Mirroring and Projection in the Cycle of Narcissistic Abuse

The Last Chardonnay

Excerpts taken from: https://narcissistfamilyfiles.com/2017/10/03/narcissistics-fun-house-mirrors-projection/

Life with a narcissist is a lot like living in a house of mirrors. Unreal reflections and projections meet you at every turn. At first you may feel dazzled, seduced by what the narcissist is showing you about yourself and him/her. But before long you feel trapped in a maze of grotesque distortions, with no apparent exit.

Narcissistic Mirroring

Mirroring, or reflecting back what others say and do, is a common behavior that many of us engage in, often unconsciously, to create rapport and show feelings of connectedness with others. We may, for example, adopt another person’s (or animal’s) energy level, facial expressions, body language, and tone to show understanding and empathy.

People with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), on the other hand, take mirroring to extremes. Because early childhood circumstances prevent them from establishing a core sense of identity and self-worth, narcissists forever look to external…

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The Effects of Gaslighting

The Last Chardonnay

Sharing another informative article that can be found on narcissisticbehavior.net. It is long, but well worth the read. The original article and more can also be found at the link below.


by Christine

The Effects of Gaslighting in Narcissistic Victim Syndrome

What is “Gaslighting”?

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse used by narcissists in order to instill in their victim’s an extreme sense of anxiety and confusion to the point where they no longer trust their own memory, perception or judgment. The techniques used in “Gaslighting” by the narcissist are similar to those used in brainwashing, interrogation, and torture that have been used in psychological warfare by intelligence operative, law enforcement and other forces for decades.

“What Is Gaslighting?”


The intention is to, in a systematic way, target the victim’s mental equilibrium, self confidence, and self esteem so that they…

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The Dance Between Codependents & Narcissists

The Dance Between Codependents & Narcissists

The “codependency dance” requires two opposite but distinctly balanced partners: the pleaser/fixer (codependent) and the taker/controller (narcissist/addict).

Codependents — who are giving, sacrificing, and consumed with the needs and desires of others — do not know how to emotionally disconnect or avoid romantic relationships with individuals who are narcissistic — individuals who are selfish, self-centered, controlling, and harmful to them. Codependents habitually find themselves on a “dance floor” attracted to partners who are a perfect counter-match to their uniquely passive, submissive and acquiescent dance style.

As natural followers in their relationship dance, codependents are passive and accommodating dance partners. So how can they stop being such natural followers?

Codependents find narcissistic dance partners deeply appealing. They are perpetually attracted to their charm, boldness, confidence and domineering personality.

When codependents and narcissists pair up, the dancing experience sizzles with excitement — at least in the beginning. After many “songs,” the enthralling and thrilling dance experience predictably transforms into drama, conflict, feelings of neglect and being trapped. Even with chaos and conflict, neither of the two spellbound dancers dares to end their partnership. Despite the tumultuous and conflict-laden nature of their relationship, neither of these two opposite, but dysfunctionally compatible, dance partners feel compelled to sit the dance out.

When a codependent and narcissist come together in their relationship, their dance unfolds flawlessly: The narcissistic partner maintains the lead and the codependent follows. Their roles seem natural to them because they have actually been practicing them their whole lives. The codependent reflexively gives up their power; since the narcissist thrives on control and power, the dance is perfectly coordinated. No one gets their toes stepped on.

Typically, codependents give of themselves much more than their partners give back to them. As generous — but bitter — dance partners, they seem to be stuck on the dance floor, always waiting for the next song, at which time they naively hope that their narcissistic partner will finally understand their needs.

Codependents confuse caretaking and sacrifice with loyalty and love. Although they are proud of their unwavering dedication to the person they love, they end up feeling unappreciated and used. Codependents yearn to be loved, but because of their choice of dance partner, find their dreams unrealized. With the heartbreak of unfulfilled dreams, codependents silently and bitterly swallow their unhappiness.

Codependents are essentially stuck in a pattern of giving and sacrificing, without the possibility of ever receiving the same from their partner. They pretend to enjoy the dance, but really harbor feelings of anger, bitterness, and sadness for not taking an active role in their dance experience. They are convinced that they will never find a dance partner who will love them for who they are, as opposed to what they can do for them. Their low self-esteem and pessimism manifests itself into a form of learned helplessness that ultimately keeps them on the dance floor with their narcissistic partner.

