5 Phrases the Narcissist Uses To Blame Shift



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.”


“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.

17 thoughts on “5 Phrases the Narcissist Uses To Blame Shift

  1. Wendy says:

    Thank you Empath007! 😊

  2. Empath007 says:

    October will mark 3 years no contact for me 🥂 – it has not been a perfect ride without its ups and downs, I’ve made no contact errrors, due to the fact We both still work for the same company. I’ve almost caved and reached out so many times I couldn’t even count them.

    Yet. Here I am, 3 years later and I’m perfectly fine. I’m not dead without him. My life still goes on – in fact it’s gotten better filled with new purpose ! I’m a better mom, a better friend, a better employee. He did not contribute one single thing to my success. This is my win.

    Thank you HG. You DID contribute to my success. Had I not found your insightful truths and had the courage and intelligence to believe them, I do not know where I would be – occasionally I miss my naivety. But I can not unlearn what I have learnt here – I can sniff the narcissits out and avoid them as best I can.

    Armed with your information I have successfully 1) identified all of his coterier and gotten rid of them through no response 2) learnt that silence is my most powerful tool (and believe me, that took some getting used too!) 3) successfully avoided directly contacting him for 3 years.

    Lately I find I remember less and less about him – and once I find someone else he will be nothing but a distant memory.

    You’ve got this everyone!!!! Recovery is possible

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome and well done.

    2. A Victor says:

      Empath007, Congratulations!! Three years is a long time! I’m so happy for you!!

    3. Asp Emp says:

      Empath 007, you have done really good to reach where you are now. I can see parts of your journey on KTN blog. You are right, “Recovery is possible”. Kudos to you for getting to this point in your life.

    4. NarcAngel says:

      Great to read of your progress.

    5. Leigh says:

      You go girl! 3 years no contact is awesome!

    6. Joa says:

      October – 17 years in the captivity of “my” narcissist.
      Including 13 years without contact … but on an invisible rope.
      I always knew he was coming back.

      This time I can break the tether.
      The main thread that held me was broken by my daughter (without even knowing it).

      I know that he will come back again and I know what events in his life will trigger this.
      I have no doubt. 98% chance.

      I think. Three things, in that order.
      SHE is supposed to live beautifully. Nothing is more important.
      I am to live well.
      * He cannot fall.


      * Last to strike out? ☹

    7. jasmin says:

      Well done Empath007!💪

    8. Dawn says:

      How are you able to avoid him at work? That’s a huge challenge for me.

      1. Empath007 says:

        Thankfully I am at a different location (in the same city) so we don’t have to physically see each other anymore. It’s made it difficult because I do have to work with some of his friends. And his lieutenants know where to find me (and have visited over the years, particularly right after the break up). He himself has also indirectly hoovered through fake email accounts (since he knows my work email address and phone number).

        In the past – I would have given information to his lieutenants beleiving they care about my side of the story. After reading HGs work suddenly these people were walking around with a large X on their back. They became so easy to identify. And that was my first line of defence – to get rid of these people by not offering any information. And occasionally telling some well thought out lies to pass back to the narc.

        I’m hardly out of the wood yet though because I recently switched locations again and his close friend is now my manager (you can imagine how comfortable that has been) in fact – one of the first things he did was try and find out information on my love life – to which I acted confused and said “why are you asking ?” When he sad some BS answer I told him “this isn’t something that pertains to work or I need to discuss with my manager”

        Now he mostly gives me the cold shoulder.

        Anyhow – I won’t ramble on anymore. If you still work with your ex… my advice would be to quit. That type of physical proximity will make it very difficult to move past it. Not only that but there are constant reminders within your environment that will trigger your addiction – make you more supceoptible to a Hoover – and increase the likely hood you will be directly hoovered. Not to mention he can damage your reputation there.

        I know it seems unfair to quit but honestly, if I could go back in time I kind of wish I would have. It’s has a tremendous impact on my recovery and continues too.

        1. Dawn says:

          Thanks so much for your quick response. As much as I’d love to, I’ve been with the company for 27 years… he’s only been here for 6… so not the best option for me. I did reach out to a therapist last week, but waiting for a call back. In the meantime, I’ve been doing lots of reading & research. Currently 4 weeks in with no contact – after he ghosted/vanished after our two year relationship. It’s a struggle for sure. Thanks again for your time.

        2. Asp Emp says:

          E007, it is great that you have moved on. I read your comment where you are sharing an ‘update’ RE: work. A pity that his close friend is your manager – I am not surprised to read that he asked about your ‘love’ life. No doubt, the ‘friends’ have had ‘conversations’ of some kind. What you responded to him that it’s not relating to work, a good answer I would say.

          In relation to ‘quitting’ a job, some people may have to resort to that as an absolute ‘final option’. However, HG’s Assistance Package on How to Deal with a Narcissist at Work is brilliant and I would strongly recommend anyone to obtain this before consulting with HG for further advice / guidance.

          With employment being in short supply these days, people in the UK would not be able to access social benefits should they quit their job. On that note, I also would strongly suggest that people join a Trade Union to have as ‘back-up’ should anyone have evidence (as HG suggests in the above package I mentioned) in case there is a case for ‘constructive dismissal’ (which is usually the case where narcissists are in management positions and they use BS policies / procedures which they tend to bend at every opportunity). Being savvy on Employment Rights, Equality Rights etc really does help too. Using a route such as Citizen’s Advice may take longer than the ‘time-scale’ should anyone need to pursue say a case through an Employment Tribunal.

          1. Empath007 says:

            I definitely understand quitting is not always an option – hence why I have not quit myself yet. You bring up a lot of valid points, I just know it’s made it almost impossible for me to move on… I think if the Narcissist’s at work are not someone’s direct superior or romantically entangled it’s much easier to stay. It just makes it really hard to heal when you have to see them all the time. So for myself, that was the first (and definitely last!) time I ever entertain a co worker as a possible love interest. My guard is up – not going to make that mistake twice haha.

          2. Asp Emp says:

            E007, thank you for your reply. I would advise anyone of working age to obtain this assistance package – so much useful guidance for long-term use, whether one stays or changes jobs. One can evade potential smear campaigns and other not-so-obvious manipulations /machinations – as long as one is aware. I would have been ‘ensnared’ by a narcissist – as I was in any case, prior to my obtaining any understanding about narcissism (and the addiction) – there was NO “romance”. Non-intimately, one can still be ‘ensnared’…..I am glad you are doing better and good 🙂

    9. Wendy says:

      Empath007, congratulations on three years!! That is awesome and I think a great testament to your strength and motivation to GoSo. You should feel very good and proud of yourself. I can’t imagine having to work in the same company as my ex so even more congrats to you for being able to endure that! You give me hope that I can do the same and not be tempted if he ever attempts a Hoover or I start feeling weak. Thanks for sharing this and thanks to HG for teaching us! 😊🥂🎉👏

      1. Empath007 says:

        Thank you Wendy. For me … silence has been my best weapon. I remember having to re read HGs articles to really grasp why its so affective. I used to believe that silence meant I was backing down – letting the other person “win”. Basically throwing a rug over what they’ve done, only to contiune to let them do it. If someone is raped – or physically abused – or emotionally abused – how could something like silence possibly be the answer ?? In those cases, i don’t believe silence is the answer – but sharing the truth with the proper people and with evidence.

        I never realized my need to tell all or be a “truth seeker” gave people so much ammunition on me. When I began to understand – I have the right to remain silent – my world changed.

        It’s not easy though. I have to be very conscientious.

        Thanks for the congrats and congrats to yourself for finding HG and and going NC with your ex 🙂

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