it mute.

      • This relates in my mind to the topic of viewing energy and the nice disease. Viewing, taking it as is, appreciating it no matter how raw versus trying make it all smooth so the machine works properly.

  27. Hang on a minute – so the person being dumped on is the Plutonian, or the person spewing venom is Plutonian?

    • “Hang on a minute – so the person being dumped on is the Plutonian, or the person spewing venom is Plutonian?”
      Both.

  28. I have a packed 8th house, but I also have a sun-pluto opposition.
    I do a fair bit of projection, I admit.. but others dumping their shadow side on me, not too much. There are times when people are in a bad mood and so their actions and words can be rude and irrational to just about everybody, not just me, so I don’t count that as me being projected on.

  29. Do you mean that it’s the Plutonian who will be looking for someone to dump their stuff on?

    Because I have a natal Mercury Pluto conjunction (yeah, I know) and upon further scrutiny, have realized — and no professional astrologer has ever bothered to mention to me — that I have a Venus-Pluto semisextile as well, but *this* guy …

    I’ve become … let’s just say I have recently been somewhat life-involved with a gentleman with a Sun-Pluto opposition (and am in the active process of attempting to extricate myself), and I have rarely before seen such projection in. my. life — and I know a *lot* of Scorpios (he’s an Aries sun *sigh*).

    With the bonus of him being completely, and I mean, absolutely, unaware, apparently, that this is something he does — in part I suspect because I’ve never seen anyone else in his life call him on it (I’ve never seen someone – other than my mom or dad, of course – so surrounded by a bunch of enablers, either, but that’s what charisma can do for you, I guess) .. and further, he lies to himself — and me, who is in a “one-down” position from him if we’re going to talk about cultural privilege (he is white and male; I am neither) — about “wanting to learn”.

    He owes me money, if you’re wondering why I’m even staying around (fee for services, not any kind of loan … I’m a Virgo; even that entranced, I would never. It’s either go through two more rounds of sorcererbaggery or walk out on the money, neither of which is the most appealing prospect. Open to suggestions for alternatives, certainly).

  30. My sister’s husband and stepchildren recently left her because she is a ranting bat-shit crazy person. I have avoided her completely, then the other day on Facebook I made the mistake of replying on a thread she was also on (a mother shaved the hair off her teenager because her teenager had made fun of someone with cancer- I had replied that I didn’t think that bullying the bully was helpful); she started “outing” my past issues with my son on FB saying “maybe she should have just BIT him” blahblahblah. You have no idea how badly I wanted to respond with “outing” the fact that her husband couldn’t stand her, nor her stepchildren. But I didn’t. She’s sick in the head, vomiting up her self-hatred on who she can. What kills me is that these people don’t possess a SHRED of self-examination ability; it’s as if self-examination is to be avoided at all costs. SMH, SMH.

  31. My oldest son was just talking about this a week ago. He said we are on the hit list because he feels bad about what he ‘hasn’t done with himself’. He said you and I are the whipping dogs right now. And we will be until he accomplishes something that makes him feel better. He said do you think he called me to tell me I was basically trash because he thought I was the one that is trash? Do you think he has drug you through ditches for the last three years because you were the one that needed it?

    Sometimes your child has to point out the obvious. Doesn’t make me feel any better about it. But, helps to understand it.

  32. I’ve been familiar with this dynamic, because it was the prime factor (there were extra factors, just for extra “creativity”) that chewed an irreparable hole in the relationship I had with my kid’s dad. Toxic, very, really, toxic to getting along with someone – and I have a high tolerance for other people’s quirks. I cut people slack. But this was a frequently recurring, denied (unconscious, maybe, or lying period) pattern. Live and learn. I wouldn’t be with my current sweetheart, if that relationship hadn’t ended. 🙂

  33. Just cut my losses today with a really narcisstic friend. It was scary how Donald Trump-ish she acted, so yeah…. Def. get what you say. It came like an attack out of nowhere, just because she felt provoked by a Facebook post I wrote.

