Is projection a personality disorder?

Projection is not a personality disorder in and of itself. Rather, it is a defense mechanism that is used by individuals to cope with feelings of anxiety, guilt, shame, or other uncomfortable emotions. Projection can be a feature of several personality disorders, including narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder, among others.

Individuals with these personality disorders may be more prone to using projection as a defense mechanism due to their characteristic ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. For example, individuals with narcissistic personality disorder may use projection to maintain a grandiose sense of self-importance, while those with paranoid personality disorder may use projection to avoid feelings of vulnerability and protect themselves from perceived threats.

However, it’s important to note that not all individuals with personality disorders use projection, and not all individuals who use projection have a personality disorder. Projection is a common defense mechanism that can be used by anyone, regardless of whether they have a diagnosable mental health condition.

How to recognise it

Recognizing provocation by projection can be challenging because the person doing it may not be aware of their own behavior. However, here are some signs that may indicate that someone is using this defense mechanism:

  1. They are overly critical of others: People who use provocation by projection may be quick to criticize others and point out their flaws or mistakes. This can be a way of deflecting attention away from their own shortcomings.
  2. They seem to have an exaggerated reaction to criticism: If someone becomes very defensive or angry when they are criticized or questioned, this could be a sign that they are projecting their own insecurities or faults onto the other person.
  3. They make accusations without evidence: People who use provocation by projection may make accusations against others without any evidence or proof. This can be a way of deflecting attention away from their own actions.
  4. They have a history of similar behavior: If someone has a pattern of accusing others of doing things that they themselves are guilty of, this could be a sign that they are using provocation by projection.
  5. They avoid taking responsibility: People who use provocation by projection may avoid taking responsibility for their own actions and instead blame others for their problems or mistakes.

It’s important to note that these signs alone do not necessarily indicate that someone is using provocation by projection. However, if you notice a pattern of this behavior in someone you know, it may be worth addressing it with them or seeking the help of a mental health professional.

Provocation by projection

“Provocation by projection” is a psychological concept that refers to when an individual attributes their own unacceptable or negative thoughts, feelings, or impulses to another person and then reacts with anger, hostility, or aggression towards that person. In other words, they provoke or accuse others of doing what they themselves are actually doing or feeling.

This defense mechanism can be seen in various contexts, including personal relationships, workplace settings, and politics. For example, someone who is insecure about their own abilities may project their insecurities onto a coworker and then provoke that coworker in order to divert attention away from their own shortcomings.

Similarly, in politics, a politician may accuse their opponents of unethical or illegal behavior in order to distract from their own wrongdoings or to manipulate public opinion.

Overall, provocation by projection is a complex psychological phenomenon that can be harmful to both the individual who uses it and the people around them. It is important to recognize when this is happening and address the underlying issues causing it.

Q & A – What is it called when people accuse you of what they are actually doing

The psychological phenomenon you are referring to is called “projection”. Projection occurs when an individual unconsciously ascribes their own unacceptable thoughts, feelings, or behaviors onto another person, often without realizing that they are doing so.

For example, if someone is feeling jealous of their partner, they may accuse their partner of being unfaithful, even if there is no evidence to support this accusation. This projection allows the individual to distance themselves from their own uncomfortable feelings, while also potentially creating a sense of control or power over the situation.

Projection can be harmful to relationships and can lead to misunderstandings, conflict, and a lack of trust. It’s important to be aware of this phenomenon and to address it if it’s happening in your own relationships, as it can be a sign of deeper issues that may need to be addressed in therapy or counseling.

Q & A – What is Malicious Parent syndrome?

Malicious Parent Syndrome (MPS) is a term used to describe a pattern of behavior exhibited by a parent, usually during or after a contentious divorce or child custody battle, who uses their child as a weapon to hurt the other parent. MPS is not a recognized psychiatric disorder, but rather a behavior pattern that can be seen in individuals who exhibit high levels of anger, vindictiveness, and a desire for revenge.

