The problem with projection is that it remains a theoretical fact. How can one prove that projection is taking place? This is a massive problem when it comes to dealing with an abusive narcissist. Your self esteem and reality has been completely distorted because of this psychological phenomenon. So..
Two unanswered questions remain-
1. When can you know that the narcissist is projecting?
2. Would it make a difference knowing this?
By definition, projection in psychology is defined as: a form of defense in which unwanted feelings are displaced onto another person, where they then appear as a threat from the external world.
How does this psychological action remain a theory? Well because we cannot perform tests regarding the subjective state of mind. So how can we know that projection actually takes place regarding a narcissist?
When the narcissist gets caught cheating, lying, manipulating and becomes verbally and physically abusive, you forget the past, the emotional rollercoaster always took a hold, alongside a state of confusion. You do not think to correlate the narcissist’s words and actions to the art of psychological projection in this way so let’s do that now.
How many times has the narcissist called you a terrible name? Looking back, you come to realize that all those name perfectly describe the narcissist. This is one strong example offering evidence and proof towards the narcissist clearly relying on projection.
Having this understanding can provide you insight towards all the names and abuse you have experienced via the narcissist, now being able to understand that such was not an accurate depiction of your character in anyway but in fact, an expressed self reflection of oneself via the narcissist.
Knowing this does make a difference in how you see yourself and how you handle any interaction that you must partake in with any narcissist.