    Looking back it’s always been this way, and I am glad I set a limit and amputated her out of my life. Phew. Hardball while Uranus finished up my 3rd house these days and opposes Venus!

  34. As Scorpio with Capricorn Asc, and Sun conjunct Saturn in X opposing Moon in IV, I’m constantly aware of the dynamic. To be honest, it is a messy job, even after years of psychotherapy (yes, my former psychotherapist was also one of the people who did that). It is not always easy to see what has everyone been doing to contribute to the situation. Also having packed XII house (Venus conj. Neptune, and Jupiter) makes me very vulnerable to the undercurrents and enmeshment. My self-esteem was really acquired by hard work 🙂

    • Glad to hear that I’m not the only one that that happens to in therapy. Thank God it was only one therapist, for me! I’m a sensitive person (Pisces Sun).

  35. Oh just a tad (lol) and I internalized it too. I have Sun/Pluto/Lilith conjunct Midheaven. I think part of it is the transmutation of energy thing. Ive learned that you can give me ANYTHING, and Ill figure out something to learn from it. Internalizing is not the best use.

  36. This is happening to me so much lately. I am thinking of ending my relationship because of how much my partner has been dumping on me because of his own insecurities around his problems and troubles these days . I just don’t like the fact my children can see it. I can handle separating the feelings and telling him this is your shit not mine. But its a lot harder for kids to understand. and he isn’t their father we aren’t married Im seriously thinking Is would walk. Pluto hits every planet in my chart. He has scorpio Venus conj Uranus and Pluto conjunct midheaven thats the only plutoniun energy I can see…but he loves to blame and project and lately degrade to make himself feel better!

  37. If I don’t like someone, it is sometimes because they are a self-important pontificator, who thinks they are the authority on every issue under the sun because they are so much more special than everyone else and can grasp subjects that no one else they are speaking to ever though of (sarcasm) and they don’t see it in themselves at all or at least they can’t control themselves from trying to force others to listen to their principles, as if unconsciously, they wish to dominate thrm by forcing them on others, (pluto) all while claiming that is not what they are doing. I have a lot of 9th house and Sag energy also, so that may have something to do with the “dark side” of that energy that I hate in myself as well, but that I recognize in myself. I think its more my plutonian side that has an urge to bring this out into the light for others. But really, it’s that I can’t see another way to cause them to transform. I am not extremely mean but I have been known on occasion to plant little seeds.
    It is not a perfect expression of my energy. I am working on it. It’s a combination of my Pisces, 8th house, and 9th house energy. I have Pluto opp Venus.

    • I also never forget when someone patronizes me, even if it happened long ago. That is the worst offense anyone can do in my book. These kinds of slights get under my skin, even though they are usually not done deliberately. I am sure that is something I also do to people sometimes by accident. I think it is my shadow. Pluto/Sarurn H3 opp Venus. Hmmm. Thanks for helping me see that.

      Patronizing is usually a side effect of the type of behavior I wrote about above.

        • Right…makes it all the more shadowy. But it’s uncanny sometimes how when you have a breakthrough, answers come almost immediately– after writing this, I was doing an assignment for class, in which we we have to watch a Beck Institute video on cognitive restructuring and then write about it. The video mentions the Buddhist meditative practice “Loving Kindness” in which, in short, a person accepts a person the way they are and then applies that same loving kindness to themselves. Gonna try it…

  38. i didnt realize it’s a survival mechanism when people degrade. It sure feels bad and icky when you’re their shadow though. One thing i told myself i’d never do, to my children, or anyone i love. I asked my son and my sisters this and they said that’s one thing i dont/have never done; so awareness does help. Or maybe being the blunt of other people’s pain, i realize i dont like it, it hurts so why would i do the same to others? Also it might explain why i dont always feel good about myself or confident, or that i am overconfident, pretending to be confident when deep down i’m insecure. Like over compensating. who knows. The human mind can really be damaged over time if it’s not taken care of and healed. Hurting others is very damaging, and a person can be broken that way.Just think if you abuse an animal, or any living thing, what they become over time. Or you give it love, it’s a simple concept but it’s hard.

