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. Continue reading “Projection: A Gaslighter’s Signature Technique”

5 Ways Narcissists Project and Attack You

Whenever a narcissistic person feels threatened, they will call you the things that they themselves are as or are afraid that others see them as. And then they will try to stalk you, slander you, or discredit you. They will try to sabotage and destroy you. They will start a smear campaign and attempt character assassination. In their mind, frighteningly, you have become their mortal enemy.

They also have no problem doing all of it preemptively and calling it defense.

So if you privately call them out, set healthier boundaries, or end the relationship, they may be afraid that you can see their flaws, or that you will tell others what kind of person they are. Whether you do that or not is not important to them. Because in their mind the mere possibility of it is a good enough excuse to label you as an enemy. And because a narcissistic type of person has little or no empathy, they may imagine that you will behave as they would in these situations. If they would lie, or more likely are already lying, they will accuse you of lying.

And so they will do all these things just because they think you are somehow trying to or might hurt them. They also will accuse you of the very things they themselves are doing.

Source: 5 Ways Narcissists Project and Attack You


Malicious or Mentally Ill?

Results of a psychological evaluation of Donald showed him to be a stable individual without any mental disorder. Psychological testing showed him as “wanting to avoid antagonistic confrontations” and as “somewhat more forgiving than the average child custody litigant.”  Moreover, his scores did “not suggest any particular tendency to dichotomize people as being for him or against him.” 

Results of a psychological evaluation of Marcia were somewhat equivocal. On the positive side, testing showed that she was empathic, had a high degree of self-control, had a well-controlled temper and demonstrated no significant potential for antisocial behavior.  However, test scores showed, “When she feels threatened, her ideas may be oddly connected and possibly difficult to follow.”  Testing also indicated “persisting difficulties in being able to forgive and forget.”  Marcia was able to hold a highly responsible professional job and was able to take care of regular tasks of daily living. She was, however, manifesting symptoms of a “paranoid personality disorder.”


Examples of Malicious Parents

The idea of identifying a syndrome or mental disorder to explain the actions of extreme malicious behavior by parents during divorce arose from examples of vindictive parents in clinical and legal cases. Some of these behaviors include burning down the house of an ex-spouse, falsely accusing the other parent of abuse, or purposely interfering with planned parenting time.

In one particular example that could be called an instance of malicious parent syndrome, a mother told her children they could not afford food because their father had wasted all their money. In another, a parent repeatedly misinformed the other parent about school activities, so that the parent could not participate in the child’s school life. In all of these actions, the intent is to harm the other parent.

Posted in Antisocial Personality Disorder, Delusional Disorder, DESTRUCTIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDER, PERSONALITY DISORDERS

“Dissociative Identity Disorder” (DID) by the American Psychiatric Association

Research repeatedly finds that typical highly-dissociated (“fragmented”) people were subjected to extreme neglect, abuse, abandonment, or other trauma as young children. Their nurturance deprivations were profound. The great majority of us don’t have anywhere close to this degree of personality splitting – and do have some.


Research suggests a link between dark triad traits and victim signaling

Dark triad traits appear to be advantageous in some contexts.

In their recently published paper, Signaling Virtuous Victimhood as Indicators of Dark Triad Personalities, the authors suggest that Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy might be beneficial for obtaining resources.

In their introduction, they acknowledge that being viewed as a victim can lead to a loss of esteem and respect. But, they continue, in modern Western societies being a victim doesn’t always lead to undesirable outcomes. Sometimes, being a victim can increase one’s social status. And justify one’s claim to material resources.

Beyond measuring responses to questionnaires, they also had participants play a game. Basically, it was a coin flip game in which participants could win money if they won.

Researchers rigged the game so that participants could easily cheat. Participants could claim they won even if they didn’t, and thus obtain more money.

Victim signalers were more likely to cheat in this game. The researchers again found that these results held after controlling for ethnicity, gender, income, and other factors.

Regardless of personal characteristics, those who scored higher on dark triad traits were more likely to be victim signalers. And may be more likely to deceive others for material gain.

The researchers then ran a study testing whether people who score highly on victim signaling were more likely to exaggerate reports of mistreatment from a colleague to gain an advantage over them.

Still, alongside victims, there are social predators among us. In whatever milieu they find themselves in, they will enact the strategies that maximize the rewards of material resources, sex, or prestige.

People with dark triad traits will tailor their strategies to obtain these benefits, depending on their social environments.

Today, those with dark triad traits might find that the best way to extract rewards is by making a public spectacle of their victimhood and virtue.


Relationships of the Managing Emotions in Others Scale (MEOS)


The scales listed below were used in the correlation comparisons. Descriptive statistics for the scale scores and scale internal reliabilities are reported in the previously-published papers using these datasets (Austin and O’Donnell, 2013; Austin et al., 2014; Austin and Vahle, 2016).

Mini-markers (Saucier, 1994)

This set of 40 trait-descriptive adjectives provides scores on the Big Five dimensions of Neuroticism (N), Extraversion (E), Openness (O), Agreeableness (A), and Conscientiousness (C). Responses are on a five-point scale indicating how accurately the adjective describes the respondent, with end points very inaccurately, very accurately.

