When you’ve been dealing with a narcissist, it may have seemed like they have a lot of fancy explanations for their behavior. It’s almost like they are projecting a different version of themselves onto you. In reality, they are trying to hide their true nature.
What is Narcissistic Projection?
Narcissistic projection is attributing one’s feelings to other people or situations; it is a common defense mechanism of narcissists. The narcissist may project his feelings of shame onto others by believing that others are intentionally trying to harm him in some way.
Narcissists are masters at projecting, so they are masters at disguising their true selves. Many people believe that narcissists are self-confident, but nothing further from the truth. In reality, they are constantly afraid of being shamed or humiliated by their actions and quickly blame their inadequacies on other people.
Narcissistic projection is one of the great unspoken truths of narcissists.
4 reasons why narcissists use narcissistic projection
1. Passive-Aggressive Behavior
When someone is passive-aggressive, they express negative feelings in a roundabout way to avoid responsibility for their words or actions.
The passive-aggressive person will often blame others for their problems and frustrations and often does so in a subtle, underhanded way. They may even be unaware of the fact that they are being passive-aggressive, blaming their problems on others, and may exhibit the following behaviors:
They are often late for appointments but will rarely apologize for it. They may not even be aware of their delay, but they will blame it on something or someone else if asked.
They avoid taking responsibility for their actions and often make excuses or find fault with someone or something else. They are often condescending and may childishly insult others while denying that they do so.
They will often say one thing and do the opposite while denying that they said what they said or did what they did. They are often resentful and may act passive-aggressively towards others to get revenge.
#2. To manipulate you
Narcissists will often use narcissist projection to manipulate their victims into feeling like they are the ones with the problem. This is done to make their victims feel horrible and to make their victims feel like narcissists have been wronged by them.
Narcissists will often put their victims down to make themselves look better.
#3. To get out of taking responsibility
The narcissistic projection has to do with the narcissist making you feel responsible for the pain the narcissist is feeling. This is done to distract you from the narcissist’s wrongdoings and avoid taking responsibility.
Narcissistic projection is used to show the world that the narcissist is the victim. It is a way to manipulate people into believing that the narcissist is the victim of other people.
The other people being manipulated by the narcissist are being used as scapegoats. The narcissist manipulates the other people into believing that they cause the narcissist’s suffering.
The narcissist is causing the suffering but makes it appear as if it were the other people.
#4. To put themselves on a pedestal
Narcissists use narcissistic projection because it allows them to put themselves on a pedestal. A narcissist is constantly looking for validation. They need constant praise, and they need to feel like they are better than other people.
Their self-esteem is so low that they need to put other people down to feel better about themselves.
Why do narcissists project their feelings?
There are two types of narcissists, the passive and the active.
Passive narcissists project their feelings because they need to feel important or unique.
They see themselves as very important in the world and must always be on display for others to admire them. The main problem with this type of narcissist is that they have an inferiority complex which makes them feel inadequate and unattractive, so they project their feelings onto other people.
Active narcissists act out their feelings by using aggression, often causing chaos in relationships, work environments, and personal lives. These individuals tend to exploit others dependent on them because they get a sense of power from it.
For example, if someone is constantly asking you for favors, you may want to consider whether this person is generous or wants to control you more than anything else.
Active narcissists may even go as far as breaking up with people who don’t support them to maintain power over those who do not challenge them back; however, since active narcissism is associated with antisocial behavior such as theft and assault, these individuals usually end up getting caught at some point due to conflict resolution issues within their relationships.
What are some examples of narcissist projection?
The most common example is when a narcissist sees something in another person they perceive as inferior to themselves. The other person may be described as “a fake” or “not me.”
For example, a narcissistic parent might accuse his child’s friend of being an attention-seeking manipulator because he doesn’t believe that the child likes him.
This can also occur in relationships where one partner feels insecure about their relationship with another, and this causes them to project onto the other partner.
The other partner may be described as having an empty, boring life, having no sense of humor, or lacking attractiveness (in looks). These types of projections are not conscious on the narcissist’s part, but they are still very destructive and harmful to both parties involved.
What is the main objective of narcissistic projection?
Narcissistic projection is the unconscious defense mechanism of a narcissist. This defense mechanism allows the narcissist to keep them feeling vulnerable and insecure by blaming others for their problems.
A Narcissist feels extraordinarily vulnerable, and this makes them feel threatened by other people who have the potential to hurt them, either physically or emotionally. Therefore, they develop narcissistic defenses that prevent them from being damaged by other people, such as narcissistic rage and abusive behavior.
However, suppose these defensive mechanisms fail to protect the narcissist from getting hurt or rejected by another person. In that case, they will turn to more aggressive behaviors to maintain control over their relationships with others (e.g., using aggression against another person).
The narcissist may use various types of verbal abuse to try and make the other person feel guilty about what happened between them (e.g., accusing the other person of making unwanted advances), or they may threaten suicide (e.g., threatening suicide if someone does not do what they want).
How to cope with Narcissistic projections?
Narcissistic projections are one of the most destructive behaviors. The person with narcissistic tendencies is often very aggressive and seems to want to destroy the self-esteem of others, which is the exact opposite of what a healthy relationship should be.
The most important thing that you can do to protect yourself from narcissists’ projections is firstly to acknowledge that they exist and secondly to understand how they work.
Narcissists do not respect boundaries, so it’s best not to have any as well because when someone tries to impose their will on you, you will feel drained or even victimized by them.
Allowing people who don’t respect your boundaries into your life will eventually lead you down a path where no matter how hard you try, there won’t be anything left for you and everyone else around you, except for those who share this pathology with the narcissist themselves.
It’s always better for everyone involved if everyone keeps their boundaries intact and only enters other people’s lives when it’s mutually beneficial for both parties involved.
Narcissists are masters of projection. They may claim to love you, but they don’t. The truth is that narcissists don’t like people; they want them to do what they want them to do and feel the way they want them to feel. To maintain control over others, narcissists will often accuse others of being exactly like themselves. They’ll make accusations about your character, your intentions, and even your motives for doing things.
Sometimes this is done subtly, but other times it’s done straightforwardly. It’s important that you recognize these projections for what they are and not let them get under your skin.