Why Do Narcissists Call You A Narcissist
Why Do Narcissists Call You A Narcissist?

Narcissism, a term often thrown around in pop culture and psychology, refers to a personality trait characterized by an excessive focus on oneself, a grandiose sense of superiority, a deep need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. When we encounter individuals who exhibit these traits to an extreme degree, we might be tempted to label them as narcissists.

However, it’s not uncommon to find that narcissists themselves are quick to call others narcissists. In this article, we’ll delve into the psychology behind this behavior and explore the nine reasons to answer the question you asked, which is, why do narcissists call you a narcissist?

Why Do Narcissists Call You A Narcissist?

There are 9 narcissistic traits or behaviors why a narcissist will turn around and call you a narcissist. These are:

  1. Projection
  2. Deflection Tactics
  3. Gaslighting
  4. Control Through Accusation
  5. Invalidation by Label
  6. The Victim Card
  7. Maintaining the Illusion
  8. The Lack of Self-Awareness
  9. Manipulation Unveiled

Let’s dive into each of these reasons why a narcissist will call you a narcissist.

#1. Projection: Accusing Others of What They Are

One of the most fundamental reasons why narcissists label others as narcissists is projection. Narcissists project their own traits and behaviors onto others as a defense mechanism.

They may be aware of their narcissistic tendencies but refuse to acknowledge them, so they shift the focus onto someone else. This is why narcissists often see narcissism in others.

For instance, a narcissist who is prone to arrogance and self-centeredness might accuse someone else of these very traits.

Example: A narcissist constantly brags about their achievements and belittles their colleagues. When confronted, they accuse others of being arrogant and self-centered, projecting their own behavior onto them.

#2. Deflection Tactics: The Narcissist’s Strategy

Narcissists are experts at diverting attention away from their shortcomings and flaws. By calling someone else a narcissist, they can deflect criticism and scrutiny. It’s a classic misdirection tactic to avoid taking responsibility for their actions and behavior.

Example: Someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is often criticized for their lack of empathy. When confronted about their behavior, they accuse others of being the ones lacking empathy, effectively shifting the focus away from their own flaws.

#3. Gaslighting and the Narcissist’s Accusation

Gaslighting is a manipulative technique used by narcissists to make their victims doubt their own reality. When a narcissist accuses you of being a narcissist, it’s a form of gaslighting. They create confusion and self-doubt, making you question your own judgment and sanity.

Example: A narcissist’s partner is constantly belittled. When they confront the narcissist about their behavior, the narcissist accuses them of being abusive, leaving them feeling confused and questioning their perception of reality.

#4. Control Through Accusation: When You’re Labeled a Narcissist

Accusing someone of narcissism can also serve as a tool for control. By labeling you as a narcissist, the narcissist gains the upper hand in the relationship. They use this accusation as a means to manipulate and exert dominance over you.

Example: In a workplace, someone who exhibits narcissistic traits labels their colleague as a narcissist whenever they question their decisions. This accusation is a tactic to keep the colleague in check and maintain control over them.

#5. Invalidation by Label: The Narcissist’s Weapon

Narcissists thrive on the admiration and validation of others. When they call you a narcissist, it’s a way to invalidate your feelings, opinions, and experiences. They want to undermine your self-esteem and assert their superiority.

Example: Someone expresses concerns about a friend’s self-centered behavior. In response, the friend dismisses them by accusing them of being the real narcissist, invalidating their feelings and avoiding self-reflection.

#6. The Victim Card: When Narcissists Call You a Narcissist

Narcissists are skilled at playing the victim card. When confronted with their behavior, they might accuse you of being the narcissist, portraying themselves as the ones who are suffering. This manipulation tactic garners sympathy and support from others.

Example: A coworker regularly steals ideas and takes credit for others’ work. When confronted, they accuse their colleague of being the real thief and portray themselves as the victim of false accusations.

#7. Maintaining the Illusion: Narcissists and Self-Image

Narcissists have a fragile self-image that relies heavily on maintaining the illusion of perfection and superiority. When they label others as narcissists, they attempt to protect their grandiose self-image by contrasting it with a negative image of someone else.

Example: Someone with a narcissistic personality often calls their colleague a narcissist because they fear that their colleague’s accomplishments may overshadow their own, threatening their self-image of being the best.

#8. The Lack of Self-Awareness: Narcissists Accusing Others

Ironically, many narcissists lack self-awareness. They may genuinely believe that others exhibit narcissistic traits because they are blind to their own behavior. This lack of introspection leads them to project their issues onto others.

Example: Someone with NPD accuses their friend of being overly competitive and attention-seeking. They fail to realize that these traits are far more characteristic of their own behavior.

#9. Manipulation Unveiled: The Accusation Game

Lastly, narcissists use accusations of narcissism as a manipulative tool to gain an advantage in various situations. Whether it’s in personal relationships or professional settings, they leverage this accusation strategically.

Example: In a competitive workplace, a colleague accuses another of being a narcissist to undermine their chances of promotion, knowing it might tarnish their reputation.

Closing Thoughts

Understanding why narcissists call others narcissists sheds light on their manipulative and self-serving behavior. It’s essential to recognize these tactics and protect yourself from the emotional and psychological toll they can take. If you find yourself in a relationship with a narcissist, seeking professional help or guidance from support groups can be invaluable in dealing with the challenges they present. Remember, a compassionate approach to handling narcissists is essential, but it’s equally crucial to prioritize your well-being and boundaries.