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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
“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.
- 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.
- 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.
7 thoughts on “Blameshifter”
I get these often from my mother and my father. These questions exhibit a marked lack of empathy. Sometimes I do provoke my parents on purpose, but usually not. These questions boil down to “my shit doesn’t stink — what’s wrong with you”?
“You are responsible for how you feel, I didn’t make you / It is your reaction, not me”, too, right?
My mother was always so quick to say, if as kids my siblings or I blamed someone for something, “When you point a finger you’ve got three pointing back at you!” and in the next breath how it was my dad’s drinking that caused her to beat us, or that her pastor told her to, or that the Bible said to, or… Talk about cognitive dissonance.
AV, that made me feel so sad for you xxx
Aw Alexissmith, I’m sorry. I almost didn’t post it for that reason. But it had just hit me, again probably, that this actually happened. I remember being confused by it at the time but also accepting it, for some reason she was allowed to blame and we were not. But what’s also funny us that I have no memory of thinking it when she actually did it. I think it contributed to a sense of shame in me that took me a while to mostly shake. It popped up once recently and surprised me, so that was a good thing to realize. And the last thing is, I wonder if this won’t bother me as much once she’s gone, if I outlive her. I hope it doesn’t.
Thank you for your comment, I must’ve needed to think all that through.
N2 also had “ossified sayings” which he invariably used on many occasions. I always felt his mother’s “school”, as if he were copying shes.
I hated it and ignored it.
Ossified sayings, I like that.