Blame Shifter

 

BLAMESHIFTER

It is fundamental that we remain unaccountable for our actions. One of the most effective ways of avoiding this accountability, provoking you and leaving you exasperated and stunned is to engage in blame-shifting. We are the blame shifters who will always use this form of manipulation in our ceaseless quest to maintain the upper hand.

Not only is it the case that we believe we are entitled to complete immunity for what we say and do, occasioned by our innate superiority, we also believe it to be necessary for us to be able to gather fuel as often and as effectively as we do. If we were slowed down by having to make meaningful apologies, explain ourselves, account for what we have done and accept responsibility for the consequences this would absorb time that would be far better spent in the pursuit of fuel. Hampering us in such a way would result in us becoming weaker since we would not be able to gather as much fuel as usual. It is therefore necessary, so we remain sleek, effective and light of foot, for us to never be concerned about accountability and also to never allow responsibility to rest with us. As with many of our machinations, this approach also allows us to gather fuel in itself by the imposition of blame on others, usually you and the astonished and outraged emotional response which then flows from this staggering act of walking away scot free. As ever, words are our best allies when it comes to throwing off the attempt to make us assume the mantle of responsibility. Here are five of our favourites.

  1. What do you expect me to do about it?

 A delicious subtle piece of blame-shifting to begin with. We do not even state that we regard it as your fault, your responsibility or your liability with this question. Nevertheless, the implication is clear – we expect you to do something about it because we do not ‘do’ responsibility, your role is to clear up after us and you signed up to that role when you accepted our overtures. Did you miss that term of the contract? Don’t blame us, that’s your own fault.

I regularly brag about how brilliant and special I am. That I have many talents and if I so chose I could remedy many situations within moments, but notwithstanding this being the stance that I adopt to the world at large, I am not going to do that with you. Not a chance. I am not here to pick up the pieces after you, although I expect you to do so for me repeatedly. I can do as I like and you are obliged to make good the damage that I cause – collect the broken pieces of crockery, apologise to the shell-shocked friend after an outburst, try to solve the financial headache that we have left. If you have caused a problem, and let’s face it, it is always your fault anyway, you cannot expect me to do something about it. I am above such menial tasks. I have important and bigger things to attend to. Such as? I don’t have to explain myself to the likes of you. If I caused the problem (which in reality is usually the case) I am not going to do anything about it.

  1. Deal with it.

 

That’s the way it is and you had better get used to it. This haughty declaration is par the course for our sense of entitlement to do as we please. We bulldoze through everything and you just have to put up with it. You can’t walk away; we will not allow that to happen. Issuing this barked instruction at you is an effective way of upsetting you. It is telling you that you are useless and you should just be getting on with the situation rather than complaining about it. You shouldn’t be complaining; you should have already guessed that you needed to sort the situation out. Don’t ask me for help because I just do not have time for this mickey mouse nonsense.

  1. You caused this to happen.

We like to maintain that we act with the omnipotence of a god but how many times have you found that you have somehow caused something to happen so that it would suggest that you exercise the powers of a deity? My late arrival was down to you. My failure to remember something was caused by you. My infidelity for the sixth time was wholly as a consequence of what you have done. At its most brutal this declaration is issued without any explanation as to why it is that you caused the problem to arise. We say that it is the case therefore that must be right. Does this exchange seem familiar?

“Why is that the case?”

“It just is.”

“But why?”

“Because I say so.”

Other than our kind, who comes out with such assertions bereft of reality or explanation? That’s right, children. That tells you all you need to know about our mentality when we accuse you of being the one who has caused the problem. If you are “fortunate” enough to be given some kind of explanation it makes perfect sense when viewed from our perspective, although it will not from yours. That is deliberate. We want you to feel astonished, bewildered and annoyed at our sheer audacity to make the connection between our wrongdoing and your causation.

“If you were more loving I wouldn’t go elsewhere.”

“What do you mean by that? I couldn’t be anymore loving towards you.”

“Oh that’s right, deny it is anything to do with you and make me out to be the bad person.”

“Well, it is you who had the affair.”

“Caused by you.”

“How?”

“I have already told you and if you cannot accept that then there is no point continuing with this conversation.”

You get no answer no acceptance of blame. All you get is a tenuous (in your world but not ours) explanation as to why our wrongdoing is all down to you.

