Narcissist’s Play the Blame Game




Blame is the foundation of domestic violence. While it may be theoretically possible to dominate another person without using blame, such as in a prison, in a domestic relationship, blame is essential to both implement and disguise power and control.

Blame is placing the entire responsibility for one’s unpleasant actions, consequences, and feelings on another person or external event, and insisting that others agree. Airing a grievance is not necessarily blame if the injured party still takes responsibility for their own actions. Narcissists are recognizable by the primacy that the act of blaming plays in their relationships. Survivors may not recognize the relentlessness and the controlling function of blame. They may believe that the primary aggressor is trying to help them or the relationship by bringing flaws into focus.

In reality it is not possible to productively address any issue with blame because at least one partner is not taking responsibility. The purpose of blame is to weaken the partner, and blame often erupts most strongly when the survivor is acting independently or strongly. Blame may also be practiced somewhat indirectly (see the list below).

Less Obvious Ways to Blame

  • Constantly shifting the focus onto the survivor’s behaviors. This is the core maneuver of an abusive relationship.
  • Taking on the role of ‘victim.’. Results in life are mostly the consequences of one’s choices, with a little bit of other people’s actions thrown in. To be a victim is to ignore the  one’s ability to make choices, and insist that other peoples’ choices are all that matter.
  • Talking about all the things done for the survivor, which at a minimum blames the other for being ungrateful and exploitative. It is like an attempt to obligate the other person to respond the way the primary aggressor wants, which is controlling.
  • Insisting that interpersonal conflict has a “right” and a “wrong” to it, and explaining in a pressured way how one is right. This is an attempt to make any difference or disagreement into an injury against the primary aggressor.
  • Feeling and acting entitled. If done well enough, the survivor’s not giving what is wanted starts to look like an injury to the primary aggressor.
  • Feigning compassion and understanding for the survivor, and then going on and on about how their outrageous behavior exceeds the primary aggresor’s otherwise huge capacity to forgive. This is still changing the focus to the survivor’s behavior and acting the victim.
  • Labeling the other person’s point of view ‘crazy,’ or irrational. This can be done to any disagreeing point of view, but often is used to discount another person’s feelings or perceptions. Men are more likely to label a woman’s feelings crazy.
  • Talking endlessly about reasons, but avoiding talking about actions. This is called justifying. Everyone has ‘good’ reasons for what they do, including violence. Actions, however, are how control is maintained in an abusive relationship.

Posted on April 7, 2014, in Narcissism. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. This is so awesome to read. It points out all of the experiences I have had with a narcissist and blame. Now is the best way to end it is zero communication and just learn from it…..?


  2. May I use excerpts for my magazine.
    What u have done here can help so many
    952 232 9777


  1. Pingback: The Abuser’s Blame Game | Diary of a mad white woman

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