This week, I started going over the political and social aspects of various personality disorders, viewed through the lense of Shahida Arabi’s excellent piece, “20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths And Psychopaths Use To Silence You”.
Yesterday it was “Gaslighting” – the narcissistic abuser’s way of trying to convince you not to trust your own lying perceptions, mind and memories.
Today, it’s the trait that helped put this blog on the map: Projection:
Berg’s Seventh Law Is In DSM-V. Sort Of: Arabi’s second point is “Projection”; she describes it:
One sure sign of toxicity is when a person is chronically unwilling to see his or her own shortcomings and uses everything in their power to avoid being held accountable for them. This is known as projection. Projection is a defense mechanism used to displace responsibility of one’s negative behavior and traits by attributing them to someone else. It ultimately acts as a digression that avoids ownership and accountability.
It’s another term for Berg’s Seventh Law; “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character, humanity or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds.”.
While we all engage in projection to some extent, according to Narcissistic Personality clinical expert Dr. Martinez-Lewi, the projections of a narcissist are often psychologically abusive.
Like, for example, fretting about an “oncoming wave of right-wing violence” (perhaps by tiki-torch-carrying cartoon figures) while ignoring or cheering on gas-mask-clad “Anti”-fa thugs destroying property and beating up peaceful event-goers.
So yeah – of course it sounds familiar:
Rather than acknowledge their own flaws, imperfections and wrongdoings, malignant narcissists and sociopaths opt to dump their own traits on their unsuspecting suspects in a way that is painful and excessively cruel. Instead of admitting that self-improvement may be in order, they would prefer that their victims take responsibility for their behavior and feel ashamed of themselves. This is a way for a narcissist to project any toxic shame they have about themselves onto another.
And yes, it has resonance in the world of Trump (or Bush, or Reagan) Derangement syndrome:
Narcissistic abusers love to play the “blameshifting game.” Objectives of the game: they win, you lose, and you or the world at large is blamed for everything that’s wrong with them. This way, you get to babysit their fragile ego while you’re thrust into a sea of self-doubt. Fun, right?
Fun – and the status quo in our society. Especially here in MInnesota.
Solution? Don’t “project” your own sense of compassion or empathy onto a toxic person and don’t own any of the toxic person’s projections either. As manipulation expert and author Dr. George Simon (2010) notes in his book In Sheep’s Clothing, projecting our own conscience and value system onto others has the potential consequence of being met with further exploitation.
TL:dr version: don’t take their crap.
Tomorrow – “Word Sadal”