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.
Many narcissist parents like to constantly speak for their child, removing their vocal agency. The narcissist parent will constantly respond for their child when their child is spoken to. The removal of the child’s self and their entire reality is the end result. It doesn’t help that the narcissist parent is in charge of the child’s identity formation in their early development.
This particular behaviour of a narcissist can go overlooked as well. For example, the narcissist child will be asked a general question from a third party and the narcissist parent responding for their child can appear as casually joining in on the conversation.
The need to constantly speak for one’s child as a narcissist parent comes from a need to control oneself, never forgetting the narcissist’s child is the narcissist’s greatest extension. The child picks up quickly on their narcissist’s need to speak for them and usually end up becoming obedient to this behaviour. The shame that would follow such a protest is just too emotionally great for the child and/or abused adult.
Many children who experience this from their parent/s lose themselves in the process. They lose their preferences, opinions, motivation and self esteem.
How many times have you said something to the narcissist and he/she became offended? This is a common occurrence with all brands of narcissists but this can become a very strange occurrence when the narcissist becomes offended over things that are not offensive in nature.
The narcissist’s reaction will be to shame or guilt you, covertly or overtly. Overtime, you begin to walk on eggshells because your entire existence becomes one of offence to a narcissist.
You- “what your saying isn’t making sense though”
Narcissist-“ok, because your so smart and perfect, i forgot, your a doctor”.
You- “why did you do that?”
Narcissist-“why are you always against me?”
You- “you going to the mall today?”
You- “you always go to the mall on Saturdays”
Narcissist- “ya i always go to the mall on Saturday, ya.”
You-“why are you getting offended”
Narcissist-“I’m not, your perfect, I forgot”.
The narcissist internalizes everything you do because this is the disorder, a self focused and consuming pathology. Even when you do not say anything offensive, the narcissist will internalize it and perceive it as a negative. Why they do this is because NPD is actually a disorder deeply rooted in shame. The narcissist’s perception is distorted accordingly to feed their pathological narcissism, one where they are the most important and superior in some way.
Narcissists like to yell as a control tactic, they believe that raising their voice will control your reaction whether it be you backing down or changing how you respond. An example is you asking the narcissist something in response to what they have said.
You-“wouldn’t it be easier if you did it this way instead?”
Narcissist-yells “i did it that way!”
In this example, the narcissist is trying to control your subconscious thinking regarding how you respond to the narcissist the next time. You were not expecting an abrupt voice raised response to what was said in the above example. Your emotional reaction to the narcissist yelling his/her response to you will be one of shock and nervousness thus, programming your subconscious to think twice the next time you respond to him/her.
To notice this particular tactic, you would need to have studied the use of linguistics. On average, people learn to communicate with others at a very early age and you never need to question this early learned skill.
Narcissists use their false self as a means to control your reactions and this includes their tone of voice. Like I have said in an earlier blog post, the use of one’s tone of voice is preferred by the covert narcissist.
Staring is a non verbal form of communicating with others and as I said before, covert narcissists love non verbal manipulation thus, covert narcissists being prone to staring.
Not all covert narcissists will stare though, some coverts know it is a strange and abnormal thing to do and they don’t want to appear as such.
The strange thing about staring via a covert narcissist is that they want you to know they are staring, they won’t even turn their heads when caught staring either. When you decide to confront the narcissist about his or her staring, they will claim you are crazy, picking on them or paranoid.
So why stare? Narcissists likes you to feel uncomfortable, they want you to feel watched. This is because in all brands of narcissists, they feel watched by something very malignant residing in their mind. The psychosis of a narcissist involves constantly feeling critiqued and watched by this malignant entity, constantly keeping the narcissist on edge and anxious. In order to avoid this psychotic entity and the anxiety of it, the narcissist needs to become it. “Become the monster to defeat the monster”. This introjection doesn’t last forever though because it needs to remain in control and how it does that is by dangling this introjection based power over the narcissist’s head, allowing the narcissist to wear its shoes from time to time.
Narcissists also like to observe your reactions to things, they believe this provides them power and control. For example, a commercial comes on and right away, the narcissist looks at you to see your reaction to the show that you were just watching.
Staring is abnormal but as I said before, the covert will use his usage of minimal talking to justify his/her covert malignant behaviour.
When you enter a romantic relationship with someone, you never think that you need to protect your thinking and emotions to ensure that no one attempts to rewires your thinking and emotions and use them against you.
When in a relationship with a narcissist, you become enslaved without knowing, you slowly become mentally and emotionally out of control by who you think is your soulmate. Never would your mind think that someone would waste their time doing what a narcissist does but oddly enough, this exists. Learning to rewire your thinking is so important when recovering from psychological abuse and understanding reality is the way to it.
This post is going to focus on understanding what silence really means and how reality defines silence of a narcissist vs your understanding vs the narcissist’s goal.
When a narcissist goes silent, confusion and shame become your state of mind. A need to understand what “reality” is consumes you, looking to the narcissist for such an understanding (who refuse to give it to you even when you think he has), along with blaming yourself. Mind you, it is a normal interpretation to think your being ignored because you have done something wrong.
The narcissist’s goal–
The goal of a narcissist when he goes silent is to control your focus(thinking) and to control your emotions(confusion and shame). These unique mental states create desperation for his victim.
Example: You reply back to your narcissist’s morning text message when you wake up but you happened to wake up late. Your narcissist begins to ignore you once you do respond to his message right away.
So what does reality say? Reality says that this is what narcissist’s do. Reality says you woke up late and replied late. Reality says a narcissist’s interpretation is distorted, fear based, confused and desperate. Reality says the narcissist has projected his state of thinking and emotion onto you.
The narcissist hates not knowing why you haven’t responded, he cannot conclude/assume anything because the narcissist solely defines reality based on his victim’s reactions. The narcissist fears being ignored on extreme levels as well.
Covert narcissists are quiet. They are not abrupt and they rarely show you what is underneath their mask when it comes to their use of language. The covert narcissist prefers to use his lack of words ever so powerfully to manipulate those around him . The covert believes that silence cannot be used against him so it’s safer to stay quiet. He likes to observe and the little amount of words expressed by the covert are barely influential. Language is not the covert narcissist’s go to manipulation tactic.
Instead, coverts opt for manipulation in the non vernal category- facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice, when they do speak that is. A covert does not mind appearing as a victim in a direct way unlike the overt narcissist who reveals their fears of being wrong and apologizing for example, in such an evident manner.
The covert narcissist will use his little amount of words to contradict the non verbal manipulation. A perfect example is the narcissist huffing and puffing when he walks by you but five minutes later says “do you want some coffee?”
Even when the covert narcissist is a convicted criminal, the victim mask remains plastered to his face. He will blame external influences such as his wife or being under stress from work as the justification to why his actions are so malignant in nature.