Narcissists and other Hijackals will not take responsibility or be accountable for their words or behaviors. Therefore, they shift the blame to you. Empowering strategies to refuse the blame-shifting!
HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS EPISODE:
- What blame-shifting is, how it sounds and feels coming at you
- Why #Hijackals use blame-shifting to hopefully overpower you and gain the “win”
- How you can respond so that the #Hijackal does not get the reaction wanted
- Understand how Hijackals want to exploit your fears and probe your weaknesses
- What NOT to do in the face of blame-shifting
- What TO do that will help you stop second-guessing yourself and save your sanity
Try these strategies and tactics to change the dynamics in your relationship with a #Hijackal when they try to avoid responsibility or accountability, even–and especially–when they feel threatened by a potential flaw of theirs being mentioned.
You know that everything will be your fault if you’re with a narcissist, a Hijackal. The nasty skill of blame-shifting is a sneaky specialty. they hone carefully and practice faithfully.
Infuriating. Frustrating. Unfair. So, how do you respond? It’s trickier than you might think, because it is counter-intuitive. You have to engage with the tactics and strategies in this episode for awhile to change your responses to their blame-shifting. You’ll increase your self-confidence when you do.
In this episode we’re going to be talking about this very difficult concept of blame shifting. So we’re going to have a deep conversation about that and how you can counteract it.
So blame shifting, counteracting this crazy making way Narcissists and other Hijackals have of trying to win, trying to have power over you. Now just the very name blame shifting, you want to talk about something or you think they have done something or you know they have done sad thing. And if you bring it up, somehow it makes its way 180 degrees to point back at you and all of a sudden you’re being blamed for that, or for something bigger than that or for something entirely different because they don’t take any responsibility.
Narcissists are never responsible, and they are never at fault. It’s always somebody else. Even if they’re blaming the weather or the IRS, they are going to blame somebody for whatever is happening to them. And when we’re talking about blame shifting, we’re really talking about blaming the victim of what they did. And they shift the blame to the victim of their own behaviors, very crazy making, but can be very subtle to catch in the moment.
Now only you know whether or not you did or didn’t have a part in whatever the conversation is. And of course, as a responsible human, you may be able to own a part of it if in fact you were wrong. But blame shifting on the part of a Hijackal, narcissist, sociopath, or psychopath is to get you to take the blame for something they did, and get them off the hot seat. And that’s because narcissists and other Hijackals they cannot tolerate anything that they believe even in the tiniest way, is shaming.
So blame to them is shaming, they’re not good enough, they made a mistake, they have a flaw they didn’t do well. And they are so super sensitive to that, that they are not going to take that on board.
So, one of the dynamics that makes blame shifting happen is a hijacker honestly believes that you care that you love them, that you are dependent on them to such a degree that you will wear what they throw at you, that you are enmeshed with them, that you they have you under a spell, and therefore they can do and say anything, and you will accept it.
Now, some people do accept it, because they have a very low opinion of themselves. And that’s certainly been helped by being around Hijackal for long. And being around the Hijackal, you will constantly be put down more and down torn down, degraded, demeaned, dismissed discounted. And it can definitely lower your self esteem.
If the Hijackal thinks that you love him or her, that you care so much for them, that you’ll go to extra lengths, or that you’re dependent on them in any way, then they are more likely to do this blame shifting, and they honestly believe they can feed you a version of the same story you’re trying to tell back to you and get you to take responsibility for the story that is actually about them.
So this fact that they can take the story you told them which is about them and turn it back and make it about you and make you the bad guy is what is blame shifting.
And if you have been caught in that paradigm, where you know that you are always going to get blamed anyway, it would come to a point where you no longer even think of doing something about it anymore.
Because as a good person, you’re gonna take responsibility, you’re going to be accountable for yourself, you may go the extra mile, you may give the benefit of the doubt too often. You may be a person who rationalizes and excuses and justifies another person’s outrageous behavior too much at all. And that’ll make you very attractive to a hijackal.
So let’s have a look at this whole thing about blame shifting, because it is a power game. And we have to recognize it for what it is. It is a power game and blame shifting is a part of that power game. And it will go on. And so it’s important for you to notice that. Also notice that blame shifting is emotionally abusive. Call it for what it is, but remember the cardinal rule, never poke a Hijackal.
