How to Cope With Being Blamed for Something You Didn't Do
"It's Not My Fault." -- Being the Victim of a Narcissistic Personality
Chronic blaming is a form of emotional abuse. It often hurts just as much as physical pain does. We feel helpless over the blamer and a certain fear sets in.
Most blamers see nothing wrong in blaming others for anything and everything. When things go wrong in their own lives, someone else is always to blame -- nothing is ever their fault. They tend to be irrational; therefore you can't reason with them. Don't even try.
It's best to avoid this type of personality (narcissistic), as this disorder includes being negative, which can have a destructive effect on you.
Unfortunately, I have a family member who fits this type of personality. It has taken me a lifetime to recognize that she lives with a mental disorder. I became a victim by buying into her belief system. I accepted criticism and verbal abuse. I felt sorry for her because she had a rough childhood. I found myself walking on eggshells with every conversation.
Don't become a victim of a negative personality. It can literally ruin your life, especially if you and your accuser are related or are close friends.
You may even be better off by choosing to disassociate (and thereby severing) the toxic relationship. If you find that you just can't do this, at least set up specific boundaries to protect yourself.
The Truth Will Set You Free
At one time or another, most of us are blamed for something we didn't do. It feels unjust and unfair. And, it is. Even though we may be completely guiltless, we feel guilty.
Here's what you'll hopefully learn about in this article:
- Why it's about the accuser and not you
- Why all that matters is the truth
- Being a victim of narcissistic personality
- Knowledge is power when dealing with negative personalities
- 7 key signs of a blamer
- Narcissistic personality disorder criteria
- The common body language of liars
The Accusation is a Reflection of Your Accuser, Not You
Let's face it. Being blamed for something you are innocent of hurts. But truth is the one thing that survives after all time and recriminations have past. I've learned that anyone who accuses us of improper behavior and lies isn't really worth worrying about. Your accuser has personal issues that have absolutely nothing to do with you. At the time you are being blamed, knowing this may not help much. Even so, it is true.
Often, jealousy, insecurity, and low self-esteem are coursing through a liar's veins. The only way they can feel their own importance is to gossip viciously about other people, bringing them down so that they themselves can feel better about who they are.
To intentionally accuse someone of doing something they know is a lie gives the liar a feeling of importance. Feel sorry for them, my friend. They are miserable individuals and cannot find joy within. They are unable to feel good themselves so they continue this endless road of slum and slime as they pass judgment and makeup lies about other people.
You Don't Need to Prove Your Innocence
You do not need to prove your innocence to anyone if you are indeed innocent. You already know in your heart that you have clean hands. This is all that matters. It is not necessary to prove to anyone that you are not guilty. Do not fuel the evil fire by giving these lies power.
The Bible tells us to "Pray for those that despitefully use you." Whether you believe in the Holy Book or not, the advice is good. Only by feeling love for our enemies (anyone who is against us) can we be free. So try to forgive and that includes forgetting.
Is this easy? No, it isn't. In fact, it's hard...very hard. But if you can grow to this level it will help you to feel peace as you struggle through a difficult time. Have patience, both with yourself and your accuser. The truth will eventually be known, and it is truth that will set you free.
Learning New Strategies for Dealing With Blamers
Help is on the way. You're going to feel relieved as you learn how to deal and cope with destructive behavior. No longer will you have to be a victim of blame and negativity.
When I finally learned that I had been manipulated to believe that something was wrong with me I felt empowered with a sense of freedom. Though it wasn't easy to give up the close relationship between my sibling and me, it has been the best choice I ever made. I no longer need the approval of that particular sibling to know that I have value.
Armor yourself with knowledge. Like a bullet-proof vest, the toxic blame will bounce right off of you. The more aware you are, the better. You will avoid these types of relationships and save your self-esteem.
In the words of Don Miguel Ruiz, author of "The Four Agreements", do not to take anything others say personally. This takes much practice but oh, my, you will feel empowered. You have the right to believe or not believe the opinions of others. And be careful of your own self-dialogue. Even the opinions you have about yourself may not be true.
