Projective Identification: How Narcissists Project Their Identity Onto Others | The Exhausted Woman

Twisted Perception. The distorted perception of reality that narcissists possess allows them to be the stars in a world that are centered on their wants and desires. Everything they see is colored by that viewpoint. Narcissists have a limited picture of life as they are the superior ones in beauty, knowledge, power, or influence. It is easier to think of it as seeing the world through 50 shades of yellow. Yellow because they are the bright shining stars in a world that caters to their demands.

This client viewed herself as perfect with an imperfect husband who needed to be fixed. She would play the victim card when backed into a corner of realization for her contribution to the marital issues. There was no acknowledgment of her wrongdoing, a complete lack of remorse, and no empathy for anyone but herself.

Unhealthy Coping. This twisted perception is the perfect stage for utilizing denial, projection, and intellectualization as coping mechanisms. In order to maintain their perfect world, narcissists need to cope with anything that poses a threat to their reality. They usually start with simple defense mechanisms: denial (refusing to acknowledge the existence of a problem), projection (taking their negative emotional responses and assigning them to others), and intellectualization (distancing through overthinking so as not to feel). If those fail, they escalate to abusive measures.

Within the first hour of the meeting, all of these defense mechanisms were exploited. She denied any issues with her children, which is impossible with a narcissistic parent. She showed text messages from her husband that were mild in nature and claimed instead that he was furious. When asked how she felt about an incident, she dodged the question by talking about her thoughts on the matter. When pressed for any signs of abusive treatment, she insisted that he could be violent but lacked any explanation of how or when.

Projective Identification. Taking projection one step further, a person assigns an aspect of his or her personality onto another person. In the case of narcissism, all of the narcissistic traits may be splintered off and attributed to a spouse. This is done at an unconscious level where the narcissists are not even aware of what they have done. In some cases, it may be malicious but for the most part, it is due to their twisted perception of reality where the narcissist must remain perfect.

While it appeared in our first encounter that my client was doing this to her spouse, it was further confirmed by meeting her husband. He had zero signs of narcissism and instead was extremely co-dependent. His natural tendency was to enable the narcissism as he adopted the viewpoint that she was perfect and he was the one with the problem. He even agreed that she was right and he was narcissistic.

It took many sessions to reveal the actual narcissist. The projective identification was so integrated and well managed that it required much convincing to expose the real narcissist. The unraveling of the truth was painful at first but then it transitioned into healing as the husband was able to see the multiple colors of reality instead of only yellow narcissism.

Source: Projective Identification: How Narcissists Project Their Identity Onto Others | The Exhausted Woman

Posted in Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), Projection

Narcissists Use Projection to Manipulate You

If nothing else works, a narcissist is more likely to “go for the jugular” by assassinating your character and making you seem like the lowest of the low. And if you’ve ever experienced this before, then you might know just how bad the side-effects can be. When a narcissist partakes in this, it could be out of vengeance or to impress and win over others who might not be positive towards you. The important thing is to not panic. You didn’t work so hard on being the best version of yourself just to be taken down by a person with low self-esteem themself.

5. They drop the act the moment they have you where they want

The moment you look to them for guidance or validation, their whole nice, sweet person act will just drop. They know now that you’re dependent on them for all of your emotional needs and they see that as the reins to hold you hostage. It’s when you try to resist that the situation might become dangerous for you. When they are caught in the act, they won’t just leave quietly. They might just confuse you enough to make you keep them around. That is why it is essential for you to be firm in your decision about cutting them out of your life. Continue reading “Narcissists Use Projection to Manipulate You”

How Narcissists Use Projection And What You Can Do

1. Narcissists Use Projection To “Call You Out”

Usually, narcissists will use this tactic to either get you to do something they know you’ll be hesitant about, to attack you, or both. They’ll call you out, for example, not having tea ready for them after a long day at work – even though you worked the same hours. This usually entails guilt-tripping. If that doesn’t work, they’ll escalate to verbally attacking you.

Dealing with projection and blame: It’s hard not to fall for this kind of malignant narcissism. You’ve probably been around your narcissist long enough to recognize a trap when you hear him/her getting started. It’s just a way to assert power manipulate your feelings and actions. Can you step it down or take a time out.

2. Narcissists Mimic Emotions

Narcissists have the emotional range of a thimble. But they’re intelligent. They know how important emotional displays are to others and they know how to mimic them to manipulate their victims. Don’t let those crocodile tears fool you. They’ll pretend to understand your feelings or want to help you. It’s not true.

