“Some souls are like sponges. You cannot squeeze anything out of them except what they have sucked from you.”- Kahlil Gibran
Reverse projection: hang around a narcissist enough and, soon, you’ll be projecting, too. Only in this case, you’ll find that you project all your assets onto the n. (The actual asset, creativity, for example, stays with you; but you are convinced the n is the creative one, and wish you had the skills they did when in fact you are the one with the talent.)
This is one of the ways the non-narcissist contributes to the ongoing dysfunction of the relationship. It is also one of the ways the non-narcissist fuels their own insecurity.
This happens particularly with those who were raised by narcissists. A narcissist can suck us dry, so much so that we find ourselves giving up our claim to that which is ours.
These patterns can play out in your adult life and will come to the fore in a long-term or even a work relationship. Understand that the patterns of communication are complex and never actually about what they appear to be about. Adapted from Narcissism: Surviving the Self-Involved