You may be thinking that blame-shifting is just another manipulation tactic that narcissists use to control you but that’s not true. Actually narcissists don’t blame others all the time, instead, they usually start to blame you when they find themselves losing control or when they face a situation they can’t handle. From the outside, the blame-shifter may appear strong and confident but on the inside they are usually weaker than the victim.
Blame-shifting is one of the things that can make couples break up. This is mainly because when the narcissist blames their partner for every problem that happens in a relationship or even worse if both partners blame each other, they shift their focus from solving the problem to finding who to blame. This removes the possibility of finding a solution and this leads to the accumulation of problems in the relationship until it collapses.
In this article, you will learn why narcissists blame-shift and how to deal with it.
5 Reasons why the narcissist like to blame you for everything
Below are 5 main reasons why narcissists like to blame others for their own problems.
- Helplessness and blame-shifting: narcissists consider themselves superior, omnipotent and one of a kind. When they find themselves helpless dealing with a difficult problem their superiority and omnipotence is put to the test. Blaming you helps them remain in control since they convince themselves that it’s not their fault.
- They are stuck in childhood: children usually blame adults for their problems simply because they haven’t yet learned to solve their own problems. Some narcissists, especially those who were pampered as children, hate to take responsibility for their actions simply because their parents never taught them how to do so.
- It’s a cry for help: sometimes blame-shifting is a cry for help. If the narcissist needs your help and finds it embarrassing or shameful to directly ask you for help, they will blame you to make you help them. The phrase “you only care about yourself” may actually mean that they need your attention or help. See: what happens when you give a narcissist the silent treatment.
- Bad moods and blame-shifting: if the narcissist is in a bad mood or if they are just having a bad day, they are likely to blame you for everything. This is usually because they are already stressed and can’t tolerate additional stress. It’s as if the bottle that stores stress in their mind is already filled so any additional stress will be spilled to the nearest person.
- It’s an ego defense mechanism: when you accidentally touch a hot object your brain will automatically make you pull your hand back without thinking about it because you experience physical pain. But what if you experienced psychological pain? When you face a psychological shock or pain your brain automatically uses a defense mechanism to help you feel better. Blame-shifting is one of the unhealthy defense mechanisms the mind may use to help a person avoid the emotional pain that they may experience if they took responsibility.
What about you?
You might be thinking that blame-shifting is something that only narcissistic people do but that’s not correct. A normal person can also develop the blame-shifting habit without even realizing it. Try to recall the last time you faced a serious problem. What was your first reaction? Did you blame someone or the circumstances? Did you say something such as; “life is so unfair, it’ not my fault”?
I’m not saying that you should never blame people or circumstances when they are responsible for your problems. What I’m saying is that you should not focus all your energy on the external causes of the problem, instead, you should focus on finding your way out.
When you start blaming circumstances for a problem, you subconsciously start to believe that there’s nothing that can be done on your side to solve the problem. For example, if you struggle to lose weight and a doctor told you that your genetics and medications are what makes you gain weight, you can choose to blame these factors that are out of your control or swear an oath that you will do everything possible to lose weight despite being at a disadvantage. (See: why do narcissists gaslight).