Have you ever been left wondering why the narcissist blames you for literally everything? Whenever something goes wrong, narcissists are quick to point the finger. The answer is simple but also complex.
Why Narcissists Care About Who Is to Blame
If you’ve ever been involved with, or live with a narcissist, you’ll soon begin to notice that minor everyday occurrences can rapidly turn into massive arguments. Perhaps you are clearing up in the kitchen together after a meal, and you happen to notice that the narcissist is putting a dirty pan away in the cupboard. Calmly, you tell the narcissist that the pan is still dirty. People who are not pathologically narcissistic will typically respond similarly to this:
“Oh! I didn’t realise. Thank you for telling me.”
Somebody with a narcissistic personality disorder, however, will usually respond like this:
“Is the pan dirty? Why do you hate me so much? You’re so perfect, aren’t you? According to you, I can never get anything right!”
As can be seen, basic discussions turn into full-blown rows in next to no time. Why? The narcissist’s pathology means that self-blame leads directly to shame.
Self-Blame Induces Shame
Internal voices are developed during childhood and are based on a combination of how our parents treated us, our inborn character and our understanding of what our parents deemed praiseworthy or warranted criticism. Non-disordered people possess an internal voice, which is proportionate to their actions. This inner dialogue is realistic, praising us when we do the right thing, and instructing us when we don’t.
Unfortunately, those with narcissistic personality disorder live with a highly critical inner voice. This is the voice of the narcissist’s false self, which is sadistic, perfectionistic and abusive at all times. Therefore, when the narcissist makes a mistake, no matter how minor, this inner voice severely punishes them.
Because of this harsh inner dialogue, narcissists run from accountability. They typically do this by projecting the blame onto someone else. Failure to effectively shift the blame incites feelings of deep shame and self-hatred. In turn, this leads to a bottomless, self-loathing depression.
One of the symptoms of the disorder is black and white thinking, meaning that narcissists cannot hold two opposing thoughts at once. This means that the narcissist can only view themselves, and others, as all good or all bad. Once they have entered a state of depression, they perceive themselves to be completely worthless and defective.
Narcissists have learnt from a very young age to never take the blame for anything. Everything the narcissist does exists to benefit the narcissist in some way. Taking accountability offers no real reward. In the narcissist’s mind, they cannot afford to take responsibility – it’s simply too painful; this is why the narcissist blames you.
Despite appearances, which often indicate otherwise, the narcissist’s self-esteem is non-existent. To have self-esteem, you need to live through your true self. The narcissist’s true self is dilapidated, and cannot be resurrected once they have reached adulthood. Narcissists operate through a false self, and any sense of confidence exhibited is all smoke and mirrors.
In the moment of blame-shifting, the narcissist is in survival mode and possesses no empathy whatsoever for the other person. Their only concern is to avoid deep-seated shame. In fact, they even project their inner voice onto you and attack you for being overly critical or controlling.
So, Why the Narcissist Blames You
In any relationship with a narcissist, you have to accept that blame will be shifted onto you, in the narcissist’s quest to avoid feelings of worthlessness. This will never change; you can only alter your response to minimise drama. You will ultimately have to consider whether or not this self-sacrifice is worth it in the long run.