Also when the Hijackal believes that there is an imbalance in the relationship and that the victim loves, or needs, or depends on the Hijackal more than Hijackal needs, or depends the victim, that imbalance is a breeding ground for blame shifting, and we need to be aware of it.
So the Hijackal is going to exploit your fears and your weaknesses. Now, make a mental note of this, while it’s okay to long for some kind of equitable conversation, some love, when it comes from the hijackal be careful, because what they’re looking for vulnerable moments they can exploit. And then because you are overreacting to the tenderness and have always been longing for you might tell them your secrets, you might tell them your weaknesses, you might tell them your fears.
In that moment, you may think, oh, they want to get to know me, they want to take care of me. Sharing myself with them would bring us closer. The fact is what they’re looking for is ammunition, and you’re giving it to them, by sharing your vulnerabilities and weaknesses. And they are going to use them against you. So be wary if the hijackal suddenly wants to get close to you.
Indeed it’s awful that you have to think that way about the person that you believed you were in love with. But you do have to think that way when you’re with a Hijackal. You have probably had an experience where you told a Hijackal something in those tender moments, and then when you two are maybe out at a family event or dinner party with friends, they make a joke at your expense about that very thing, leaving you very embarrassed and hurt.
And then if you show that you’re embarrassed and hurt, they’ll accuse you of being too sensitive. They’ll say you’ve got thin skin, can’t you take a joke. Hijackals count on your fear of conflict, they’re counting on that that you’re not going to come back to them, you’re not going to make a scene, you’re not going to push the issue, you are not going to keep at it. Because you don’t want further conflict.
Remember that not only do you not poke the Hijackal, but you should be very particular about how you address the Hijackal because if you address things that you know you are not going to get any traction with—and you’re not going to get traction with much—you just give them power over you.
So try not to get angry. I mean, not that not that your anger is not appropriate. Anger is healthy. But the way you express anger can be very unhealthy, particularly when you’re at the end of your tether.
So you’re going to have to take a deep breath, exhale and remind yourself, I do not need to explain myself, I have put the issue there. I am not going to go into tedious long explanations, give them more ammunition, I do not need to explain myself. I have explained the issue.
And so you want to be able to express your anger to someone who’s going to listen. And usually the place that you’re going to have the most effective way of talking about that is with a therapist who really understands narcissistic and Hijackal behavior. And I say that really carefully. Because there are lots of wonderful people out there in the mental health profession. But if they don’t specialize in dealing with Hijackals, and other difficult humans, they may not be able to help you with the insights that you need in the understanding that you need.
Another thing not to do. Don’t defend your name. You know, they will call you names. They will put labels on you and say they have never had a moment’s peace with you and much more but don’t try to defend your name. Resist the urge to jump in to engage because that’s what they’re looking for.
And another thing not to do is to shame the Hijackal and I know you just want to cut them down to size and put them in their place, but avoid shaming the Hijackal. I say this because Hijackals are petrified of shame. As I said earlier, you can say the most benign thing but they will interpret it as you shaming them and that is their biggest fear that is their greatest vulnerability. So if you do it on purpose, you are just asking to blow up the conversation.
And the last thing not to do for sure is try to prove your point. Don’t elaborate, don’t give examples don’t go, you know, you did it on this day, that day and the other day. I don’t even know what to make of you. Don’t try and prove your point. And try to be right, because that just puts a meter for putting you down. And that will not help and they will start shifting blame your way. And when that happens, it’s a losing proposition.
So Hijackals look for reaction. If you do not react, and choose to just observe that would be great. Keep a blank expression or a poker face. But the thing is even when you that, they will still try to poke, to get a reaction. well, your growth starts to show up when you do not give them the reaction they’re looking for. So those are the things definitely not to do when in a relationship with a hijackal.
Now these are all tough things to do. It’s tough to stay calm and observe. I know that, but remember, they’re looking for a reaction. If you don’t give them the reaction, they’ll try harder to get a reaction. So your work is to not go into reaction. And it’s not being deadpan it’s being genuinely interested in just observing, and not going into reaction over them.
Also resist the urge to comfort the Hijackal I know that you may love them, you may want to help them, you may want to support them, you may want them to love you, which they don’t have much love to give.
I am going to close by reminding you that you’re precious, and you are important. You deserve to take up space and draw breath. and say what you think need, want, feel, prefer and remember, as long as you did not talk about another human by name or pronoun.