Projection & Narcissists

Have you ever heard the term projection regarding to how it relates to narcissists? Projection means that whatever they are doing, they project onto another person, accusing them of doing. For example, narcissists are know liars. Often they accuse others of lying to them while defending how honest & trustworthy they are.

Narcissistic mothers are no exception. They love to project, especially onto their children. The child of a narcissist isn’t viewed as the child of a normal, healthy person is. Most people view their children as separate human beings, with their own wants, emotions, personality & more. Narcissists, however, view their children as tools to be used in any way they see fit, not allowed to have their own wants, emotions or personality. Their children are not allowed to have boundaries. A narcissistic mother has no problem reading her child’s diary or snooping through her personal belongings. Nothing is off limits to the narcissistic mother, so why would projecting her flaws be?

I think another part of projection is also when a narcissist criticizes something about you that she wishes she had or could do. My mother is quick to criticize long hair on women, no matter how beautiful it is, yet has always complained that she can wear her thin, fine hair in only one, short style. She also has ruthlessly criticized my furkids, I think because they don’t like her & are very devoted to me.

Projection doesn’t stop just because a child of a narcissistic mother reaches adulthood. I haven’t heard of one narcissistic mother yet who has given up projection just because she is older or her child has grown up. My mother still gets on me about my weight, as she has my entire life, even though she is a lot heavier than I’ve ever been.

So how do you deal with this frustrating thing called projection?

The best way I’ve found is to remember what projection really is- a dysfunctional coping tool for a narcissist to use to deal with her own shortcomings. Remembering this helps to take some of the sting out of her cruel words, because you know it isn’t a personal attack- it is simply her own dysfunction. It still will hurt or anger you though, as it should, because it is unfair of her to use you in such a way.

Once I learned about projection & realized it was about her dysfunction rather than me, I’ve felt pity several times for my mother when I have caught her doing her projecting. She does it so often, she must truly feel awful about herself. It’s sad when you think of it. However, feeling pity doesn’t mean that I should try to make her feel better about herself. With a narcissist, attempting that puts you in the position of being responsible for her self-esteem, iffy as it may be, & she will use you up in order to gain the coveted narcissistic supply that improves her self-esteem. Please remember that if you too feel any pity.


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Narcissism

15 responses to “Projection & Narcissists

  1. lynettedavis

    Projection is, indeed, one of their most used weapons in the Narcissist’s arsenal. As an adult, understanding when it is that they’re using projection is very helpful but, in my opinion, it only makes them go “undercover” with lies, innuendo, etc., to get their supply. In children, the projection is usually internalized and then has to be un-learned as an adult, which, for many of us, takes a life time.


  2. ibikenyc

    Reading this post has made me realize how much progress I’ve made in this area.

    I can’t honestly say it doesn’t still at least sting, at least SOME of the time.

    However, I’ve gotten really good at seeing it for what it is and using that information to my advantage.

    On Wednesday he came in here wearing the Sincerely-Concerned Air and asked me if “anything in particular” were bothering me, as I seemed “especially” whatever-it-was: Tense / uptight / irritable; their ilk.

    I went through wanting to skin him alive while sitting on his chest and screaming, “WHADDAYA; FUCKING STOOOOOOPID?????” and then said,

    “Thanks for the warning.”


    • Your post just cracked me up! LOL!!! What a visual! LOL! That perfectly described how it feels sometimes when dealing with narcissists!

      Seriously though, it’s really good that you’ve come so far! You sure handled the situation well too! Pretty sure it always is going to sting sometimes when they say/do the things they do but it beats being devastated every single time, doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • ibikenyc

        Glad I caused you mirth!

        It does, for sure. This is a good example of the kind of situation in which I remember what I learned when working with those Disabled folks: It really ISN’T personal. They literally CANNOT do otherwise. And, yes, you feel kinda bad and it is stressful when you get “attacked,” but it DOESN’T erode your emotional foundation.

        (I also realized that there was a time, not so long ago, when I would have taken his question as a genuine Bid For Information and been earnestly answering him for however long it took me to realize I was talkng to an empty room.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • You sure did! LOL I needed a good laugh too!

          You’re very wise!! That’s a tough lesson to learn but once you do, it sure makes life much easier. Anything to take the abuse less personal is a wonderful thing, I think. I also tried seeing things through my narcissistic parents’ eyes. Not easy at first not being like them, but once I got some practice, their actions started making sense why they did the things they did. For example, my mother has called my writing a waste of time & trash no one wants to read. Admittedly, that really hurt at the time. But thinking about it from her perspective later on, I thought about how she’s always fancied herself a talented writer. Here I am doing what she thinks she’s so good at, yet I’m the only one who gets recognition for it. Makes sense (at least if you’re a narcissist) she’d try to ruin it for me. If she can’t have success with it why should I, yanno what I mean? Took the hurt out of it for me when I realized it’s her own insecurities & envy making her act that way rather than a personal attack on me.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. ibikenyc

    PS: Oh, dear. It’s been forty-eight hours. Today Could Be The Day.

    (Even though it’s on a different topic, I always think of Stevie Wonder’s “Skeletons” around this crap.)


  4. Oh joy.. lucky you, huh? Hopefully all will be ok today!!

    Liked by 1 person

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