To enter a war with a narcissist is to know that you will suffer from their cruelty and abuse as if it were their right to do so. A narcissistic person easily hurts a person who is empathetic and who feels guilty for returning the same techniques. Guilt perpetuates feelings of responsibility and doubt, often causing the other to give up. 

So how does a person create a fair fight? The most effective way is to fully understand the narcissist’s deadliest weapon, projective identification. Reflects on others your own insecurities . Knowing this, you can disarm their arguments and prevent a narcissist from hurting you in an argument.

The cruel narcissist

It’s truly amazing how unfair, careless, and malicious a narcissist can be, but they rarely feel true remorse for their actions. By easily deflecting, distorting and projecting, they alter their perception of reality, freeing themselves from responsibility and at the same time projecting guilt onto another. 

Your line of unconscious defense mechanisms operates as a force field around your ego, excusing you from deep and sincere feelings of remorse, insight, introspection, and responsibility . Therefore, they feel that they are never wrong.

Occasionally, when their back is against the wall, the narcissist may act as if they are feeling sincere remorse. However, this can be a trick to regain the confidence of the person you are manipulating. Additionally, operating from a victim position helps you control others through guilt.

The projective identification of the narcissist

Projective identification is the most powerful psychological mechanism in a narcissist’s arsenal.  It is what creates the toxic chemistry that psychologically chains an empathy with a narcissist. 

Projection is the first component of projective identification, it is a psychoanalytic term used to describe the unconscious process of expelling one’s own intolerable qualities and attributing them to another person. For example, a person who habitually acts rude may call another rude . This person does not see quality in himself, but perceives it in others. Narcissists use this defense mechanism routinely.

The role of the empathic person

The role of the empathic person is the second component and it is the role of the empath.  An empath’s access to deeper emotions, such as insight, introspection, deep regret, responsibility, and empathy , automatically qualifies them as less rigidly defended. 

Most of the deeper capacities cause the ego to experience a tinge of pain, so a person who has access to the deepest emotions has a stronger ego. Requires fewer defensive structures to activate.  As a result of this “open heart,” the empath unknowingly absorbs the narcissist’s projections and unconsciously identifies them as his own. As the narcissist projects their shameful qualities onto the empath, the empath instantly feels shame, insignificance, and incompetence.

These feelings cause an enormous amount of doubt about empathy.  Suddenly, he or she is vulnerable to believing the distortions communicated by the narcissist. Eventually, they are convinced that they are the root of the problems in the relationship, so they begin to tend and appease, giving narcissistic control. 

The narcissist harnesses his power and intensifies his tactics to isolate and cause conflict with the empath’s friends, family, and work relationships. The empathic sense of self slowly erodes, and their support system diminishes, so they begin to feel dependent on the narcissist, caught in the deadly cycle of projective identification.

Breaking the chain of projective identification requires empathy to become aware of this unconscious dynamic. Once the insidious psychological mechanism is illuminated, the empath’s knowledge protects them from believing the narcissist’s distortions of who he is. After regaining elements of their sense of self that were lost, an empath regains the strength to fight for space and independence from the narcissist. Once the empath has managed to create distance in the relationship, he or she is safe from the narcissist’s projections. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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