Dealing with people who have a lot of self-focus, like narcissists, can be really tough in relationships. They tend to be very focused on themselves and find it difficult to admit when they’ve done something wrong. When they mess up or are responsible for something, they often try to make it someone else’s fault instead of taking responsibility. It can complicate things when trying to have a healthy relationship with them.
To understand and cope with these kinds of personalities, it’s important to be patient and empathetic. Sometimes, seeking help from professionals is necessary. Remember, their behavior reflects their own inner struggles and insecurities, and it doesn’t reflect your own worth or abilities. It’s essential to take care of yourself in these situations.
Here are a few subtle tactics narcissists use to redirect blame onto those around them.
Gaslighting is when narcissists manipulate the truth to make you doubt your own memory or perception of events. They might say, “I never said that” or “You’re imagining things.” This makes you feel confused and unsure, allowing them to shift blame easily.
2. Playing the Victim
Narcissists often act like the victim to deflect blame. They’ll say things like, “I can’t believe you’re doing this to me,” or “You’re so mean to me.” By making you feel guilty or sorry for them, they avoid taking responsibility for their actions.
Narcissists project their faults onto you, making you the scapegoat. For example, if they’re cheating, they may accuse you of being unfaithful. This tricks you into defending yourself instead of addressing their wrongdoing.
4. Selective Memory
Narcissists conveniently forget their mistakes and only remember yours. They might say, “I never make mistakes like you do,” making it harder for you to hold them accountable for their actions.
When people start talking about the things narcissists aren’t good at, narcissists often switch the topic of conversation. They do this to avoid facing their mistakes and make everyone talk about something or someone else instead.
When someone criticizes narcissists, they don’t usually think about what they did wrong. Instead, they get really defensive. They often accuse the other person of something bad, trying to shift the blame and make it seem like it’s the other person’s fault for saying something negative about them.
Narcissists often downplay their own errors and make them seem small, while making other people’s mistakes look much bigger than they actually are. This makes them seem perfect and better than everyone else, while others seem like they have many flaws and are not as good.
Narcissists are really good at finding reasons and excuses for what they do. They often say that other people are the ones who caused them to act a certain way, so they don’t have to take the blame themselves.
9. Silent treatment
Narcissists sometimes use silence as a way to control people’s emotions. When they stop talking or refuse to communicate, it can make others feel guilty and worried, and this shifts the focus away from the narcissist’s own mistakes.
Narcissists frequently point fingers at others for their own mess-ups or blunders. They do this to keep their self-image of being perfect and better than everyone else.
What are the sneaky tactics that narcissists use to shift blame? Share your insights in the comments below.