So begin now to practice not taking anything personally. When you take things personally, you set yourself up to suffer. When we really see people for who they are, without taking it personally, we can never be hurt.
The best way of protecting ourselves from a blamer is to establish an impenetrable boundary between what we know about ourselves and what this other person needs to believe about us.
7 Key Signs of a Blamer
The following list will help you identify the signs and behaviors of a blamer:
- Pessimism. Pessimism is one of the sure signs of a blamer. No matter how positive you are, they will always find something bad to happen. There's often no talking them out of their negative thinking.
- Making excuses. Blamers are always making excuses for their own actions. They are very good at this. They will rarely take responsibility for their behavior.
- Passing the blame. Blamers will tend to always pass the blame on to someone else, while never taking responsibility for their actions.
- Quick temperament. Being quick-tempered can be another sign to watch for. Blamers are known to have short fuses.
- Takes credit. A blamer always insists on credit for being right. Oh, how they love to shout, "I told you so!"
- Betrayal. Being trustworthy is not part of a blamer's character. They are typically back-stabbers. So, be very careful. If you don't want something you say to be repeated, then don't say it.
- Envy. Envy is the blamer's middle name. Any time you get something nice, they become angry and envious. This includes any success you might have. When you're sick or in pain, believe me -- they're happy. They may not realize this and in fact, will deny it. Then, when you feel great and positive again, they may immediately remind you that "soon, bad things will happen, so don't get too comfortable."
Beware of people who automatically assume the fault is yours. After all, it could never be their fault. By the way, these people also love to play mind games. They rehearse their entire dialogue so they will be prepared for your next conversation. It's a full-time job for them.
Narcissistic Behavior: "It's All About Me"
One way to spot a blamer is by narcissistic behavior. If the person demonstrates signs of NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), blaming others for personal problems in life feels normal to them.
Learning all we can about narcissism is beneficial in two ways.
- It provides us with an understanding of the behavior itself. In turn, we are better prepared to cope and deal with the effects of this disorder.
- We may even recognize some signs of narcissism in our own personalities and take steps to correct it. With awareness and desire, combined with some hard work, this disorder can be overcome. Seek the help of a qualified doctor.
Extreme selfishness is a red flag for identifying narcissism. While most of us tend to be a little on the selfish side, those with NPD carry it to a whole different extreme.
Narcissists are preoccupied with fantasies of power, success, and brilliance, along with a high sense of entitlement. They can be rude, arrogant and even abusive.
They are usually quite defensive and arrogant. You'll never begin to reason with them so don't even try.
Remember that this type of personality will throw the blame on you whenever it's convenient. The best defense is no defense. Learn to completely ignore a narcissist.
A reminder: "The greatest prize for life's labors isn't in material possessions or impressive accomplishments but in the progress of personal character. You labor for your own becoming, this is your richest reward. Who you become is your greatest possession, make it your masterpiece! " -- Matt Moody Ph.D., Social Psychologist.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder Criteria
To give you more ammunition for how to cope with being blamed for something you didn't do, listed below are criteria for NPD.
- A grandiose sense of self-importance, exaggerating talents and achievements. Look for a feeling of superiority.
- Hungers for excessive admiration and attention.
- Has a sense of entitlement.
- Displays arrogant behavior.
- Really believes that others are jealous of them.
- Lacks empathy for others.
- Takes advantage of others to further self.
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of power, love, or beauty.
- Harbors feelings of jealousy
- They are seldom, if ever, wrong.
Three Rules to Help Protect You When Dealing With a Narcissist
I could have saved myself plenty of pain and stress if only I had learned years ago how to set boundaries for myself when dealing with a narcissist.
- They are quick to blame others instead of taking responsibility. And they are champions at this. Be prepared.
- Never confide or give too much personal information to this type of person. They'll use it as ammunition later when it's convenient.
- Don't take anything they say personally. This isn't easy but it's necessary.
A person with NPD will not change so don't expect them to. Honor yourself by setting up boundaries.