  1. Why do you have to spoil everything?

A cousin of the third shirking above but with an added layer of blame. In the above example, you have caused the problem although you may not necessarily have intended it. With this statement we are telling you that not only is the problem not of our doing, it is your fault and guess what? You meant to do it because you are such an awful and horrible person. Our rampant paranoia causes us to believe that you are out to get us, to topple us and that you are plotting to unseat us as a consequence of our behaviour towards you during devaluation. This is why whenever anything goes wrong you are the architect of that misfortune as you have purposefully set out to cause a problem for us, driven by your innate nastiness and jealousy.

  1. Why do you make my life so hard?

Poor us. Put upon by you and your terrible behaviours. This is often thrown at you when you begin to wise-up to our manipulations and either through choice or out of sheer exhaustion you are no longer engaging with our provocations and machinations. What we are actually saying to you here is, “Why do you make it so hard to extract fuel from you?” Your failure to play ball and do what we want is causing us to expend more energy in order to get the negative fuel from you and in accordance with our outlook as a victim, you are doing this on purpose. We need to get that fuel and you should be helping us, not hindering us, no wonder we lash out at you as we do because you are horrible and you make our lives far more difficult and hard than you should or once did.

Advertisements

30 Comments

  1. HG—I had never heard of blame shifting before here. It’s so fun to watch the kids accuse one another of this concept. Occasionally I get it too. It should be a common phrase/concept for school aged children.

    1. Lorelei
      They can also blame shift to inanimate objects. One guy I knew shifted the blame to the curbstone he drove against while he was driving alone. I wish I had a recording. He was quite mad.

  2. Last summer when I ran into the Narc, the one time he isolated me from my pack, he began all this blame shifting as to how I caused the demise of the golden period. He was using all the predicable Narc techniques, blame shifting, projection, deflecting, leaving out 75% of the facts.

    I interrupted and said, “ Here’s what I hear.
    That never happened
    And it if did it wasn’t that bad
    And if it was it wasn’t my fault
    And if it was you deserved it”

    He had the strangest reaction. He sort of cringed away like I was throwing acid on him. Then he freaked out because he thought I was going to walk out and leave him there.
    Never was there any accountability though.
    Good one HG

    1. A variation of, “The Narcissist’s Prayer”.. I think it sums up the entire narcissistic dynamic and how they rationalize everything in their favor..

      That didn’t happen.
      And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.
      And if it was, that’s not a big deal.
      And if it is, it is not my fault.
      And if it is, I didn’t mean it.
      And if I did, you deserved it.

      1. Thanks, that’s the real version. I missed a line. Yep that’s what I say if the Narc starts all the Narky bull with me. I recite that.

    2. LOL if I recited the old narc motto to my kids dad he’d fly into a RAGE.
      He’d just get SPITTING mad lmao I can just picture it- which is why even though he wasn’t really physically violent, I’m pretty sure he’s a lesser among other traits.

      If I said it to my MMR, he’d either look hurt and pull a pity play like “oh now! I’m not that bad “ (but that’s because it’s a DLS I never left the Golden period)

      If I said it to my (I think) LMR narcoholic, he’d shrug and say “Whatever.” And dismiss me. Focus on his laptop or the TV.
      He had fabulously thick skin in so far as being able to absolutely not let me have any control whatsoever, even over his reactions . You don’t like me? Get out.
      He really knew how to steel himself against wounding. I’d say he was a lesser because he’s just a total cluster fuck of a dumpster fire at life- —except he was way more passive aggressive than prone to heated fury. Then again it was hard to tell what was the alcohol and what wasn’t.

      I much prefer the mid rangers. The lessers are way too volatile for me- They throw so much anger energetically at me that it’s very difficult to maintain my balance.

  3. HG,
    My Narc is so paranoid ( also an enormous blameshifter ) Not sure if it’s due to his narcissism or substance abuse , Because both would exhibit paranoid behavior.
    What I don’t understand about the paranoia is that in all these years I have never given him anything to be paranoid about. I have always been a model wife .
    I do think part of his paranoia rests in the fact that he knows he is being unfaithful to me, and is afraid I will find out. ( I already know, ASSHOLE!)
    I understand that in their minds they want to destroy us before we destroy them , but I have never given him a reason to think that I would ever do such a thing.
    I just don’t understand it.

