Last Updated on June 15, 2023 by Lori Pace
In order to accept responsibility for what has happened, the narcissist would have to see themselves as people capable of making mistakes. This will never happen as narcissists are unable to accept that their superiority and grandiosity could make them flawed. Hence, they are unable to accept blame even when the evidence is in front of them. This leads to shame and narcissistic injury. And blame shifting is one of the resulting actions from this flow of thoughts.
What Would They Do If They’re In The Wrong?
The narcissist will try to blame someone for their actions, and they will go into self-preservation mode. This is when the blame-shifting takes place. Here are some examples of blame-shifting by narcissists, along with common blame-shifting phrases. You can recognize the tactics used by narcissists to bring about the problem and learn how to avoid getting drawn into their manipulation and control game.
The narcissist will make themselves the victim because they cannot accept blame. If they are viewed as victims, then the blame shifts away from them and onto the wrongdoer. Blame shifting is when they shift the blame onto another person, making them the problem.
Blame Shifting, Victim Blaming, and Gaslighting
Blame shifting can be compared to gaslighting. Many phrases of this could also possibly be classified as gaslighting. Blame shifting and gaslighting are both forms of emotional abuse in which the narcissist retains control through their abusive tactics. The narcissist can blame-shift and not take responsibility for their actions.
Blame shifting can lead to victim blaming. When confronting a narcissist on a lie or trying to set boundaries, this is most common. They will blame shift if they feel they have lost control or that their image of superiority, grandiosity, and superiority are at risk. It is not about them anymore, it’s about you. Blame shifting can lead to confusion. This is precisely where the narcissist wants you to be. If you’re confused, it is easier to lose your way.
Examples Of Blame-Shifting Phrases
- “If you wouldn’t have said that, then I wouldn’t have called your names!”
- “If you didn’t constantly nag me, then I wouldn’t cheat on you!”
- “You always do this!”
- “You didn’t ask me if my ex was going to meet up, but if my ex was speaking to you,”
- “You have never loved me.”
- “It is your fault”.
- “You’re always making things worse.”
- “If I didn’t make you angry all the time, then I wouldn’t hit you.”
- “If you didn’t ask me questions all the time, I wouldn’t be distracted and get the speeding ticket.”
You will notice that all of these examples of blame-shifting are all about you and not the narcissist. Because of what you did, the narcissist behaved in that way. They don’t take responsibility for their actions, and all of it falls on them.
As a parent, you should know that this can build tremendous pressure, panic, and bad experiences for your child having to hear all of these every day. You are an intelligent and caring person who will listen to what others say and consider how your actions may have contributed to the problems. It is not about you. Although the narcissist may not wish to accept responsibility for their actions, they can respond in a different manner.
What Can Blame Shifting Lead To?
Blame shifting can cause communication to stop and it can lead to a breakdown in the relationship. The narcissist can cause a partner to think they are the problem by this. Because they believe they are the reason for the negative events in their relationship, the partner believes they must work harder to make it work.
What You Should Do When They Blame-Shifted You
The narcissist may believe they have done nothing wrong and that you are the only problem. They don’t think they should work on anything. You are the narcissist’s partner, and you can feel exhausted. You can’t do anything to change the mind of a narcissist.
No matter what, you will always be wrong. You can be the one in the wrong as long as you are able to do so. The narcissist will then be free from any responsibility and can maintain their feelings of superiority and grandiosity.
Talk to someone you trust to help you determine if blame-shifting is happening in your relationship. You can’t allow the narcissist to control you and keep you in a position where you think you are wrong. Well, there is always a way out as divorce or break-up with such a partner. But, the decision must be yours to make.