Narcissists project their faults and failings onto their victims (bad character flaws/deeds) , but they also project their feelings, and beliefs onto the victim also.
These beliefs the narcissist hold could be about themselves, the victim or others.
You can think of "projection" as the Narcissist posing in the image of your face, they are projecting (throwing) all those bad flaws, deeds and beliefs about themselves unto you.
These feelings or beliefs might be positive ones or negative ones.
Projecting positive things onto the victim he is using her as a mirror so the good deeds are "reflected" back unto him. Making him appear as the one who is marvellous, grand, worthy etc (his grandiose false image)
Same thing - The Narcissist projects his bad deeds, habits, thoughts and belief onto the mirror (The Victim) in order to make her appear that she is at fault and these "Negative things" are hers and not his.
Whilst doing this, the narcissist is in effect using the victim as a dumping ground.
Slandering The Victim
When Narcissists slander their victims , they have two objectives. One is projection and the other is to "dirty a bright spot in your character" with whatever slander they are projecting at you. It's as though any shine on your image diminishes the glow of their glory.
This is of course the mentality of the rapist, who must tear others "down off that pedestal"
Projection and smearing at the same time isn't hard for the Narcissist, in fact it's uncanny how narcissists manage to accomplish it. It's all in the way they word their "line" on you. They are glib and amazingly adept at "killing two birds with one stone"
They not only ditch one of their faults, they muddy one of your virtues in the process.
Note: In doing this, the Narcissist isn't attacking your faults and shortcomings, he is attacking your virtues and accomplishments. Consequently when he is conducting a campaign of character assassination against someone, the arrows he shoots never hit one of that person's real flaws
The Narcissists False image contains the virtuous qualities in other people's characters , and their images have had those virtuous qualities replaces with the flaws in the narcissists character. In other words, the narcissist steals your virtues and dumps on you his faults.
In doing so, the narcissist is stealing your identity, pulling an identity switch with you, piecemeal.
It's kind of magical , an illusion created with nothing but words, which can warp perceptions by making anything of anything. For example: let's say that the narcissist is stingy and that one of your virtues is that you are outstanding for you generosity. He hates the glow of that shiny spot in your character, because it serves as foil to his stinginess, making it more noticeable by contrast. So he muddies your image and glorifies his image by misappropriating your generosity to himself and misappropriating his stinginess in you.
How? he goes around lying about how much she gives to charity and about helping people out all the time. More important (since one must be careful and subtle about boasting) , he just makes everything she does sound generous. He also goes around telling lying stories about you , stories that you are "stingy". More important, he makes everything you do sound stingy, however generous it manifestly is.
An Example: A Narcissist can make one £500 purchase sound like a payment for room, board, toiletries, cigarettes and laundry services for twenty years - in order to unsound like a freeloader or sofa surfer.
Normal people do not project. They may sometimes smear, but not in such a calculated , manipulative fashion.
Normal People Vs The Narcissist
Normal people - Project when put on the defensive
Narcissists project in unprovoked attacks
Normal people don't smear themselves off on just anyone. They wouldn't dream of harming those near and dear.
Narcissists see people as objects and nothing more, so they smear people off to anyone who will listen as thoughtlessly as we smear ourselves on a towel. For no other reason than to cause pain.
Normal people are likely to shake themselves off on whoever happens to be near at the moment. So they sometimes project a flaw off onto someone who actually has it.
Narcissists project ironically, accusing those with the corresponding virtue of a vice
Normal people stick to slander (which has some degree of truth to it) rarely engaging in calumny (lies) when they do calumniate someone, they at least have a natural reason for animosity toward the target.
Narcissists are perverted, there is no natural reason for what they do, they do it because they want to and because they can.
Normal people who do calumniate someone, they don't go hog-wild and calumniate that person so badly and so widely as to destroy them and ruin their whole lives.
Narcissists go hog wild , they are mental children and therefore as dangerous with their mouths as an angry five-year old with an assault weapon
The Narcissist is likely to smear off on someone he owes gratitude to, because needing help damages his image. He repays help as thought it were an insult , a threat. He must devalue it by devaluing the giver of it, as if such a contemptible person is incapable of really helping someone as grand as he.