What you can do: You’re onto them now, right? Be aware. Sooner or later, you will find ways to evade, and even escape.

3. Narcissists Will Attack Your Personality

No one likes to be verbally attacked – but when the question of your personality and character are brought into the mix, you know the narcissist means business. It’s getting personal. This is usually done for revenge.

What you can do: This is always designed to make you defensive and need to explain yourself. You don’t have to. Remember that narcissists are toxic people and almost always engage in toxic behavior and abusive relationships. They will lie and say anything to manipulate those around them.

4. Narcissists Use Projection To Play The Victim

Narcissistic projection makes you feel sorry for him. It’s never his or her fault that terrible things happen. You can’t blame a victim – right? They’re the ones who were wronged. The narcissists believes they’re perfect, so clearly anything wrong in their relationships isn’t because of their behavior. They love to be the victim. On top of projecting blame onto someone else, they also grab the spotlight while others help them.

Dealing with narcissistic projection of victimhood.  If you’re an empath, pay special attention to the kind of people you choose to help. Look for the lies and gaps in a narcissist’s story. Empaths and narcissists tend to be attracted to each other, and empaths are always the losers.

5. Narcissists Know When To Drop The Act

When narcissists know they have their target-turned-victim under their thumbs, they drop their charming acts. And quickly. This allows narcissists to assert dominance and really display their narcissistic traits. At this point, the victim will have a last, slight chance to escape and expose a narcissist before having to deal with even greater damage if choosing to stay in the abusive relationship. Continue reading “How Narcissists Use Projection And What You Can Do”

The “No, you!” defense

The “No, you!” defense

If you call them out on their crap or if they suspect you can see through their smoke and mirrors, they will say that it’s you—or others—who are all these things. Or that all of it is false and nonsense. They may even say that they are honest, caring, and authentic, and that you don’t understand these things, you are projecting, you are pretending, you are triggered, you are gaslighting, you are narcissistic—you are whatever buzzword they have learned!

Because people with narcissistic tendencies can be interested in human psychology, too. A lot of them actually work in the helping, teaching, and medical fields or pretend to be experts and intellectuals on social media. Some of them are really smart, eloquent, and popular, which makes their statements more believable to an unaware audience.

They can learn all these fancy terms and phrases, yet they often don’t understand or even care about how to apply them correctly. Here, it’s another tool for manipulation. For them, learning means finding ways to justify all of their disturbing thoughts and behaviors, or use the knowledge as a tool against others for personal gain.

They will do anything but accept reality and become a decent person—yet they can play one quite well.

Source: 5 Ways Narcissists Project and Attack You

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

Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Parental Alienation PA, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Projection

It was never your fault

Many of us child abuse victims grow up believing it was our fault.

We were just “rebellious” or “bad” and therefore deserved the abuse.

Some of us will believe we were never abused but loved.

We will make excuses for our parent such as “Oh, she was a single mom so that’s why she acted like that”.

And some of us will compare our abuse to other horror stories and say it wasn’t that bad.

For many years I minimized my parents’ behavior and compared it to children being tortured and locked in closets.

I just thought I was the blame for the sexual violence, constant belittling and hitting.

Abusive parents can make us feel at fault for their actions.

They can make us feel guilty and responsible for how they treated us.

If we hadn’t done that one thing then they wouldn’t have acted like that.

The reality is that it is never your fault.

You were simply a kid responding to your environment. Continue reading “It was never your fault”

Posted in Adultification, Borderline Personality Disorder, Dark Triad, Empath, Enabler, Machiavellianism, Oedipus Complex, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Projection, Psychopath, PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS

Types of Personality Disorders

DSM-5 groups the 10 types of personality disorders into 3 clusters (A, B, and C), based on similar characteristics. However, the clinical usefulness of these clusters has not been established.

Cluster A is characterized by appearing odd or eccentric. It includes the following personality disorders with their distinguishing features:

Overview of Cluster A Personality Disorders

Cluster B is characterized by appearing dramatic, emotional, or erratic. It includes the following personality disorders with their distinguishing features:

  • Antisocial: Social irresponsibility, disregard for others, deceitfulness, and manipulation of others for personal gain

  • Borderline: Intolerance of being alone and emotional dysregulation

  • Histrionic: Attention seeking

  • Narcissistic: Underlying dysregulated, fragile self-esteem and overt grandiosity

Overview of Cluster B Personality Disorders

Cluster C is characterized by appearing anxious or fearful. It includes the following personality disorders with their distinguishing features:

  • Avoidant: Avoidance of interpersonal contact due to rejection sensitivity

  • Dependent: Submissiveness and a need to be taken care of

  • Obsessive-compulsive: Perfectionism, rigidity, and obstinacy

Overview of Cluster C Personality Disorders

Symptoms and Signs

According to DSM-5, personality disorders are primarily problems with

  • Self-identity

  • Interpersonal functioning

Self-identity problems may manifest as an unstable self-image (eg, people fluctuate between seeing themselves as kind or cruel) or as inconsistencies in values, goals, and appearance (eg, people are deeply religious while in church but profane and disrespectful elsewhere).