  39. I have no idea why this happens to 4 generations of my family including me. I have Scorpio Pluto on the first house and also Scorpio Moon/Saturn in the 2nd. Everyone especially extended family just LOVES and obsessively announces to the world how horrible we are even though we don’t a thing. We’re always used as scapegoats for everyone else’s faults and guilts. What the heck?? My immediate family is very Pisces martyrdom type of family, very giving, self-sacrificing, give money to the poor, have a healing business, taking care of other people’s children, etc. and then the people we help or serve…treats us like crap and degrades us every chance they get. What’s wrong with people?? My Scorpio planets likes to dig up dirt and evidence on those people that degrade us and I put it on social media how much they embezzled from my family or how poorly they lied about a story from the screenshot of texts I publish. Lol degrading the wrong people….. I dig out skeletons from the closet for fun!

  40. I really enjoyed reading this. I think there is a flip side to this too, I mean projection of good qualities on others that one does not recognize in themselves. Take gurus or rock stars or twin flames for example. People not seeing their own inner wisdom, or awesomeness, or whatever and “dumping” it on others. I like thinking Pluto has a lovely side as well. When I feel good about myself it’s like I’m in love with everyone. And of course when I mad I would gladly end humanity project.

    Wide Sun-Pluto square.

    I’m curious about people’s Pluto opposing my Sun. My mother had Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Leo opposing my Aqua Sun, and certainly I was a shadow person for some of her frustrations but am I not projecting my own insecurities on her too and cast her as a bad mother? That’s not liberating.

    • Btw, I used to be irked by Leo types. How dare they feel so special as if the world and everyone belong to them? Aren’t we all equal? Recently I realized that feeling special also immense virtue. If I don’t feel special how can I even choose differently than others? If we are all equal then we’re living the same lives and are supposed to keep a low profile. The concept of being special is like permission to choose differently, to be unlike others, to break with what society dictates and succeed anyway. We Aquas need Leos to keep us in check and help us reach for the stars.

  41. At work today( I work in retail) I had a costomer that was so vile towards his wife. They where shopping for a 3rd party and he spoke over her, complained about pricing, said to her he should have done it by himself instead. It was so absurd my reaction was to end even looking at him , I just conversed and looked at her.She was so stoic through it , probably used to it ,but it did not seem to affect her at all. His critique of her was so extreme, but it seemed like she handled it so well. We have a celler backroom and when I went down there to get their product I told my coworkers – if this was my partner I would kill them with scissors through the neck. Even my sweetest coworker agreed.

  42. My (now elderly) dad has a t-square involving his Sun + Pluto + Uranus. A lifelong history of sudden and violent explosions attacking and degrading me, the only Plutonian in the family.

    I don’t know what he’s come to understand about this and about himself (we don’t talk about it), but I know for a fact he has been trying real hard the last few years to “control” his outbursts. I respect him for that.

    Having the benefit of astrology to shed light on the dynamics between us helps me better handle our interactions (my part especially) and to be more compassionate (and humble).

    • Oh. And his Sun+MC in Scorpio? They are smack atop my Neptune. He doesn’t even SEE me when he “loses it”. He’s just STABBING AWAY MADLY IN THE DARK and I just happen to be there, except he can’t see “me”. I guess it’s his projected issues he is “seeing”, in the fogged up mirror that I happen to be.

  43. A great post and comments. I have to keep reminding myself of this.
    I have Mercury and Moon in Scorpio and I think I have always KNOWN this. Nevertheless, I have been guilty and in return also a victim of it.

    A couple of days ago I ran across a beautiful quote by Nikita Gill :
    „If you have been brutally broken, but still have the courage to be gentle to others, then you deserve a love deeper than the ocean itself.“

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