It is well-known that our kind does not do responsibility. We are not to be held to account. We are never culpable. Nothing is ever our fault. We are free to act as we please, doing what we want without concern for repercussion or consequence. Responsibility does not figure in our considerations. There is a considerable deficit on our side of the equation when it comes to shouldering responsibility. Nature abhors a vacuum however and therefore since we create such an absence of responsibility, this raises the question who is going to step in and accept responsibility? Who is going to take on more than their fair share of accountability? Who is going to plug the culpability gap? The answer, of course, is you and this is a significant reason why you remain chained to us and naturally, we know this to be the case. This is one of the reasonas why we choose people like you.

As an empathic individual you have many traits which appeal to us. One of these traits is having a strong moral compass so that you “do the right thing” and you accept responsibility for your actions. That is attractive to us in itself. However, you go further than this. You are blessed or cursed, dependent on how you regard it, with the fact that you are over-responsible. Not only will you rightly accept blame when it is genuinely your fault but you will accept responsibility for us as well. This is extremely appealing. How does this over-responsibility come about?

On the one hand it is something which is intrinsic to you as a consequence of being an empathic person. You feel a deep responsibility for others and you do so because you wish to help. You do not believe that it is right to shirk responsibility or walk away when someone is in need. You widen your scope of responsibility by adopting the stance that as a decent human being you have a responsibility to aid others, assist them and help them. Added to that is the fact that we cause you to be responsible for us. We deny responsibility so you immediately feel a need to plug that gap – I return below to why you feel that need. Moreover, we make it your responsibility through our repeated projection and blame-shifting.

“It is always your fault.”

“You made me get angry, it is your fault.”

“Now look what you have made me do.”

“You should have known that was going to annoy me.”

This frequent projection and blame-shifting conditions you to accept responsibility for what we have done or not done. The more aware of our kind know that by reinforcing this double edged message – we are not responsible/ it is your fault – you will accept this to be the case. You are prone to repeated self-analysis and in order to find solutions, keep the peace and avoid those eggshells you will accept responsibility for us. An objective observer would find a certain action to be clearly our fault but you will take on the mantle of responsibility on our behalf.

“It’s my fault, I should have known.”

“He is tired, that is why he shouts at me, I should have let him rest.”

“I should have remembered that he doesn’t like fish.”

“It’s okay, I am used to it, I don’t mind because he can be wonderful to me you know.”

“It is just the way he is, I pick up the pieces, that is what I am here for.”

The repeated reinforcement that you are to blame coupled with your natural propensity for wanting to accept responsibility means that we know we can easily have you burdened with accountability and you will invariably accept it. This then paves the way for us to inflict other manipulations against you based on your acceptance of fault and guilt. You accept you are at fault so then we are entirely justified in shouting at you, cold-shouldering you, stopping you going out or having an affair. Having you as the one to blame suits our purposes to maintain our perceived superiority and provides us with justification for punishing you so that we receive further negative fuel.

This over-responsibility will extend into making excuses on our behalf when we have stormed out of a family occasion. It is our secretary ringing a client and apologising for us when we have been rude to somebody. It is a sibling who tries to play down our outrageous behaviour and finding something to explain it without pinning the blame where it ought to be pinned; on us. You accept that you are to blame and you become our spokesperson when dealing with other people as you are left to defend the indefensible. Not that you will get any thanks for any of this of course.

Why then do you feel such a need to be over-responsible for us? Where does this trait stem from? I have seen it within my own family with my sister. From an early age you have been subjected to such blaming behaviour when it was never actually your fault. This causes you to believe that there must be something wrong with you and that you are not good enough. In order to deal with this sense of inadequacy that was instilled in you most likely in your childhood you seek to over-compensate and decide that you will become good enough by being the receptacle for all blame, irrespective of real culpability. You have been convinced that you deserve this abuse, this blame and it is your duty to shoulder responsibility for what we do and what we do not do, in order to become worthwhile. It is easier to accept blame than fight against it because this is fulfilling the role that has been created for you. Always being to blame has caused you think that you deserve it and in order to do something about that state of affairs, you address it by accepting even more blame in order to reach an accord with what you regard your role to be.

We know that you need to feel responsible. It is a central plank of the empath’s constitution and we will exploit this by always blaming you, passing responsibility onto you and walking away from accountability. We will not laud you for such a selfless act of accepting responsibility but rather seize the opportunity to use it to justify our further foul treatment of you. You are at fault. You therefore deserve to be punished. You accept this and the repeated application of this only serves to reinforce and extend your sense of being responsible for us.