    1. His paranoia is built on his perspective of the world which is different to yours, hence why you cannot understand it. I recommend you arrange a consultation with me and I will assist in you in achieving understanding.

  4. Ex hubby ULN was always using deal with it or get over it or pull yourself together.
    UMRN – I was an unknowing DLS -apologised to me for how he had treated me but then he added …. ‘I though we had an unspoken agreement and that you knew at a subconscious level that there was someone else – you failed to interrogate me!’
    So I said what part of are you seeing someone else did you misunderstand when you said no?
    So my fault after all!!
    It used to make me so mad to hear but now I use logic to realise this is blame shifting, failing to take responsibility. Thanks HG. I’m still on the wagon.

  5. I love the decoding of #5…☺️ it is a whole other way they are actually communicating. “I love you” = “I love using you (for fuel).” When you start decoding what they’re saying, and rewording what they are really saying in your own mind, it makes it easier to not absorb the crazy making. You’re observing at that point.

  6. I felt Number 4 resonate within the core of my very being, especially when it mentions the paranoia that is present in the narcissist and how they believe we are out to get them and unseat them at every opportunity that arises..

    I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted a comment.. I’ve recently had an email conversation with my children’s father about his maintenance payments for them as he is away out of the country on a military deployment.. He actually had the nerve to blame me for something that hasn’t even happened in this life, as we know it.. He told me he “knows” me and “*my* control of this situation is not going to allow him to set up for the things he needs to set up for and do the things he wants to do when he gets back to the States”.. Thus, he said he is just “awaiting the inevitable”.. I had to chuckle at the ironic statement of me “having control of this situation”, but overall his email message infuriated me and I lashed out, giving him a “signing off, last word” type of reply, telling him he no longer has to worry about doing the honorable thing for our children because I give up and I’m never gonna ask him for anything again.. He probably baited me to say all that I did in my email.. But at this point, I don’t care.. I’m glad I got all that I said out of my system and directed at him.. It had been a year of low, fuel free contact between him and me, but I finally let him know what I really thought about him abandoning me while I was pregnant with our son this year.. I also pointed out he probably intentionally set this up so I would acquiesce and leave him alone to do what he wants to do, not considering our children and their needs along the way.. I reeaallyy broke everything down in that email message, pointing out all of his duplicity and his manipulations.. All he could say in his reply is that he “could answer every question I asked and correct every misconception that I have, but to be honest, he just hasn’t got the time to do so”.. He sent me money after replying to my message, but I refunded it.. Through that action, I wanted to convey to him he is *not* going to use money as a means to control me.. I’m really done with it all, now that I see how selfish he can really be when it comes to his children.. I just can’t believe how he turned it all around on me, though.. He seriously thinks he “knows” me and believes I’m out to try and get him when he comes back.. Never have I known it to be any more irrational than to be upset with someone and blame them for something projected into the future that they haven’t even done.. Smh..

    1. Oh Bekah, I’m so glad you checked in. I think about you from time to time and pray that you’re staying strong. I don’t have to tell you that the email exchange was all kinds of messed up. I hope you are making the returning of the money the beginning of your No Contact regime. Have you obtained the How to Co-Parent assistance package yet?

      1. Hello MB!!

        Thanks for your reply and your prayers.. I am doing sooo much better than I was this summer, immediately postpartum.. I’ve gotten into a groove of everyday life and I’m making the very best of it with my children.. I don’t have everything I want or need for them, but I am content with the level of peace of mind I have, day in & day out.. It’s only at times when I have exchanges with their narcissist father that get me going.. Otherwise, I am doing really well..

        In terms of the assistance package, I may just opt for the “Zero Impact” one.. The narcissist pissed me off so badly, not taking any responsibility for his deliberate absence and non-acknowledgement of my pregnancy, the development of our baby son, his birth, and now childhood development, along with our toddler daughter, that I don’t want to co-parent with him.. Besides, he makes it painfully obvious he doesn’t have interest in their lives at all.. So in order to not be so disgusted if ever I have to hear from him in the future, I need to be at a level of Zero Impact..

        1. Bekah, if he doesn’t want to co-parent, he makes no contact much easier! However, you will, sooner or later want him to sign over his parental rights which might be tricky. Have you ever consulted with HG by email or audio?

