Projection: A Gaslighter’s Signature Technique
Whatever the gaslighter/narcissist is or whatever he is doing, he will assign those characteristics or behaviors to you. It’s done almost to comedic effect – if it wasn’t so potentially damaging to your career. At work, your gaslighting/narcissistic boss will write on your performance review that you are always late. However, you are punctual to a fault – it’s your boss who consistently shows up late. Your coworker accuses you of hacking into their laptop – however, you have seen him lurking around your laptop when he thought you couldn’t see him. Your kleptomaniac cubemate is constantly accusing you of stealing things off her desk.
In a relationship, the gaslighter/narcissist will constantly accuse you of cheating. He will check your phone, barrage you with questions when you are 30 minutes late from work, even have you followed. You have given no signs that you are cheating, yet your gaslighting/narcissist partner brings up your supposed cheating all the time. However, as is the case with many gaslighters/narcissists, they are actually are doing the cheating (McNulty and Widman, 2014). When you confront the gaslighter/narcissist about his cheating, he turns it around on you and says you are accusing him because you are one really doing the cheating. The gaslighter/narcissist continues his game of projection- now using it as a strategy to deflect from being caught.