Psychoanalyst Carl Jung speaks about projections: " A man who is unconscious of himself acts in a blind, instinctive way and is in addition fooled by all the illusions that arise when he sees everything that he is not conscious of in himself coming to meet from outside as projections upon his neighbor." Primitive projections are powerful psychological weapons used by the narcissist to weaken those closest to him/her. A projection is an unconscious defense mechanism the individual uses to eject powerful aggressive feelings and impulses that he cannot tolerate on to some one else. The receiver of these projections feels stunned, shocked and wounded on impact. The unconscious and unexpected properties of the projection is what makes it so potent and poisonous. Recently I was on the receiving end of one of these psychic assaults from a stranger. Fortunately I was in a public venue which slightly softened the blow. I remember getting a first impression of this person as off center. She was very self absorbed, appearing needy and too nice. I could sense that she was distanced from herself---unknown to herself. She presented herself as helpless and innocent. There was a muted but persistent voice inside of me that said: "Don't go near her. She is concealing her real self. She has boundary issues. Keep your distance." I waved off this intuitive warning because the situation appeared to be so innocuous. I had been in conversation with a friend nearby and we were being jovial and silly (but not disruptive to others).
Out of nowhere this woman blasted me with a sharply barbed comment which she repeated. She tried to cut me down by making a swift clipped cruel observation about my outward appearance. It translated as "You're ugly and useless"! Without dropping my jaw, I felt a pump of adrenaline, then rage, then shame. I answered back with a humorous quip. This Ms. Innocent---Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth babe" thought she had landed a mortal wound. I certainly felt the punch. Her repetition of this insult meant that she had every intention of hitting me with a psychological body blow. This projective mechanism was unconscious on her part. It resonated inside of me for some time. Even with all of my training and clinical experience it was bruising and I had to work hard to re-group.
The middle name of a narcissist is projection----all of the time. (Some people use projection as a defense mechanism who are not narcissistic.) There is much to be learned that is invaluable in these situations. First, stay tuned to your 24 hour a day intuition channel----It is always telling you the truth, even when it comes in a quiet voice. Second, be kind to yourself when someone has blasted you in this way. It's a psychological belly blow. And, steer clear of these people. They don't have boundaries---Keep your distance from these individuals. We will visit this topic again. Primitive projections are constantly flying through the air, awaiting the next victim. Take great care of yourself. Visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
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Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
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