          1. Yes, him not at all giving a care about his children and explaining to me that he doesn’t reach out and ask about them because of “an eerie, ominous, lingering, and uncomfortable feeling he gets” when in contact with me will make No Contact easier to implement.. To be honest, I think that’s what he wanted.. He gave me a Prior Warning Silent Treatment and everything in the email before I blessed him out in my response, stating the conditions at his location are austere and his resources are limited, so he won’t be able to reach out or send me money for the kids anymore.. Note how he contradicted himself afterwards by sending me money after I pulled all the cards of his deck in my email response.. (even though I ended up refunding the money).. To claim he’s so smart, careless mistakes like that are just stupid..

            You bring up a good point about his parental rights.. He actually has none with our son, since he was not present at his birth and could not sign a paternity acknowledgement.. I do believe he is using his parental rights of our toddler daughter to his advantage at this time while on active duty with the US Army to get more base pay.. That’s something I don’t even want to get into with him, though, because I just don’t wanna talk to him anymore.. He makes me sick and my head hurts every time when thinking of him.. I’ll just let him “get away with it” for now, just like he believes he is.. I don’t have the time or energy to be a warrior or vigilante, when it concerns him, anymore.. I just want to be free..

            I have consulted H.G. in the past via email, but unfortunately can’t afford to do so at this time..

          2. Bekah, we won’t discuss him anymore as it will only spike your ET higher. A consultation with HG would be of considerable value for you. You are far from Zero Impact. Apply to the Angel Assistance fund right now by emailing HG. narcissist1909@gmail.com

            It breaks my heart to read that you don’t have everything you need for your children and then have the conviction to send his money back. You are so strong. A survivor. As you know, your children are better off with him absent from their lives. Give the babies hugs and kisses for me and know I’m pulling for all of you to have peace from the Narc in your lives.

          3. Thanks so much, MB!! I appreciate your encouragement and advice.. I will certainly apply for the Angel Assistance so H.G. can lead me on the path to Zero Impact.. The sooner, the better.. Lol

            Thanks again, and I pray all is well with you!!

        2. Bekah
          The fact that you decided to send the money back shows your strength and bravery in dealing with the situation. Bravo! There’s no doubt you have the fortitude to do whatever is necessary to seize the power and live your life the way you envision it. You don’t need him and once you have achieved Zero Impact which I am sure you will, you can look back and be even more proud of yourself, knowing what you have overcome. I am rooting for you and I wish you all the best!

          1. I’m torn about about Bekah giving back the money. I know that No Contact is the way to go but it’s not always possible when you have kids with them and I’m sure there are monetary responsibilities required from him. The thought of Bekah saying nothing but accepting that money and using it to have consultations with HG seemed right. The thought of one narcissist paying another to fuck himself over is immensely amusing to me, but them I’m twisted. I think Bekah should question how to handle any further interaction like this with HG in consultation. I know letting him have it via email may have felt good on her end but only gave him fuel so he was rewarded. Then she returned the money which seems like another reward for him. That’s too many pluses in his column for me.

          2. NarcAngel!!

            Thank you for your honest comment.. I appreciate it sooo much, for you putting it out there!! In all honesty and sincerity, I put my “Think-Like-A-Narc” cap on throughout this whole process, which was a 48+ hour ordeal.. I contemplated sending the email, (not actually writing it because I had to release the thoughts and feelings).. I knew that if I did and he read it, he would be fueled.. I had a hunch he would send me the money afterwards, but was not quite sure.. However, I opted to send him the email because of how I set it up..

