A little education or Narcissism 101 – Introjection and Projection – Powerful tools the Narcissist uses in their cycle of abuse to make you feel SHAME and BLAME.
From my Book – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist!
The casualties of Narcissistic abuse most often find themselves confused and isolated at the end of their relationship, perhaps completely unaware that they were ABUSED or there are other people/victims that have suffered the EXACT same fate. It can be healing and comforting to know that you are not alone at such times and that there is a reason and explanation for what has happened and YOU ARE NOT THE REASON for any of this. You were abused by a malignant Narcissist and that NARCISSIST even has it down to a technique they employ to abuse targets/victims.
Introjection and projection are powerful tools the Narcissist uses against unsuspecting victims. I did not invent these names, but I feel understanding them is IMPORTANT to understanding this abuse and recovering from it as well, so just a little more education on the facts of this abuse and how we got here. If we don’t understand these techniques the Narcissist employs then the abuse may not seem real, and if left unidentified the victim BLAMES themselves and believes the Narcissist’s lies and agenda. Naming and awareness of these tactics can help to negate their power, and expose the Narcissist as a con artist and predator. Remember a great deal of BLAME and SHAME has been attributed to every target/victim, as well as a heavy feeling of worthlessness – this is what many victims end up believing and accepting and it becomes debilitating to their healing and recovery.
There is a term in psychology called introjection. It defines how an individual will adopt the desirable traits of another person and mirroring them as a mechanism to draw that person near to them or into their world. Most Narcissists begin their relationships with introjection. They take on the positive traits of their target, making their target feel as if the Narcissist is a perfect match. They tell them all the right things, do all the right things, and make their target feel like they have truly found their soul-mate. HOWEVER the attributes are an illusion for appearance sake and part of the Narcissist’s abusive agenda. A Narcissist will use this technique to ensnare a companion who they will subsequently trap into a cycle of abuse. This period can last anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on how much convincing it’s going to take for the target to feel like they want the relationship with the Narcissist. It’s the honeymoon phase of the relationship or LOVE BOMBING, but it was a trap that was set for us to gain our trust completely so the Narcissist could exert their control over us and exploit us through extreme manipulation.
This con artist Narcissist’s fake MASK of respectability, morality, saintliness, etc., is so much a part of the Narcissist’s self-image, that they are able to convince their family, friends, co-workers, POTENTIAL love interest and all casual acquaintances of its veracity. The successful process of introjection builds a wall against the outside world, not allowing the truth to show of how disordered the Narcissist is. The void inside those walls is populated with a lack of ANY and ALL empathy, guilt, remorse, or caring for their outlandish and hideous actions, as well as a myriad of conflicting emotions and huge DENIAL! A Narcissist will lie intentionally and feel no remorse because, in their mind, their every action is justified. Their entire focus is to convince everyone around them of their superiority in every aspect of life and it allows them to walk around unnoticed or CAMOFLAUGED to completely hide the disordered and abusive creature they are. They JUST LIE and that is that!
When the inevitable conflicts occur, it is inconceivable to the Narcissist that any fault could be attributed to them. In order to transfer the responsibility for outrageous and damaging acts, they will use a technique called projection. Projection is a term that describes the transference of these horrendous acts from the guilty to the innocent OR turning it all around by finding blame and putting it back onto YOU. Anyone who has ever had a relationship with a Narcissist will recognize this tactic instantly. However, if a person hasn’t been a target/victim of projection, they may never fully understand the anguish it causes. It is very difficult to explain this to the NON target/victim. HECK it was impossible for me to wrap my head around it as well at first.
