Counter Projection

I came across a concept today I haven’t seen or heard of before in all of my research on the subject of narcissism.
I guess its not big - or new but its an odd twist on what I already know and I am re-framing several things based on it being a possibility.

I have dickered around with the concept of narcissistic supply,
and although my understanding is probably imperfect I am o.k. with all of the following:

  • You may not contradict a narcissist, their view of reality is the only one they will tolerate.
  • You may only praise a narcissist or you will bring about an episode of narcissistic rage.
  • People have their positions and roles within the narcissistic reality and you may not vary from you assigned role - or you will be discarded or rejected after attempts to bring you back into line have failed.
The narcissist is "supplied" by being in the centre of their own universe - and receiving praise and acknowledgement of ......themselves. - Not their positive characteristics - or deeds  - but just generally - being noticed as being important and central - (without having any responsibility.)

Then I came across this insidious concept.

Counter projection?

A narcissist is not able to countenance any shortfall in their own perfection and will project the flaws they cannot internalise onto someone else  - usually one person.

The scapegoat

What is the benefit in this?
After all, the narcissist can alter their view of reality such that no-one in their family will suffer from the same flaws as the rest of the population.  Why not  project onto someone close and yet conveniently available who is outside the family? You could have all golden children - and thus prove what an amazing parent and human being you were...
True - inside is more convenient - you can do it directly and at will, but it occurred to me that if you were just projecting, then the proximity would be irrelevant.


If you think that  - then the only alternative is that its the REACTION that’s important, that’s why the scapegoat has to be so close.

They don't just do it because they need to relieve themselves of their flaws -
they do it to you,
BECAUSE it hurts you.

As the narcissist projects their indigestible and unacceptable flawed characteristics onto the scapegoat, the scapegoat counter projects too.
As the scapegoat  sinks lower into self loathing and lower and lower self esteem they counter project those characteristics they cannot call their own any-more onto those around them - deserving or not.

The confidence, goodness, worthiness beauty, skill, competence - any characteristics that the narcissist can prevent them owning - are projected outwards onto the most convenient people - in this case into the narcissists greedily waiting hunger

So the process of the destruction of the scapegoats self worth directly feeds the narcissist.