            I called BS on a lot of things he said.. I supplied evidence of how he had no right to feel uncomfortable in reaching out to me, saying it’s “an eerie, ominous, and lingering” feeling, because for the entire duration of my pregnancy, I did not bother him at all and let him have his life, just as he asked.. I told him the intrinsic value of our son’s name and how he didn’t even realize it.. And I told him to go on and do everything that H.G. explains the narcissist will do, as it concerns a disengaged ex that has been painted black.. I told him he can call me a traitor to all of the people in his fuel matrix.. I told him he can rewrite our history.. I told him he can call me stupid and assassinate my character through a smear campaign.. And I told him he can give me a silent treatment if he wants to, because I know what it means, (and then I referenced points from HG’s “Saying Nothing To Tell You Everything”.. I never used the word “abuser” or “narcissist”.. I just essentially called my daughter’s father out on all of his current and future stunts, stating to him that I don’t care and he won’t need to worry about me or the children anymore because I am going to block myself out.. I told him that since my genuine love wasn’t enough for him, I’ll just let other people love him for the façade he creates and displays, just for them.. I’m done! And I think the trade-off between him being fueled through the very minimal medium of written word, but me getting to point out of all these components of a narcissistic dynamic was well worth it.. Again, I needed that money for sure, but I guess my little narcissistic trait of pride wouldn’t let me accept it.. I was thinking maybe he thought, “oh, she just threw a temper tantrum, so let me throw a couple of dollars her way so she can shut up” as he sent the money, and that’s why I didn’t/don’t want it.. He’s trying to control and I will not be controlled by him any longer.. Yes, he gets to keep his money and it looks like a win on his part by being fueled and retaining that chunk of change in his bank account, but at the very core of it, he is losing out on a person who understands and has always understood who he is, how he came to be, was patient, and tried to love him unconditionally anyway.. Not only me, but two wonderful children who would’ve loved him just because he is their dad.. There’s no façade he would’ve ever had to put on to hold value in their eyes.. But he’s too self-serving to realize that..

          3. Dude. Don’t email him anymore. 🙏
            Don’t tell him what you know I don’t tell him how you feel. He doesn’t give a shit and probably sll bounced right off of his brain anyway

            I understand where you’re at.
            Funny story kinda:
            This is the story about being a parent and interaction I had with their lesser father recently regarding child support anyone that doesn’t find this interesting just skip it:

            Mine is $600 Late on child support (and I realize that’s not a lot but it’s dented into my budget at xmas prep time)
            – and he’s not gonna have it for a while because he’s waiting for EI and I hadn’t heard from him in a month so I told a mutual friend to get him to call me because he’s got his phone cut off again and I don’t know where he’s staying
            I don’t bother much with him anymore other than a text to say “usual time?” To pick up support anyhow

            So to my shock he calls me immediately and updates me on his EI situation. And I’m just like in total shock that he did this. Like wow he actually called to update me just because he was asked.

            Wait for it.

            Then he asks to come do laundry my house
            Sigh.
            Of course.
            So he caught me off guard Because I don’t talk to him really in person anymore so it’s easy to ignore his messages when he leaves them asking for money
            but being asked for something on the phone isnit something Im used to anymore and also he had just surprised me by phoning to give me information I needed.

            So I say “yeah sure Ill do a load of laundry for you why not “(I know,I know, I felt the anxiety and regret immediately)

            Then he says “well I’d like to come and do it when our son is home sometime if that’s cool , so I can see him”
            (he hasn’t seen our son in a while and doesn’t phone to ask — the last time was at his house was last February- And that wasn’t because he asked that was because I was pushing it at that point)
            So he never phones our son and he never asks to see him in the last year .

            And I said …“well NOOOO…..“(he knows he’s not allowed at my house I don’t know why he tried this) ..I say, “I thought I would just grab it off of you and do it for you and return it to you sometime later”

            (Because I’m now annoyed, thinking he makes no effort to call or visit but he wants to do his laundry and get to see his son at the same time ISNT THAT NICE for him 🙄)
            and meanwhile I’m still annoyed because I NOW realize the only reason he phoned to update me on the child support situation was so he could ask about the laundry

            And then he says “oh well you see the thing is I was hoping to come and have a shower at the same time.“ He then graciously offered to throw in an extra few bucks when he finally gets the child support payment to me LMFAOOOO

            So at THIS point I realize
            A) The only reason he called to update me on the child support was so he could ask for his favours

            B ) The only reason he asked to come do his laundry here and be here while it was done was so he could shower – NOT so he could see his kid as he said

            So at this point in the conversation I’m over the whole thing and I tell him NO He can’t come over here to do laundry or shower Because he doesn’t give a shit about us unless he needs something

            and he starts to argue

            and then I realize I don’t even have to be having a conversation with this person
            – and I just hung up HA
            I mean I have no problem hanging up on the man. Not that I ever talk to him on the phone anymore anyway I really only keep it open for emergencies at this point.
            But it was just – there was no anger or upset or ET in charge – I just realized.
            When he started going off , I held the phone out and looked at it – and then I realized who the fuck am I talking to ? I’m not talking to this guy . -and I hung up.
            Incredibly liberating to realize the whole point of the story which is what I’m going to tell you in a minute.
            He phoned back and left a message but I erased it without listening to it

