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?”

6 thoughts on “Responsible

  1. A Victor says:

    My mother is good for this. Everything is about who’s fault it is. When we were kids, it was ours. Now, I will say to her as she works up to point a finger, it doesn’t matter, we just need to deal with whatever is going on, no need to place blame. She will generally let it go but I have been becoming more aware that this is the default. I’d seen this for a long time, before finding out about narcissism, now I have a name for it and can hopefully do more to get out from under it..

  2. Ashlynn Grace says:

    My ex claims I am a narcissist since he claimed during the disengagement that he was tired of making excuses for my rude and hostile behavior, that admittedly, I also have trouble taking responsibility for. Is it possible for someone to have been so triangulated with others, that they shut down, appear rude and become too defensive? Before seeing his family, he would berate my past behavior and lay out how he expected me to behave on this current occasion. He would turn it off and become all smiles once they opened the door and I would still be sullen. His mother and sister would be passive-aggressive towards me and I would slowly just go silent and knew I’d be scolded once we left. Sometimes I admire true doormats, since now I have the embarrassment and stigma on me in his circle for attempting to defend myself (against nothing, since he’s apparently a wonderful man).

    1. lickemtomorrow says:

      Hi Ashlynn, sounds like a dialing down of your empathic traits which can happen to the best of us when confronted with the behaviour of the narcissist. HG has some material on this which you can access in the Knowledge Vault:

      A lot of us have asked ourselves the same question and HG gives a very reassuring answer.

    2. Asp Emp says:

      You say “Sometimes I admire true doormats, since now I have the embarrassment and stigma on me” – you are now in the right place to turn your ‘thinking’ around in order to change the way you see yourself.

      LET’s response to your comment (link to article ‘Why Am I Behaving Like The Narcissist’) is a good way to look into yourself and work out why you are where you are with your thinking.

      Hope you can get out and stay out (GOSO) and hope you continue to educate yourself about you and learn about narcissism too.

    3. Empath007 says:

      I hear you. I’m the same way when confronted with stress. As a co dependant anger is a typical reaction. I also always had the firm rooted believe that me fighting back was A) me standing for myself (I’m not jealous of doormats because that type of behaviour bothers me) I was taught to stand up for myself and B) somewhere along the line I learnt that arguing equates to caring… so if I was arguing that was good because it meant someone was invested (just a fucked up perspective). But just because we can act like Narcissist’s at times doesn’t mean we are a narcissist. I admire people who don’t get too worked up by Narcissist’s a bit too. It amazes me how some people react so smoothly. I’ve always felt a need to call them on their “bad”
      Behaviour and others don’t seem at all bothered by it.

      When I’m not with the narcissist my anger rarely comes to surface. And if it does it’s generally and external stressor. I spent a lot of time beating myself up about it and ultimately that was a waste of time.

  3. Asp Emp says:

    …. I plead the Fifth…..

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