HEXACO-60 (Ashton and Lee, 2009)

This 60-item scale assesses the personality dimensions of Honesty-Humility (H), Emotionality (E), Extraversion (X), Agreeableness (A), Conscientiousness (C), and Openness (O). Responses are on a five-point scale with end points strongly disagree, strongly agree.

Mach IV (Christie and Geis, 1970)

This 20-item scale assesses Machiavellianism, with responses on a five-point scale with end points strongly disagree, strongly agree.

NPI-16 (Ames et al., 2006)

This scale has 16 forced-choice items assessing grandiose narcissism.

Hypersensitive narcissism scale (Hendin and Cheek, 1997)

This 10-item scale, assesses vulnerable narcissism, with responses on a five-point scale with end points strongly disagree, strongly agree.

Levenson self-report psychopathy scale (Levenson et al., 1995)

This scale assesses primary (16 items) and secondary (10 items) psychopathy in general population samples, with responses on a five-point scale with end points strongly disagree, strongly agree.

Trait EI

Results are reported for total scores on the 144-item TEIQue (Petrides, 2009) and the 30-item TEIQue-SF (Petrides and Furnham, 2006). These measures have a 7-point response scale with end points completely disagree, completely agree.

Table 5

Items selected for the MEOS-SF and MEOS-VSF.

MEOS itemItem numbers used in Tables ​Tables2,2​,33
43Enhance 1If someone is feeling anxious, I try to calm them down by talking with them.
38Enhance 2When someone is anxious about a problem, I try to help them work out a solution.
28Enhance 3If someone is anxious, I try to reassure them.
35Enhance 4When someone is under stress I try to boost their confidence in their ability to cope.
31Enhance 5When someone is unhappy, I show that I understand how they are feeling.
57Enhance 6If someone has a problem I offer to help if they need it.
46Divert 1If someone is angry, I try to divert their mood by being cheerful.
53Divert 2When someone is in a low mood I behave in a happy and cheerful way to make them feel better.
33Divert 3When someone is in a bad mood I try to divert them by telling jokes or funny stories.
22Divert 4When someone is unhappy I try to cheer them by talking about something positive.
3Divert 5I sometimes use humor to try to lift another person’s mood.
45Divert 6If someone is being awkward, I try to defuse the situation by being cheerful and pleasant.
21Worsen 1I use anger to get others to do things that I want them to do.
19Worsen 2I sometimes put someone down in public to make them feel bad.
32Worsen 3I know how to make someone feel ashamed about something that they have done in order to stop them from doing it again.
47Worsen 4I can make someone feel anxious so that they will act in a particular way.
29Worsen 5I use criticism to make others feel that they should work harder.
20Worsen 6If I don’t like someone’s behavior I make negative comments in order to make them feel bad.
4Inauthentic 1I sometimes sulk to make someone feel guilty.
44Inauthentic 2I sometimes sulk to get someone to change their behavior.
5Inauthentic 3If someone’s behavior has caused me distress, I try to make them feel guilty about it.
37Inauthentic 4I sometimes use flattery to gain or keep someone’s good opinion.
12Inauthentic 5If I want someone to do something for me, I try to elicit sympathy from them.
2Inauthentic 6If I want someone to do something for me, I am especially nice to them before asking.
30Conceal 1I often conceal feelings of anger and distress from others.
36Conceal 2I hide my feelings so others won’t worry about me.
8Conceal 3When someone has made me upset or angry, I often conceal my feelings.
18Conceal 4When someone has made me upset or angry, I tend to downplay my feelings.
23Conceal 5I don’t believe in telling others about my problems – I keep them to myself.
26Conceal 6If someone tries to make me feel better when I am feeling low, I pretend to feel happier to please that person.

All 30 items are used in the MEOS-SF. The 24 items of the MEOS-VSF are shown in italic.


Mate Value Discrepancies, the Dark Triad and Relationship Satisfaction

The higher on the Dark Triad, the more alternative partners there were that were closer to the participant’s ideal mate preferences than their current partner, which was associated with decreased relationship satisfaction. This study contributes to our understanding of how the Dark Triad relates to mating psychology. These findings also highlight the utility of employing a Euclidean algorithm to understand associations between individual differences and relationship outcomes.


Trolls just want to have fun

In two online studies (total N = 1215), respondents completed personality inventories and a survey of their Internet commenting styles. Overall, strong positive associations emerged among online commenting frequency, trolling enjoyment, and troll identity, pointing to a common construct underlying the measures. Both studies revealed similar patterns of relations between trolling and the Dark Tetrad of personality: trolling correlated positively with sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism, using both enjoyment ratings and identity scores. Of all personality measures, sadism showed the most robust associations with trolling and, importantly, the relationship was specific to trolling behavior. Enjoyment of other online activities, such as chatting and debating, was unrelated to sadism. Thus cyber-trolling appears to be an Internet manifestation of everyday sadism


Personality Disordered Individuals A -Z