When my Narcissist was made accountable or threatened they loved to attack the person with cowardly lies behind their back that threatened their livelihood, career, or standing with family or the community. It is was my Narcissist’s trademark or pattern to always accuse anyone that defied them with something so deviant or sexually perverted to destroy the targets/victims integrity completely because the listener could not ignore the allegations and had to take action on the accusations. The main point here is how the Narcissist will blame EVERYONE and never considers the real fact that they were the deviant person that more than likely were actually doing the things that they accused others of doing and without a single care in the world. If you read between the lines here and realize that a Narcissist accepts ZERO accountability for any of this and it is as delusional as it is ridiculous! It is non-existent in their reasoning that all of this poison originated from their actions, AND THAT THEY ARE THE PERPETRATOR of all of this garbage and DAMAGE to everyone! It is maddening!! They JUST DON’T CARE because they have an agenda to follow and that is to fulfil their every need and to live their out of control and perverse lifestyle in any manner they want, and without concern to whom they harm, and they come out of it unscathed with a smile on their face!! It is incredulous and if you present that slippery Narcissist with the facts, they will plead the ‘Narcissistic 5th Amendment,’ and that we are lying, making all of this up, etc., and blah, blah, blah! Everyone else is ALWAYS lying and everything is their fault- but NEVER the Narcissist – how about it!
Projection invariably occurs whenever a crisis occurs, or the Narcissist is held accountable for any action, confronted, or questioned, etc. Since it is impossible for the Narcissist to admit thoughtlessness or error (NO EMPATHY), it is always someone else who was at fault and they will invent that fault. It is almost impossible to describe the feeling of confusion that the victim of Narcissistic abuse feels when they not only have to endure the abuse, but be accused of being the abuser as well. All of a sudden right is wrong, true is false, reality a big lie, and we begin to question our own sanity because WE BELIEVED in this Narcissist’s strength of character in the beginning, as well as the charm that attached us to them. We only started on what seemed to be a real journey of loving another person. This is it in a nutshell – it is a hideous GAME and we were tricked into opening up our mind, our heart and our whole world to have it exploited by a thief, a pathological liar, a cheater, a manipulator, and a person that would betray and even destroy us in a moment and without a thought if we dared point out the smallest truth.
The Narcissist is always drawn to their potential mates (supply) by their goodness, tolerance, and moral character, and will mimic those behaviors to lure their target in by portraying a ‘kindred soul’ and having a like-minded generosity of spirit. Once entrenched into a long term relationship that is difficult to end because of finances, the birth of children, or whatever reason and the Narcissist DOES show their true inner self. The facade of a saint and moral caring family member is maintained for outsiders, while behind closed doors, the nightmare/terrorism begins.
The ultimate mission of the Narcissist is to be ADMIRED and adored, as if a God, worshipped for the grand gift of their presence in the world. The Narcissist will not be changed, primarily because they enjoy being the way that they are. They revel in the power they are able to exert with their methods of psychological torture. They will REJECT any psychiatric counseling, because it will invariably point to the reality of their damaging and abusive behavior. However, they will cling to any diagnosis other than Narcissism which makes them a victim, rather than the villain – just another TOOL they can utilize to con the world. They will also employ a mental condition to self-medicate themselves. They can create any and every role they need to fulfill whatever agenda they have, even to receive over the counter prescriptions.
The best and only advice for someone who is suffering through an abusive relationship with a Narcissist is to break it off and go NO CONTACT. If children are involved, they should be isolated from the source of the conflict and that can be achieved by keeping communication with the Narcissist to the very basics and avoiding the Narcissist’s irrational and controlling conflict in front of the children. Narcissism can invade the lives of the impressionable (like children, elderly, or anyone for that matter) and claim them as well and does because this abuse is never singular and affects whole families. Since a Narcissist cares only for themselves, their care concerning the welfare of shared children is ALL PRETENSE and they will use them to be the BELOVED and caring parent for the public’s eye and to get at the ex-spouse if possible through manipulation. Stay minimal contact and NEVER engage them in one of their manipulative and emotional ploys or arguments because it is all an effort to drive you back into the abuse and manage you down more. Minimal contact is only for the purpose of HAVING to be in contact, but it is only business as needed. Unfortunately if the Narcissist has joint custody they will use the children in any way they can to inflict harm on the victim spouse even manipulating the legal system however they can.
If you are ‘no contact’ with your Narcissist give yourself the BIGGEST hug you can, because you have survived a battle with a predator. Celebrate your freedom and stay strong in your convictions that your abuse had NOTHING to do with you and EVERYTHING to do with this delusional and personality disordered person that inflicted psychological damage onto you in a manner to extort every aspect of your life. Believe in yourself and go forward and never look back EVER – you WILL find that amazing person you were once you get out of the fog of this abuse. Greg