It is akin to being given six of the best with a cane at school for something you did not do and then asking,

“Please sir, can I have some more?”

14 thoughts on “Responsible

  1. Lisa says:

    HG, is it possible for someone to be more of a cerebral N , without the intelligence .
    I tend to think of them as all greater narcs and think of that only the lesser or mid will be somatic and that the lesser or mid who is not particular academic or materially successful or intelligent would never be a cerebral ? Is this wrong ?
    Could a lesser or a mid be a cerebral ?
    Thank you

    1. HG Tudor says:

      A Mid or Greater can be Cerebral, but not a Lesser.

  2. Jenna says:

    Formerly ‘ptsdafternarcabuse’

    Do you actually realize that some things are your fault but just don’t admit it? My ex barely thinks anything is his fault when they obviously are, and he truly believes it. He gives me reasons why it isn’t his fault too.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is all a matter of perspective as to whose fault it is.

  3. Pam says:

    HG I like your writing style; one of the reasons I enjoy your column.
    Do you honestly know, that nobody can “make” anyone do anything? Is that part of your manipulation?
    And, people learn, there is no acceptable reason for the “why” behind behaviors that are routinely performed. If a person acts poorly, it is the action that stands on its own. Do you also know this, and make sure your “potential prey” do not? (Is this also a manipulation?)jje

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Of course you can make people do things. I repeatedly do so through all manner of manipulations both positive and negative.

      1. You manipulate but they choose to go along with it. Either out of approval from you or fear. Or anxiety attachment to you. They allow themselves to put up with your games. Btw interesting read, a book called Attached by Amir Levine. I believe you Sir Tudor suffer from an attachment disorder. Makes sense with your background. Not a bad thing. We just don’t attach to people. I would like to see you write something about narcissists and attachment disorders. Especially because an anxiety attachment and an avoidant attachment dynamic is exactly what you crave in your (narcs in general) relationships. Just suggestions. You do what you want. I respect that.

  4. Star says:

    Wow! This article literally left me winded. So many raw emotions are triggered right now. I am left feeling so disgusted at him for taking advantage of myself and my family… yet equally disgusted at myself for enabling him to do so. Not feeling like I’m in a great place right now but appreciate the therapeutic value. Powerful stuff HG. Thank u again for being so candid.

  5. Angie says:

    Are Lesser and Mid-range narcissists cognizant of the reasons why they choose people whom shoulder all the blame? Are they that self-aware?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No they are not. It is instinctive.

  6. I vividly remember my ex narc telling me that his wife was complaining about his chronic lying. He said he was forced to tell her that she makes people lie to her so it’s really her fault that they do. He was dead serious. He really believed what he was telling her.

  7. “As an empathic individual you have many traits which appeal to us. One of these traits is having a strong moral compass so that you “do the right thing” and you accept responsibility for your actions. That is attractive to us in itself. However, you go further than this. You are blessed or cursed, dependent on how you regard it, with the fact that you are over-responsible. Not only will you rightly accept blame when it is genuinely your fault but you will accept responsibility for us as well.”

    This specific trait cost me my family. My moral compass and defending what was right led me to my own empathetic demise. After deliberately pushing me right over the edge when his exposure was imminent, and with near tragic results, the narc walked away relatively unscathed.

    He continues to play the victim to the point that so called educated ‘professionals’ ensnared by him cannot see what is staring them in the face. His friends circle (ex clients and other damaged or stupid people) think he’s all that and a bag of crisps. Very, very scary.

    I had to laugh when I saw the pictures chosen by HG on Golden Period. This and other illustrative pictures on this site are on the narc’s Facebook as past profile/cover pictures.

  8. IntelAvatar says:

    Only the deeply codependent are incapable of seeing another perspective. A run of the mill empath may actually have a career that rewards being fueled. So, unless an acting force changes the trajectory this will persist as a primary operating system.
    Some day, a pretty bright observant type might walk through the life of the empath.
    Stop, notice, comment, leave a trail, keep walking.
    As the download becomes integrated, subtle shifts might be felt by the empath. During a dream, a walk in nature, listening to music art or poetry.
    Something stirs.
    A moment of self reflection.
    The seed was sown long ago for this moment to occur.
    She starts to notice more detail and subtle awarenesses. “Is something happening to me?”
    Perhaps an objectivity seeps in or an accidental piece of new data comes her way.
    (This site)

    1. Maria says:


      The doormat will never see that her role should be different.

      She knows that she is much more and so do others.. and she is.. because she can be something special for anyone.. although unappreciated.
      She lays there willingly for everyone.

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