Is That Person Lying to You? Check Their Body Language
If you want to know whether someone is lying to you, check their body language. While there may be exceptions to the following tips, these are used by police and investigators:
- Check the eyes. If the person avoids eye contact, that's a clue that he or she may be lying.
- Watch the gestures and expression. If the gestures and expression don't match the verbal dialogue, that's another sign. Example: "I like you," while frowning.
- A guilty person will get defensive.
- Using humor or sarcasm is another sign of lying.
- Touching the nose often can be a sign of lying.
- Covering the mouth indicates deceit.
- Be aware of eye movement. The eyes move to the left during a lie.
- Watch out for body movement. When a person tells the truth they tend to lean forward. When they tell a lie they tend to lean backward.
- Watch hand, arm, and leg movements. When lying, these body movements are stiff and restricted.
- Pay attention to too many details given. Liars tend to go on and on to get you to believe them.
Note: Some of the behaviors listed above can also be demonstrated by someone who might not be lying at all. People who are nervous, shy, easily frightened, or guilt-ridden for another reason, can have these same reactions.
In Conclusion - Exemplify Honesty
If we live in such a way that we exemplify complete honesty, we develop integrity. This is the best way to ward off being blamed or accused in the first place. Honesty begins in childhood. Children learn best by example. Teach your children and your grandchildren the value of always being truthful.
Oftentimes problems are sent to us as gifts. Even being blamed for something we are innocent of can be a path to discovery. We can learn and grow from this painful and unfair experience. All meaningful change comes from the inside and not from our external circumstances.
When we blame others, we prevent ourselves from learning. Taking responsibility for our actions and even our thoughts keep us free from blaming others. Consider this if you've been a victim of blame.
The title for this Hub was inspired by a post in the HubPages forum on the same subject. Remembering a time when I once took the blame for something I didn't do (it was traumatic for me), I decided to share my thoughts and write a Hub about how to deal with this problem. I hope you've found it helpful.
“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
― Mark Twain
Just Do Your Best
I'd like to share a simple but powerful thought written by Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements:
"Just do your best - in any circumstance in your life. It doesn't matter if you are sick or tired if you always do your best there is no way you can judge yourself. And if you don't judge yourself there is no way you are going to suffer from guilt, blame, and self-punishment. By always doing your best, you will break a big spell that you have been under."
I challenge you to read this several times. Every time you do, this message will become more ingrained and you will learn something new and valuable. Set yourself free of all guilt regardless of where the blame comes from by always doing your best.
Never take anything personally. This isn't easy to do but it's important to trust yourself when it comes to believing or not believing what someone says to you.
"Hurt people, hurt other people". When I'm blamed for something I didn't do, I try to remember this. It keeps me from reacting emotionally.
Questions & Answers
I said sorry for something I didn’t do, but the person I said sorry to doesn't believe I didn’t do it, they think I’m lying. What’s your advice?
If you apologized and the person doesn't believe you then the problem is theirs, not yours.Helpful 50
What do you do when no one believes when you are wrongly accused?
As long as I know I'm innocent, then it's my accusers' problem and not mine. Continue to live with integrity and be proud and confident that you always speak the truth.Helpful 47
What do you do when it’s your spouse that’s falsely accusing you? That’s mental abuse. Is it a reason to divorce if it’s an ongoing situation?
I recommend that you talk with a counselor about this.Helpful 35
I have been married for forty-four years, since I was sixteen. After reading your article, I realize that I am married to a narcissist. Most of the time he is wonderful but when his narcissism kicks in I get so depressed. How do I deflect him when he is in the mode? P.S., I also have mental issues of which I see a psychiatrist monthly for my meds.
My suggestion is for you both to seek counseling. A professional will be able to help you better than I.Helpful 13
Should I apologize for something I didn't do just to obtain their forgiveness?
This is more the other persons' problem than yours. You know you're not guilty. I think it depends on the person. Sometimes its just better to leave it alone. The person may not have the ability to forgive anyhow. Listen to your heart and follow what it tells you to do. If saying you're sorry makes you feel better than go for it!Helpful 11
© 2012 Audrey Hunt