Normal people don't do it because damaging others makes them feel good. In fact, doing this makes a normal person feel ashamed. But it makes a narcissist feel grand.
When it's fully conscious calumny a narcissist is spreading , he just thinks it's funny that people are such idiots that he can get away with it, feeding them ridiculous lines about others. Lines that are preposterous in the light of the target's known conduct. Narcissists will all let it be known at one time or another that they had nothing but contempt for the people who believed them. I am sure that a narcissist views his success at lying as proof that he is brilliant and that all mere mortals are as stupid as sticks.
Narcissists are not projecting guilt so much as they're projecting shame. In fact, it may well be that they have no concept of guilt and have it confused with shame. Which is pain. So this wicked behaviour is a way to ditch their pain onto you. It's a psychological painkiller, a drug, and that's why causing you pain makes him feel good.
Here is an example of a famous smear that illustrates how it works.
The first thing people noticed about Jesus of Nazareth was that, unlike the other prophets, he spoke on his own authority, appealing only to logic, and never prefaced his teaching with "God says...." This is but one of many example of his exceptional care to avoid blasphemy. He went way beyond custom in this regards. His tremendous reverence for the name of God was his most glaring virtue, but he put everyone , including the prophets, to shame in this.
Okay, so , if you or I wanted to smear Jesus, blasphemy would be the last thing we'd accuse him of, right? Because that accusation would be laughed at as a joke.
Or would it?
Well, whether people would get the joke or not, we're normal, so we'd accuse him of something believable, like being a drunk or something. But that isn't the way a narcissist thinks.
The narcissist(s) in the Sanhedrin who plotted against Jesus went right for that greatest shining virtue of his in leveling the charge of blasphemy against him. They just had to muddy it o'er.
Unbelievable. Yet the people believed it!
And consider the source of this accusation. Look who's accusing him of blasphemy. The Sanhedrin, blasphemously acting in the name of God.
In other words, in the very act, they were projecting the blot of their sin onto his outstanding virtue.
Unbelievable. Yet the people believed it.
Near the beginning of the Spanish Inquisition, a Spanish archbishop or cardinal (whose name I forget) remarked that the accusations leveled by the Inquisition were so widely believed because people are much readier to believe the unbelievable than the obvious. He said a mouthful.
Narcissists are projection machines, I am convinced that projection is a knee -jerk reflex in them. That is, whenever a moment of self-awareness threatens to let them know a flaw in their character they're revealing or some bad deed they are doing, they instantly go into denial about it (Repressing conscience of shame) by projecting the semblance of that flaw or misdeed off onto the handiest scapegoat- usually the very victim of whatever abuse they are dishing out.
How's that for maximum irony? Hence, while hurling a hailstorm of wild accusations at you, you can count off one of them being that you are hurling wild accusations at them. Every single time. They can't help it. I think they have been twisting their thinking for so long (since early childhood) that twisted thinking is hard-wired into their brains. I think projection is such an ingrained habit in them that often they're unaware they are doing it at times.
Projection is such a reflex in them that they give themselves away by some of the accusation they hurl. For example, if a narcissist says he fear you might attack him physically, look out" he is at least pondering whether to attack you physically. If he says he fears you might get into his bank account or spend his money, know that he is at least pondering getting into yours and spending your money. Every single time!
Narcissists are not the only people who project. But they are different in that they have done it so much for so long that they do it like a machine - automatically, every single time. They rarely hit one of target's real faults. Instead the accusation is a joke, smearing one of that person's virtues as a vice.
"I have all the characteristics of a human being: flesh, blood, skin , hair; but not a single, clear, identifiable emotion, except for greed and disgust. Something horrible is happening inside of me and I don't know why. I feel lethal, on the verge of frenzy. I think my mask of sanity is about to slip"
Gareth Edward(s) Rodger
Masks Of Sanity is an online blog offering advice, support and education for those who have fallen victim to the Psychopath/Narcissist. (NPD)
We explain why Narcissists behave the way they do, how they operate and how you can protect yourself from the Narcissist in society, in the home and online!
You can find my own personal experience with a psychopath in the links on the right. I have a very personal understanding of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder and I am proof that there is hope after abuse!