One of the most painful parts about a relationship with a narcissist is the accusations and labels the narcissist puts on you. During your relationship with the narcissist you were probably accused of doing and being all sorts of things that you know at a logical level you certainly would never do or which ran antithetically to your nature. Such as being close-minded, pessimistic, angry, unemotional, simple-minded, temperamental, unhappy, selfish, ("It is all about you!"), "You don’t treat me like an equal!" et cetera.
Today I want to explain how when a narcissist accuses you of such atrocities he/she is actually speaking to a MIRROR. Sooner or later the narcissist is not appeased enough. The narcissist will perceive something you did as ‘wrong’ – because you ‘critiqued’ ’questioned’ or ‘didn’t agree’ with him or her in some way. Then the mask cracks, and the adoring person you believed was in love with you sacrifices everything to prove they are right about you.
Understandably you will be shocked, reeling, and incredibly distraught because the behavior the narcissist employs is incredibly pathological, cruel, and without remorse. You will confront the narcissist with “Why are you behaving like this?" and this is when the projections erupt. The harder you try to make the narcissist accountable for his or her atrocious behavior, the more pronounced the projections.
When you point out these shortcomings to the narcissist, to them it feels like emotional annihilation. It is unthinkable, unbearable and will be avoided at all costs. Non personality-disordered people do not have this issue. They are capable of accepting being ‘wrong’ and ‘imperfect’ and realize it is a part of the normal human experience. ‘Normal’ people may not necessary like it – but they can accept it and take responsibility for it. Naturally when you confront the narcissist about his or her deplorable behavior you create the same situation. The narcissist then goes into automatic deflection and projection - its a necessary emotional survival mechanism - he or she will inevitably assign these parts on to you.
The narcissist will use any method available to project. This means fabricating, distorting, assigning significance to, or exaggerating what you said or did as ‘evidence.’ You will be astounded after stating the facts and gaining some sort of sensibility (forcing the narcissist after a mammoth battle to admit the ‘truth’ regarding these fabrications) when at a later date the narcissist will deny all of that and default back to his or her fabricated version of projection. You will also be amazed at how the narcissist lies about an ‘event’ that you were present to and upholds it as absolute truth regardless of the fact you were there! I promise you this: Narcissists actually believes their fabricated versions. You need to understand that the narcissist’s thinking and brain-wiring is so disordered that when he or she uses a deflection to avoid his or her disowned parts – this becomes real to the narcissist. They honestly believe their imagination is what actually transpired. The narcissist’s accusations about your character and what you ‘do’ are exactly what the narcissist feels internally about him or herself and how he or she operates in the world.
Anyone who has ever lived through the projections of a narcissist knows the insanity, the crazy-making, the intense struggle to try to prove yourself as innocent, the incredible twists and turns that the narcissist will perform to avoid accountability, and how any accountability or ‘safety’ gained from these tussels can fly out the window at a moment’s notice and return to the pathological versions. You will be astounded, heartbroken, and dismayed how these fabricated versions are worth so much more to the narcissist than maintaining a healthy relationship with you, JUST to remain non-accountable and keep blaming you. You feel like you’re going insane trying to get this person to JUST act like a decent and ‘normal’ human being.
- Adapted and abridged from: http://blog.melanietoniaevans.com/how-the-narcissist-projects-hisher-behaviour-onto-you/#sthash.9Gc0JAwy.dpuf