Something that those with what are known in the psychology world as cluster B personality disorders, particularly Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder, which is the designation for psychopaths and sociopaths, have in common with people of a particular political persuasion is a tendency towards projection.
What is projection? I’ve touched briefly on it here before, describing it as when someone accuses someone else of what they themselves are guilty of in order to deflect blame and attention away from themselves and onto their opposition.
But it goes beyond that. People of the above mindset are wired in such a way that they are pathologically incapable of even beginning to fathom that other people are different — with different morals, different values, different moral limits, different patterns of thought — than themselves, and so they feel perfectly justified in projecting their own guilt onto others. After all, what they’re accusing you of is exactly what they would do in your situation, and so you must secretly be guilty, too. They’re just exposing what in their minds is true.
This is destructive enough on an individual level when applied to interpersonal relationships. But when a large group of people who think this way get together, combine their resources, and attain power over those who don’t think this way, things get really dangerous. Then you begin to see entire groups of people maligned for evils they would never even think of committing — and not only maligned, but punished for them.
One fortunate thing for us normals is that people with this mindset can’t help but expose themselves and their true nature by the things they accuse others of doing or being. They tell us exactly what they would do if they were in their opponents’ position, incapable of comprehending that most of those they’re lumping together simply want to live their lives in peace, get along with others, and be free to provide for themselves and their families as they see fit. Violent people see violence all around them and expect violence from others. Disloyal people see disloyalty all around them and expect disloyalty from others. Insert your sociopathic quality here and repeat, ad nauseum.
Conversely, kind and considerate people tend to see kindness and consideration and to expect it from others, and are shocked when they’re met with unkindness and lack of consideration, and with false accusations and unjust maligning of character. It shakes us off our foundation and leaves us floundering as we try to make sense of what just happened — which is why it’s such an effective tactic that the narcopath returns to again and again. See also: gaslighting
Maya Angelou famously said, when people tell you who they are, listen to them. It’s time to listen and pay attention.
It would not be the worst idea in the world, if you have time, to educate yourself about narcissists and psychopaths and the way these people think, as well as the tactics they use to manipulate, control, and get their way. On YouTube, Richard Grannon, Dr. Ramani, and the Surviving Narcissism channel are all good places to start.
We’re living in perilous times, friends. I wish I had some encouragement. But one of the best things we can do, besides pray, is arm ourselves with discernment skills and learn to exercise prudence.
Yesterday, during Bible study, this thought occurred to me — that God is going to allow things to get really bad before they get better, because these latter generations, who have lived our lives in relative ease and comfort, need to be exposed first-hand to true evil and see for ourselves what it’s capable of and what happens when sin and lawlessness are allowed to go unchecked. This life is our inoculation against evil, so that we will be immune to it in the afterlife. And we’re all about to get a big dose.
But the righteous will be saved by faith. Habbakuk first said it, and Paul repeated it multiple times. What makes us righteous? Not our works or our morals or our human virtue. Nothing inherent in us. Only faith in Jesus Christ, who covers us with his righteousness.
The Lord knows them that are his, and he is in the boat with us, our rock and our refuge, our shelter in times of trouble. He will see us through the storm.
0 thoughts on “Projection 101”
Most good people are non-confrontational, so they tend to look the other way when coming up against these types of personalities. But they don’t feel good about it.
James Lee Burke always writes that all that is needed for evil to take hold is for good men to do nothing (something to that effect). JLB is a wise man, and his books are chock full of little pearls of wisdom and warnings against complacency.
You writers have a tremendous impact on your readers. It’s comforting to know that most of you use your powers for good….you are much needed and appreciated.
Thanks, Marcia. Glad you found some value in this post.