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Narcissistic Projection and How To Deal With It (With Examples)

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At some point, you may come into conflict with the narcissist.

It could be family, friends, or co-workers.

But dealing with a narcissist is much easier if you know what you are dealing with.

To that end, today we are analyzing the symptoms that narcissists project — common defensive mechanisms of hyperegoists.

We’ll break down why it happens, provide some common examples, and conclude with ideas on how to deal with it.

So, if you’re ready to reclaim your upper mental hand, read on.

What is Narcissistic Projection?

Projection is one of the narcissist’s favorite combat weapons.

So what is it? how does that work?

After all, projection is a defense mechanism that people deploy when faced with something they don’t want to admit about themselves.

It’s a way of externalizing and brushing problems under the proverbial carpet.

To be fair, we all project our insecurities and fears. It’s a human emotional instinct built into our survival DNA. An everyday example is:

  • assume someone can do something because you can
  • Someone says they hate you because deep down they hate you
  • Judging someone as “stuck” because they didn’t pay you as much attention as you’d like
  • Blame someone’s makeup or fashion sense because you’re secretly insecure about your own aesthetics

But the narcissist takes things to an unbearable level. Additionally, they are usually unable to recognize their own bad behavior.

For them, any petty criticism or disagreement is a gaslight, fur projection to the one who caused their anxiety.

Most often, narcissists whip out their protective shields when faced with jealousy, loss of control, fear, and an inferiority complex.

Ultimately, being targeted by people with a narcissistic personality style can damage your mental health.

At times, you may internalize their predictions and come to believe they are correct.

6 Ways Narcissists Use Projection With Examples

We’ve covered projection behavior and why it’s the default gear for egomania.

Now, let’s unpack some examples of narcissistic projection and take a peek inside the minds of delusional conceited people.

1. Media Mayhem

Narcissists take their own personal judgments and opinions as facts and can reach a point where they can’t cope when others disagree with their opinions on subjective matters.

For example, it’s not uncommon for people with these established personality traits to become unnecessarily upset if someone disagrees with them about a song, movie, or show.

couple talking on sofa, woman is upset, narcissistic projection

Disagreeing with their assessment is abruptly followed by a pursed lip followed by a huff and a negative sigh. “I can’t believe you don’t like it! I think you just ‘don’t get it’.”

Because they can’t handle small differences in artistic opinion, narcissists feel the need to return to their passive-aggressive place of control (in their mind’s eye).

2. Occupational hazards

Heaven help you if the narcissist in your life is a colleague, family member, or friend with similar professional ambitions. Some might even argue that

Because they can’t handle coming second and have a minor nervous breakdown whenever they feel professionally threatened, even if they have no reason to do so.

For example, consider the story of Tina and Robin. Tina was her technical writer and Robin was a playwright. Two polar opposite tracks on the authoring spectrum. Yet, every time Tina got a promotion or got a new client, Robin slapped her “friend” with a backhand barb. I don’t know how you find a job!?”

3. Fashion four pass

Narcissists think of themselves as fashionistas. In their minds, they are trendsetters, not followers.

So if someone with deep NPD tendencies finds someone’s look too similar to theirs, chances are they’ll flip over and start accusing their fashion twin of “stealing” their style. there is.

In these cases, if you want to keep the peace, don’t point out that they’re not the only ones wearing a particular outfit. We will regain the dominance of tailors.

couple talking on sofa narcissistic projection

The story of Emily and Madison is a classic example of this kind of narcissistic tantrum. Emily is a content creator working on building brands. Therefore, she hired a stylist and photographer for the shoot.

When Madison saw the photo, she was immediately upset and said, “Why did you choose my style for this project!? Why are you copying my style!?”

When Emily explained that the stylist made her wardrobe choices, Madison went on to accuse her friend of being uncreative and derivative.

4. Psychological Hot Potato

What if I asked a therapist who specializes in Narcissistic Personality Disorder how to tell someone with NPD that they are selfish?

They advise you not to try.


There’s a 9.9 in 10 chance that the narcissist will immediately try to flip the script, aggressively claiming that you’re the one who needs to find the counselor’s couch ASAP.

In these cases, they usually say, “I’m your friend. I care about you. I think you should find someone to talk to.”

You look ugly and do unreasonable things.” The narcissist also makes comments like, “What happened?!” and “I need help!”

Other related articles

What You Need to Know About Narcissistic Mirroring and How It Affects You

You tricked me into thinking about it: 17 ways to stop overthinking it

17 Unrecognizable Signs A Married Man Is Using You

5. Invasion of Intelligence

Never underestimate a narcissist’s ability to believe their own intellectual hype.

They are people who lie about their IQ and don’t really understand when they aren’t hired or selected for an award.

When their intellectual abilities are put to the test, they are quick to disrespect anyone who makes them feel “less.”

Vulnerable narcissists usually take the passive-aggressive route and say, “Well, we couldn’t have all had a tutor like you,” or, “Be part of an entitled group.” I am very lucky to have one.”

Malicious controlling narcissists utter more direct, blunt comments such as: That’s why I didn’t get the position” or “It’s amazing how mediocrity is being rewarded these days”.

6. Jealousy Jubilee

Envy is the narcissist’s touchstone. When that happens, they are unable to control themselves and fall into a pit of jealousy as soon as they face a situation where they feel inferior.

Anything can be triggered. If you get a used car newer than theirs, they will comment on how terrible its safety ratings are. If you work hard and save money to buy a house, they will think someone gave you a lot of money.

Then invite them to a housewarming party and they’ll spend the whole time giving out “compliments” inside out or picking out all the little imperfections.

Furthermore, people with NPD tendencies cannot really rejoice in other people’s victories if they do not derive any benefit from them. In extreme situations, they may start telling people that you made fun of them because you don’t have an object of their desire.

How to Deal with Narcissistic Projections

Sure, exceptions do exist. But her 99.99% of people with extreme narcissism never admit they are wrong.

For them, everything is always someone else’s fault.

So how do you deal with a narcissist without compromising your mental health? Let’s look at some ideas.

  • Evaluate your actions: Are you making yourself an easy target? Are you constantly making excuses for the narcissist to enable their actions? If so, what boundaries can you set to protect yourself from their projections and emotional manipulation? Please think about it.
  • Work yourself: Instead of focusing on the narcissist, turn your attention inward. Plan your goals and get to work. The more you focus on the prize, the less you get sucked into the machinations of a selfless megalomaniac.
  • Practice Mindfulness: According to research, mindfulness A great way to reduce anxiety and improve cognitive function. When your brain is sharp and firing on all cylinders, you’ll be better able to brush off some of the narcissist’s bad behavior.
  • View as a decoder. As difficult as it may be, try to see the narcissist’s projection as a window into their soul. Use what they give you!
  • Not Involved: There is no rule that says you have to deal with misbehaving people. So when a narcissist encroaching on your life starts acting out, respond by ignoring their behavior. , with the added bonus of checking them).
  • Witty pointing out their predictions: Standing up to a narcissist can be emotionally dangerous, but making witty remarks at their expense can be surprisingly effective. out of a high horse.

final thoughts

Dating a narcissist is painful. However, it may not be possible to escape immediately, as the person in question may be a family member, co-worker, or spouse.

To maintain mental health, it is helpful to remember that people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder usually become so due to severe childhood trauma. As you can see, it can smooth out rough edges.

At the same time, try not to compromise yourself and allow their actions. The desire to be better rests only with the narcissist.

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