Interpersonal functioning problems typically manifest as failing to develop or sustain close relationships and/or being insensitive to others (eg, unable to empathize).

People with personality disorders often seem inconsistent, confusing, and frustrating to people around them (including clinicians). These people may have difficulty knowing the boundaries between themselves and others. Their self-esteem may be inappropriately high or low. They may have inconsistent, detached, overemotional, abusive, or irresponsible styles of parenting, which can lead to physical and mental problems in their spouse or children.

People with personality disorders may not recognize that they have problems.

Continue reading “Types of Personality Disorders”

Posted in Alienation, PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Projection

Psychological Projection: Dealing With Undesirable Emotions

Psychological projection is one of many defense mechanisms people engage in on a regular basis.
Other common defense mechanisms include:

Denial – Refusing to admit to yourself that something is real (e.g., not believing the doctor when she tells you some particularly bad news about your health).

Distortion – Changing the reality of a situation to suit your needs (e.g., thinking that your boyfriend cheated on you because he was scared of commitment).

Passive Aggression – Indirectly acting out your aggression (e.g., purposely parking in your co-worker’s parking spot as retribution for a previous dispute).

Repression – Covering up feelings or emotions instead of coming to terms with them (e.g., being unable to recall the details of a car crash you were involved in – the brain sometimes purposely “loses” these memories to help you cope).

Sublimination – Converting negative feelings into positive actions (e.g., cleaning the house whenever you are angry about something).

Dissociation – Substantially but temporarily changing your personality to avoid feeling emotion (e.g., trying to “keep yourself together” at a funeral for the benefit of others).

Defense mechanisms are not always unhealthy. In fact, some defense mechanisms are essential to coping with stressful events. For example, humor is an example of a positive defense mechanism that people employ to deal with stress in life. Using humor in a difficult situation allows you to get your feelings out into the open and also brings pleasure to others by making them laugh.

Continue reading “Psychological Projection: Dealing With Undesirable Emotions”

Posted in Alienation, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), PERSONALITY DISORDERS, Projection

What Is Reverse Projection?

Reverse projection means even if you’re no longer in relationship with your abuser, you may still thing well of her rather than face the truth- she abused you.  Being realistic will help you to accept that yes, you were abused, yes, things were bad & yes, you have been adversely affected by it all.  Once you admit these things, & only then, can you begin to heal.


And if reverse projection helped you to accept responsibility for being abused, that will create plenty of problems in itself.  It’s unhealthy to accept responsibility for being abused because you did nothing wrong!  Doing so creates a root of toxic shame inside, & toxic shame creates so many problems.  It destroys your self esteem, it sets you up to be abused by others, it makes you unable to accept help when you need it & more.  You also are carrying the abuser’s shame when it’s not yours to carry.  That shame needs to be laid square on the abuser, never on the victim.  Whether or not the abuser carries her own shame is up to her, but it is never your responsibility to carry it! Continue reading “What Is Reverse Projection?”

Posted in Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), Projection

Projection (The Narcissists’ Weapon that Can Be Used Against Them)

I’m going to talk about what the narcissist is doing with projection, what it’s actually revealing to you, and how you can use that against them by understanding what their true motives are.

Essentially, all narcissists tell on themselves.

Projection is the process through which they reveal who they are and what they’re doing.

Through projection, they call you what they are. They accuse you of doing what they’re doing or planning on doing. They throw all the uncomfortable feelings onto you because they don’t want to deal with them. They throw their shame on you so they don’t have to deal with it. They make you feel guilty for who they are and what they’re doing because they’re unable to feel that guilt themselves.

So, essentially projection is an unconscious way of denying the existence of something inside oneself and attributing it to others, externalizing it.

This could be unacceptable or unwanted characteristic, flaws, thoughts, emotions, actions, feelings.

It’s a defense mechanism.

Anybody can do this. You can be projecting things onto people and not even realize it.

Continue reading “Projection (The Narcissists’ Weapon that Can Be Used Against Them)”