Narcissists are deeply flawed human beings. They have not a sense of self-awareness and therefore they only value themselves based on what other people think of them. Narcissists are not capable of recognizing their flaws and that’s why they are only looking to shift the blame for their shortcomings and mistakes to the other person. This is called projection and it the narcissist’s defense mechanism.
Projection in psychology is defined as a defense mechanism people subconsciously employ to deal with difficult emotions and feelings. It is projecting undesirable emotions or feelings onto another human being rather than dealing with or admitting to their unwanted feelings. For instance, your partner may accuse you of cheating while in fact, they were the ones that were unfaithful the whole time. They are only projecting their unwanted feeling of guilt onto you. By making you feel guilty they will feel relieved.
Sigmund Freud believed that we project feelings and things onto other people because we don’t want to cope with the burdening feelings of our feelings of inferiority or perceived flaws. In other words, we don’t want to deal with our insecurities and so we project onto others. We all project sometimes, but when it comes to narcissists, their whole life is built on projection. Here’s how they project:
They mimic. While narcissists are emotionally immature, they are smart to know that emotions matter to others. Therefore, they mimic other people’s emotional behaviors in order to convince others in their “good” intentions so that they can abuse them later.
They play the victim. Narcissists adore playing the victim. Why? Because they don’t want to admit to their mistakes and plus, they know that the majority of people are sensitive and they don’t want to see another human being suffer. Therefore, the narcissist will always present themselves as the wounded warrior to be at the center of attention.
They “call you out”. This is one of the most straightforward means of projection. When a narcissist calls you out, they are doing it for 2 reasons: in order for you to do something for them or to attack you because of what they have done. When a narcissist guilt-trips you don’t fall for it. Don’t take their bait. Don’t let them manipulate you and make you feel like you are the bad person.
They use character assassination. If you have ever been a victim of character assassination, then you know how the narcissist tends to present far-fetching facts and effects about a person out of pure evil and vengeance.
They shapeshift. When the narcissist feels as if they have got what they want, they will drop the act suddenly. And the narcissist is only doing that because they know that their victim won’t leave them but will try anything to reduce the damage. You can’t expect a narcissist to leave you alone without drama. Remember, they are master manipulators and they will do anything to keep you around and abuse you for as long as you let them.
If you find yourself in this situation, walk away! There is no winning when it comes to narcissists. You will only hurt yourself. You can win only by leaving them and cutting them off entirely from your life.