The narcissist dancer, like the codependent, is attracted to a partner who feels perfect to them: Someone who lets them lead the dance while making them feel powerful, competent and appreciated. In other words, the narcissist feels most comfortable with a dancing companion who matches up with their self-absorbed and boldly selfish dance style. Narcissist dancers are able to maintain the direction of the dance because they always find partners who lack self-worth, confidence and who have low self-esteem — codependents. With such a well-matched companion, they are able to control both the dancer and the dance.

Although all codependent dancers desire harmony and balance, they consistently sabotage themselves by choosing a partner to whom they are initially attracted, but will ultimately resent. When given a chance to stop dancing with their narcissistic partner and comfortably sit the dance out until someone healthy comes along, they typically choose to continue their dysfunctional dance. They dare not leave their narcissistic dance partner because their lack of self-esteem and self-respect makes them feel like they can do no better. Being alone is the equivalent of feeling lonely, and loneliness is too painful to bear.

Without self-esteem or feelings of personal power, the codependent is incapable of choosing mutually giving and unconditionally loving partners. Their choice of a narcissistic dance partner is connected to their unconscious motivation to find a person who is familiar — someone who is reminiscent of their powerless and, perhaps, traumatic childhood. Sadly, codependents are most likely children of parents who also flawlessly danced the dysfunctional codependent/narcissistic dance. Their fear of being alone, their compulsion to control and fix at any cost, and their comfort in their role as the martyr who is endlessly loving, devoted, and patient, is an extension of their yearning to be loved, respected, and cared for as a child.

Although codependents dream of dancing with an unconditionally loving and affirming partner, they submit to their dysfunctional destiny. Until they decide to heal the psychological wounds that ultimately compel them to dance with their narcissistic dance partners, they will be destined to maintain the steady beat and rhythm of their dysfunctional dance.

 Found Basic Parenting Skills in the Example Parent

by Maureen Russell

As we find the need for basic parenting skills squarely on our own shoulders, many of us wish we’d grown up with more perfect examples of mothers and fathers. Some of us had well-meaning, loving parents who did their very best to bring us up. For others, that wasn’t our experience. Either way, all of us feel or have felt totally unprepared for parenting.

I came across a parent who actually gives us the example we all long for. He is perfect. He always gets it right. He doesn’t just show me basic parenting skills, He always knows the precise discipline for every situation. His kids lie, blame, hide, fight, wander, and disobey just like ours do. He’s even watched a child murder their sibling and still loves them. He understands every possible parenting scenario. He has nevermade a parenting mistake. His failures total zero. His name is God. I call him, Father.

A while back, my pastor, Craig Groeschel, talked about the movie Steve Jobs, an example of an incredible man who was an imperfect parent. According to the movie, He actually lacked some very basic parenting skills. He didn’t get to pick his kids, and his kids didn’t pick him. Then there’s the perfect parent, who’s ours only if we want Him. He wants children to come to Him (Matthew 19:14). We get to choose Him (John 1:12)We call out to Him, “Abba, Father!” (Romans 8:15), and He becomes the parent we always needed. He bandages our wounds, heals our broken hearts (Psalm 147:3), teaches the ways we should walk in (Psalm 25:8), and fills us with an all-abiding, unfailing love (Psalm 57:10).

He shows us how to love, interact with, and discipline our children. We can learn to work with our children just like He works with us. Regardless of how we grew up, when we become children of God, we gain access to the example parent. Not just basic access either—He puts His Holy Spirit and His power inside us (Ephesians 1:17-20).

I remember when our twin boys were born. I’d dreamed of it ever since I first rocked my toy dolls. Yet, these two little boys came, and I was sooverwhelmed. It wasn’t only the minute-by-minute tasks that overwhelmed me, but also the weight of responsibility. I still feel it, and they’re teenagers now! But, when I take time to sit with my heavenly Father, receive His love, hear His voice, and learn from His example, I know I can do this. I know He’ll help me be an example parent for my boys. I know He’ll help me point them in the way they should go.

Do you know God as your Father? How have you learned from His example in parenting? How has He helped you on your own parenting journey?

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