Parents with MPS may attempt to turn their child against the other parent, engage in parental alienation, or use their child to gather information about the other parent. They may also interfere with the other parent’s court-ordered visitation, deny access to the child, or make false accusations of abuse or neglect.

MPS can have a serious negative impact on the child’s well-being, as it can cause emotional distress, confusion, and feelings of guilt and loyalty conflict. It is important for parents and professionals involved in custody and visitation disputes to be aware of the potential for MPS and take steps to prevent it from occurring.

©Linda Turner 2023

Articles by Dr George Simon

Narcissistic Truth Distortion Is Just Manipulation – Dr. George Simon

Shame and Shamelessness – Dr George Simon

Narcissism and Empathy Capacity – Dr. George Simon

Do Narcissists Really Believe They’re Always Right? – Dr. George Simon

Narcissists Hate It When You Have Their Number – Dr. George Simon

Predators Among Us: The Psychopaths – Dr. George Simon

The Aggressive Personalities – Part 2 Dr George Simon

Character Disturbance: the phenomenon of our age

Predatory people are on the lookout for empathic, resilient people

Why Meeting Multiple Narcissists, Sociopaths and Psychopaths Is More Common Than You Think

In Sheep’s Clothing

Horrendous lack of respect

Successful psychological manipulation primarily involves the manipulator

Why Some Never Seem to Learn

Looking Good Vs. Being Good

Articles and Videos by Richard Grannon

Articles by Sam Vaknin

About Sam Vaknin, Author of Narcissism Book

I am not a mental health professional, though I was certified in Counseling Techniques. I work as a financial consultant to leading businesses and to governments in several countries.”

Character Disturbance: the phenomenon of our age

Modern permissiveness and the new culture of entitlement allows disturbed people to reach adulthood without proper socialization. In a book meant both for the general public and for professionals, bestselling author and psychologist George Simon explains in plain English:

•How most disturbed characters think.
•The habitual behaviors the disturbed use to avoid responsibility and to manipulate, deceive, and exploit others.
•Why victims in relationships with disturbed characters do not get help they need from traditional therapies.
•A straightforward guide to recognizing and understanding all relevant personality types, especially those most likely to undermine relationships.
•A new framework for making sense of the crazy world many find themselves in when there’s a disturbed character in their lives.
•Concrete principles that promote responsibility and positive change when engaging disturbed characters.
•Tactics (for both lay persons and therapists) to lessen the chances for victimization and empower those who would otherwise be victims in their relationships with many types of disturbed characters.

Continue reading “Character Disturbance: the phenomenon of our age”

Successful psychological manipulation primarily involves the manipulator

George K. Simon

According to psychology author George K. Simon, successful psychological manipulation primarily involves the manipulator:[14]

  • Concealing aggressive intentions and behaviors and being affable.
  • Knowing the psychological vulnerabilities of the victim to determine which tactics are likely to be the most effective.
  • Having a sufficient level of ruthlessness to have no qualms about causing harm to the victim if necessary.

Techniques of manipulators may include:

