According to After Narcissistic Abuse, blame-shifting is a common psychological trick Narcissists and other toxic, similar, emotionally immature, and ultimately toxic people use to abuse and to gaslight their victims into thinking they were not abused at all… or if they were that they somehow deserve it.
“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…” claims the website devoted to helping victims of Narcissistic Abuse with their recovery.
Regarding the shifting of blame or moral responsibility for having been victimized on to a target, the website After Narcissistic Abuse had this to say of the cruelly abusive narcissistic abuse process.
They shared a stipulative definition of sorts about blame-shifting, sharing, “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.”
The website writer goes on to say that blaming a victim is always a bad idea. Not only does it imply they have no fundamental human right to choose as an abuse victim but that somehow they themselves deserved, were, or are responsible for their abuser’s lack of conscience and immoral choice to actively abuse.
Listening to any Flying Monkey tell an abuse victim who is being smear campaigned, tortured, and lied both to and about that there are ‘two sides to every story’ is the perfect example of how and why Abusers and their Enablers strive to shift blame.
A Covert Narcissistic (or less powerful Narcissist) than the Overt Narcissistic ring leader thoroughly delights in blame-shifting in order to further traumatize targets while striving to undermine their victim’s social and emotional credibility (which is a truly toxic shame)…
Watch the glint in their eyes as they posture like a compassionate friend or mentor. If you ever hear one say that someone’s personality is like “oil and water” with regard to a victim having been traumatized, understand that’s a poker tell.
The Queen of Hearts might not be as aggressive as the King of Diamonds but she will club you to death psychologically and emotionally by invalidating, undermining, and gaslighting in much the same way.
As such they make a compelling plea for victim’s rights while placing responsibility for abuse where it belongs: in the lap and hands of the true antagonist, the Narcissist or bully who chose to indulge themselves in whatever damaging social act the victim had to endure.
Their point is in all reality, Flying Monkeys who advocate for the abuser by minimizing or hiding abuse enable not only the Narcissistic abuser but themselves (as passive-aggressive personalities) to gang up on an abuse victim.
Whether they do this to feel powerful, part of a mobbing gang, or for some other deep, dark, most likely manipulative reason will depend on the unique psycho-social and emotional nature of the Narcissistic Abuse enabler.
A victim of domestic abuse being told a relationship takes work, for example, is narcissistic abuse. So are other undermining, invalidating, and blame-shifting phrase tactics Flying Monkeys (as advocates who covertly root for the abuser while pretending to care about trying to help and counsel trauma victims) tend to share.
Here’s a sampling of what blame-shifting and narcissistic abuse phrases coming from the mouths of abusers and their Flying Monkey enablers might sound like:
- pretend insult or emotional injury — claiming someone did or said something to offend them when no insult was intended or attention paid to them
- disproportionate rage they will blame shift onto the victim for inspiring
- defensive posturing by constantly seeking to offend first and dominate
- creating or manufacturing chaos
- abandonment — “I know you are going to leave me eventually so I’m leaving you first”
- betrayal blamed on the unsuspecting victim — Cheat first (blame the cheated-on partner later)
- overreacting to intimidate
- fault-finding about the victim as an excuse or justification for abuse
- deliberately engaging in conversation hijacking to avoid dealing with the real issue
- false victimization — claiming they are being abused by a victim who self-advocates for abuse to cease
- attacking the victim verbally claiming an illogical role reversal — “I don’t go out with my friends and hug or hang over them, why should you?” (ignoring the social habits of different personality types or things commonly different for gender)
- the silent treatment — refusing to discuss abuse
- avoidance — insisting on changing the subject, making busy work for themselves, or running out the door after only brief and unresolved discussions then blaming the victim for bringing up the issue
- disappearing act — oftentimes without ever explaining to their target or victim why they are being treated as if they have done something to deserve being abandoned
It’s important to note that most abusive people — no matter their age, gender, or culture all seem to act with a sense of entitlement when using or abusing others. Noting that while circumstances and exact wording may change slightly, it all fits in with the Narcissistic Abuse Cycle of Power and Control pattern.
Truly, the intent behind their narcissistic impulse to compulsively lie and rewrite history is all that matters.
Refusing to enable Narcissistic Abuse or Flying Monkey enablers is not selfish or self-centered. It’s actually all a part of being a fundamentally decent human being whose social relationships matter. Self-care is NOT the same thing as being selfish.
Victim blaming, blame-shifting, writing revisionist history, and gaslighting are all common Narcissistic Abuse tactics. Juvenile, selfish, and wrong, they don’t just hurt the victim (as websites like Shrink For Men points out).
Because blame-shifting prevents abusive people from being held accountable for their actions, caustic behavior patterns tend to escalate.
Something important to keep in mind is the fact that while most narcissistic predators are the most overt while abusing others when they are children, teenagers, and college-age, that once they finally have been arrested a few times or spent time in jail they don’t stop abusing.
Anger Management classes and the sort simply inspire them to find new ways to avoid being caught — making them far more efficient and potentially lethal social predators.