Those of us who possess the ability to empathize, find it difficult to comprehend NOT being able to put ourselves into other people’s shoes. Much the same way that those of us who can see colors, cannot imagine being colorblind.
Transversely, all persons who fall into the Cluster B Personality Disorders, are incapable of empathy. They do not, AND CANNOT, care or comprehend how their actions affect their victims. They only care if and when their actions result in a consequence for themselves. For instance, after a victim finally has enough of the abuse and calls law enforcement or just leaves. Suddenly the disordered person feels very sorry for their actions. But make no mistake, they are not sorry for how they hurt you. They were enjoying your pain when it was happening. They are sorry that they tortured the mouse until it died.
A colorblind person is never going to “see” the color green, regardless of how well or fervently you describe it. Likewise, a disordered person is not going to become honest, considerate or develop integrity, regardless of how much you plead with them. The window for the development of these traits has closed.
This is why it is labeled a “Personality Disorder”. It is ingrained into their personality. It is who they are.
The disordered person does, however, possess the ability to project their emotions onto others. For example, if a narcissist or other Cluster B personality disordered individual feels inadequate in some regard (i.e. not good at remembering names), as the narcissist’s ego has no space for criticism of any kind, the narcissist will deflect his or her feelings of shame associated with this deficit, onto the person whom they feel is superior in this respect. They will accuse the target of not being able to remember names, even if this means Gaslighting the target to achieve this deflection.
So in essence, Projection is NOT a process of the narcissist putting themselves in someone else’s shoes, but transversely, forcing another person to wear his shoes. And then mocking the target for wearing ugly shoes.