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The Untold Story Behind A Narcissist’s Projection

Untold Story Behind Narcissist Projection

“Narcissistic projection is psychological manipulation to deny their own faults as they can never be held accountable, instead they accuse those around them.” – Elizabeth Shaw

Have you ever been told by a narcissist that you are too self-centered, or has a cheating partner accused you of sneaking around? We’re discussing the narcissist’s preferred defense mechanism. You probably guessed it. Projection. Did you know there are different kinds? I will explain the two types of projection and what this defense protects the narcissist from.

They’re concealing something, even from themselves, and it’s probably more severe than you realize. Do you remember the scene at the end of Titanic where Rose clung to the door to save herself from drowning?

That is how a narcissist clings to defense mechanisms like projection. As much as I hate to say it, if you’re stuck with a narcissist, you’re not Rose. You are Jack. There’s no room for you. I realize that was harsh. It’s also true. I’ve been there and nearly drowned from the emotional mess caused by some very toxic hope.

We’ve already discussed projection as a defense mechanism, a Freudian concept. Freud believed that people use projection to protect themselves from things they can’t handle. Projection is one of many defenses in a narcissist’s arsenal, but it is the most common. Narcissists aren’t the only ones who use projection. Everyone does.

Related: Blame Shifting And Narcissist Projection: Beware Of Projection, A Blame-Shifting Tactic Of The Extreme Narcissist

After The Dust Has Settled, A Narcissist Will Double Down.

It’s just that someone who isn’t a narcissist will eventually reflect on themselves and realize they need to heal. It may take some time, but most people eventually arrive. Just because you notice someone using projection and it’s obvious doesn’t mean they’re a narcissist. Just watch how they react when you call them out in the heat of the moment.

Anyone can maintain their momentum, but does it appear that they can self-reflect when things calm down? If that’s the case, this is probably the last time you’ll have to deal with that projection because they’re now aware of it. A narcissist, on the other hand, will double down even after the dust has settled in the argument, claiming that it wasn’t them, it was you, period.

The first and most common type is an outright accusation. This could be an accusation of something. The narcissist is, for example, a cheater. It could represent apprehension about what others think of them.

For example, if their biggest fear is that people will think they’re poor, or freeloaders, they’ll project that onto you. This could be something true about you, or it could be entirely out of the left field. When something is so far off the mark, it’s extremely perplexing at first. However, once you understand projection, it becomes much clearer.

narcissistic projection
Dealing with narcissistic projection

The Narcissist Can Also Effectively Change You Into Them.

The second projection type occurs when the narcissist effectively transforms you into them. It’s when they purposefully cause what’s known as reactive abuse to make you look like the bad guy.

Reactive abuse occurs when a narcissist pushes a person to their breaking point. We all have one. This is when you may act entirely out of character, making you appear to be the abusive one.

However, even if it appears to be abusive on the surface, reactive abuse is not abuse. It is, as the name suggests, a reaction to abuse. Still, the behavior or reaction may be unacceptable, and we are always responsible for our actions.

Even so, the reaction does not make you the abusive one. If you take the bait, this intentional triggering is a form of projection that you’ve accepted as your own. It’s also the most giant charade that narcissists can put on. Unfortunately, because they know your triggers and have you feeling emotionally tethered to them, they’re very good at getting you to react.

Because your reactive behavior is out of character and appears out of control, you feel bad about yourself, don’t you? That is the narcissist projecting their feelings onto you.

On the surface, the narcissist’s behavior is obvious. They’re cheating, so they accuse you of it. They’re abusive, so they’re experts at creating situations where they can play the victim and point the finger at you. I’m not abusive, you see. You are. We know they’re hiding their ugly feelings because those aspects of themselves don’t support their false persona.

As I previously stated, there is more to it than that. It’s not just the behaviors they’re hiding; it’s the shame they feel behind it.

Related: Narcissist Projection: Why Do Narcissists Project Their Wounds Onto You?

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Common Ego

When Christina was finally able to acknowledge the emotional abuse in her own life, she began a crazy journey that started with some pretty intense research, and somewhat surprisingly, ended with self-discovery. On this journey, she learned and healed more than she could have possibly imagined. It left her thankful for the experience and compelled her to start conversations about identifying emotional abuse, spiritual growth that can occur as a result, and healing from it all, by shifting the focus within.View Author posts

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