Lying (by commission)It is hard to tell if somebody is lying at the time they do it, although often the truth may be apparent later when it is too late. One way to minimize the chances of being lied to is to understand that some personality types (particularly psychopaths) are experts at lying and cheating, doing it frequently, and often in subtle ways.
Lying by omissionThis is a subtle form of lying by withholding a significant amount of the truth. This technique is also used in propaganda.
DenialManipulator refuses to admit that they have done something wrong.
RationalizationAn excuse made by the manipulator for inappropriate behavior. Rationalization is closely related to spin.
MinimizationThis is a type of denial coupled with rationalization. The manipulator asserts that their behavior is not as harmful or irresponsible as someone else was suggesting.
Selective inattention or selective attentionManipulator refuses to pay attention to anything that may distract from their agenda.
DiversionManipulator not giving a straight answer to a straight question and instead being diversionary, steering the conversation onto another topic.
EvasionSimilar to diversion but giving irrelevant, rambling, or vague responses
Covert intimidationManipulator putting the victim onto the defensive by using veiled (subtle, indirect or implied) threats.
Guilt tripA special kind of intimidation tactic. A manipulator suggests to the conscientious victim that they do not care enough, are too selfish or have it too easy. This can result in the victim feeling bad, keeping them in a self-doubtinganxious and submissive position.
ShamingManipulator uses sarcasm and put-downs to increase fear and self-doubt in the victim. Manipulators use this tactic to make others feel unworthy and therefore defer to them. Manipulators can make one feel ashamed for even daring to challenge them. It is an effective way to foster a sense of inadequacy in the victim.
Vilifying the victimThis tactic is a powerful means of putting the victim on the defensive while simultaneously masking the aggressive intent of the manipulator, while the manipulator falsely accuses the victim as being an abuser in response when the victim stands up for or defends themselves or their position.
Playing the victim roleManipulator portrays themself as a victim of circumstance or of someone else’s behavior in order to gain pitysympathy or evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. Caring and conscientious people often cannot stand to see anyone suffering and the manipulator often finds it easy to play on sympathy to get cooperation.
Playing the servant roleCloaking a self-serving agenda in the guise of a service to a more noble cause.
SeductionManipulator uses charm, praise, flattery or overtly supporting others in order to get them to lower their defenses and give their trust and loyalty to the manipulator. They will also offer help with the intent to gain trust and access to an unsuspecting victim they have charmed.
Projecting the blame(blaming others)Manipulating scapegoats in often subtle, hard-to-detect ways. Often, the manipulator will project their own thinking onto the victim, making the victim look like they have done something wrong. Manipulators will also claim that the victim is the one who is at fault for believing lies that they were conned into believing, as if the victim forced the manipulator to be deceitful. All blame, except for the part that is used by the manipulator to accept false guilt, is done in order to make the victim feel guilty about making healthy choices, correct thinking and good behaviors. It is frequently used as a means of psychological and emotional manipulation and control. Manipulators lie about lying, only to re-manipulate the original, less believable story into a “more acceptable” truth that the victim will believe. Projecting lies as being the truth is another common method of control and manipulation. Manipulators may falsely accuse the victim of “deserving to be treated that way”. They often claim that the victim is crazy or abusive, especially when there is evidence against the manipulator.
Feigning innocenceManipulator tries to suggest that any harm done was unintentional or that they did not do something that they were accused of. Manipulator may put on a look of surprise or indignation. This tactic makes the victim question their own judgment and possibly their own sanity.
Feigning confusionManipulator tries to play dumb by pretending they do not know what the victim is talking about or is confused about an important issue brought to their attention. The manipulator intentionally confuses the victim in order for the victim to doubt their own accuracy of perception, often pointing out key elements that the manipulator intentionally included in case there is room for doubt. Sometimes manipulators will have used cohorts in advance to help back up their story.
Brandishing angerManipulator uses anger to brandish sufficient emotional intensity and rage to shock the victim into submission. The manipulator is not actually angry, they just put on an act. They just want what they want and get “angry” when denied. Controlled anger is often used as a manipulation tactic to avoid confrontation, avoid telling the truth or to further hide intent. There are often threats used by the manipulator of going to the police, or falsely reporting abuses that the manipulator intentionally contrived to scare or intimidate the victim into submission. Blackmail and other threats of exposure are other forms of controlled anger and manipulation, especially when the victim refuses initial requests or suggestions by the manipulator. Anger is also used as a defense so the manipulator can avoid telling truths at inconvenient times or circumstances. Anger is often used as a tool or defense to ward off inquiries or suspicion. The victim becomes more focused on the anger instead of the manipulation tactic.
Bandwagon effectManipulator comforts the victim into submission by claiming (whether true or false) that many people already have done something, and the victim should as well. Such manipulation can be seen in peer pressure situations, often occurring in scenarios where the manipulator attempts to influence the victim into trying drugs or other substances.
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