When it comes to narcissists, there is no self-awareness. Their values are skewed, leading them to live solely to impress others – not please. And because it’s impossible to attain perfection, narcissists create and live in their own fantasy worlds. They refuse to see their own faults and failures, which means the blame that would usually be placed on them is projected onto their victims. When narcissists use projection, it’s just another way to manipulate their targets.
What Is Projection?
We all use projection in one way or another. For example, let’s say you’re in a great mood, but your friend isn’t. You continue to smile and maintain your positive mood, projecting it onto your friend. Or, another form of projection could be if your partner is in a bad mood, sees that you’re smiling and happy, and they start yelling at you for being cheerful. Your partner is then projecting their poor attitude onto you.
With Narcissists, they project any blame you may place on them, back on to you. If they’re in a bad mood, they’ll deflect the accusation and blame you for their mood – perhaps they’ll say something along the lines of, “I’m in a bad mood? You’re the one in a bad mood. You just can’t see past your own bad attitude.”
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.
What you can do: Don’t fall for it. You’ve probably been around the narcissist long enough to recognize that this is a trap. They’re just trying to assert their power to shamelessly manipulate your feelings and actions.
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.
What you can do: You’re onto them now, right? Be aware. Sooner or later, the narcissists’ mimicry will fail.
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: Don’t panic. Don’t let it get to you. 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
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.
What you can do: Especially if you’re an empath, pay special attention to who you help. Look for any glitches in a narcissists’ story. Empaths and narcissists tend to be attracted to each other.
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.
What you can do: If you catch on to this final stage, don’t expect an easy escape. Narcissists don’t like to admit defeat and will do anything to keep their victims under their control. They’re manipulation experts. Have steps set up to help yourself get away to safety.
**If you are in an abusive relationship or someone you know is, call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-723. For more information, click here.
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