            Back in the day I wouldn’t have understood the manipulations that just took place. I would’ve thought he genuinely wanted to see his son while he got to have a shower and do his laundry. I would’ve felt bad to say no because the guy doesn’t have a place right now. I wouldn’t have understood that he only called in the first place to ask for these favours and not because a friend had asked him to call me and let me know what was going on with support payments.
            I would not have seen the selfishness of it all from start to finish. The entitlement. All of it.

            And it felt so good to just hang up on him and not have to continue the conversation and not even feel any kind of way about it except the way you feel when you get away from the loud construction site. Like thank fuck him away from that noise

            OK here’s the moral of the story!!

            It’s not worth the money. In fact what is incredibly valuable is to not have to interact with these people. The peace of mind that I have in general just because I stop trying with him last year is unbelievable. A huge weight has been lifted. I had not realized how huge this weight was until I just gave up on him. This weight was 25 years old, it was a 10 year relationship, it was having two kids together, it was my first boyfriend and my first love, it was growing from the age of 21 to 46 around each other and me taking care of him because he’s a victim but I didn’t know it, It was almost 15 years of coparenting after we separated and me still taking care of him.
            It was 25 years of waiting for him to grow up, it was years of waiting for him to step up as a father and believing his promises that he was just around the corner from being able to do so.
            It was all these years of his rage and fury -and guilt he put on me- All these years of trying to facilitate him being able to be a father. 25 years of Narc abuse essentially
            And then -After a couple years of reading this book – inexplicably – the balloon popped. And I saw where he was and I gave up.
            Freedom.

            I do not give a flying fuck if I get the back child support pay, or if I ever get another payment from him again. I would rather be poor (Or I should say poorER) – I would rather have to go to the food bank, I would rather have to explain to my children that it’s going to be a tight Christmas – then have to have interaction with this man and be exposed to his Machinations— shitty as they might be for a crummy lesser victim.

            I would rather go to the homeless shelter with my child and us be able to have each other and be happy and peaceful looking after each other— Than have to have interaction with this person anymore
            Breaking my peace of mind is just not worth the money.

            If he texts to say he has the agreed-upon support payment money- I’ll go pick it up.
            I will show up at the same place the same time every two weeks to get my child support.

            But I’m not calling and asking for extra money, I’m not chasing him down, I’m not having phone conversations, and I’m not feeling indebted to do his laundry or even to finish a conversation with him on the phone.

            It’s freedom when you don’t need them for anything anymore. Including the money. By all means get a child support order It’s freedom when you don’t need them for anything anymore. Including the money. By all means get a child support order enforced but don’t break your no contact over it

            Don’t bother emailing him and telling him what you know or feel he doesn’t give a SHIT.

            Good luck my dear
            Mine are 22 & 16 and it’s pretty much over for me- they can take it from here.

            Take HG’s advice you will be happy you did- if only I had this information 15 years ago
            but hey I have it now – and I actually consciously cut my jail sentence down with him – I was going to stick it out until the kid was 18 but this last year I decided to give myself my own get out of jail free card

          4. NA
            Haha the thought of taking his money and bringing it to HG for consultations is indeed amusing even if he will never know about it. The fact that she was not willing to take the money under the circumstances it was given speaks well of her, I’m sure HG will come up with the best course of action for her and her kids in the future.

          5. Hello Desirée and thank you for your comment!! It was difficult not having the extra funds in my bank account this month in order to take care of my children, but as I have said to others, “I may have needed [the money], but not *his* [money]”.. Thanks for your encouragement and well wishes!! I hope all is well with you!!

  7. Narcoholic’s second most used stock reply was “Deal with it.”
    I mean he said it a LOT.
    But the absolute number one goto was “Whatever.”
    He said that SO MUCH I changed his name on my phone to “Whatever”

    I got a giggle each time I got a notification that said:
    “WHATEVER says: Whatever.”

Vent Your Spleen!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.