How to Respond to Blame Shifting - What You Can Do?

Written by: Shreya Manerkar – MA (Clinical Psychology)
Last updated date : March 02, 2023

“I keep cheating on you because you are too busy”. “I don’t like getting angry but you always do something to make me angry”. How often have you heard your partner blame you for their actions? Even though they are wrong, they shift the blame on you. Do you want to stand up for yourself but don’t know how to respond and deal with blame shifting?

In this article, you will learn what is blame shifting and why your partner constantly blames you for things going wrong in their life. Following this, we will give you some tips on how you can respond and deal with blame shifting. We will end the article with a brief note on how to manage your emotions when you are being blamed.

Before we begin, let us look at the definition of some key terms that you will come across in the article:

  • Blame Shifting – It is a manipulation technique used by people wherein they blame their partners. They find it difficult to take responsibility for their actions and will find ways to get angry at their partner. By shifting blame, they make their partner believe that everything that goes wrong is their partner’s fault.
  • Narcissist – It is a person whose life only revolves around themselves. They are unable to take into consideration other people’s needs and feel they are better than others.
  • Emotional Abuse – It is another form of manipulation technique through which people try to scare, control, and even isolate you from others. An emotionally abusive person will yell, shout, and even use foul language when they are angry with you.

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Chapter 1:

Why Does Your Partner Always Blame You?

A person who is constantly shifting blame onto you can be very difficult to deal with. While you may want to respond to the blame shifting, it leaves you confused and doubting yourself. As difficult as it may be for you to hear this, constant blame is a form of emotional abuse.

Narcissists use this is a manipulation technique to defend their behavior . It is easier for them to push the blame on you and avoid taking any responsibility for their actions.

Chapter 2:

How Should You Respond to Blame Shifting?

It is easy to pass the blame to others than accept our faults. If your partner is wrong but has been shifting the blame on you, it can be very difficult to accept and respond at that moment. However, the first step is to take a deep breath and then decide your next move.

Walk Away
The easiest and fastest way to dissolve the situation is to walk away from it. This means that you do not continue the conversation even when your partner is blaming you.

This is helpful when you are also getting angry with the false blame that your partner is putting on you. When you feel, you will respond to blame shifting by getting angry; move away from the situation. This will give you some space to think objectively about the situation

Accept Your Mistake
Only when you have made a genuine mistake, accept responsibility for it. Apologize when it is your fault. However, if you respond to false blame shifting by saying sorry just to deal with your partner, they may always use it as an excuse in the future.

Avoid the Blame-Game

It can get very frustrating to constantly respond to shifting the blame even when it may not be your fault. Sometimes, they may say mean things or fault you for something you have not done.

At such a time, blaming them back and starting a fight sound like the best option. However, it will cause more problems for both of you.

Listen to Them
Instead of defending yourself or shifting blame back to your partner, calmly talk to them. You can speak to them once they have calmed down. When they are expressing themselves, listen with an open mind. Some things will make sense and others will be untrue.

Focus on what makes sense, and once they have calmed down, address it with them in a rational manner. Don’t be too quick to respond to the blame shifting, it will come across as disrespect to your partner.

Chapter 3:

How to Deal With Blame Shifting?

When your partner is constantly shifting the blame onto you, it can make you question yourself. You start wondering if you are always wrong or if you are the cause of their problems. However, it is important to understand that you need to differentiate their reality from yours. Here are some easy ways to deal with blame shifting.

Keep a Journal
Keep a record of all your interactions with your partner. This way, when they are blame shifting, you can respond by checking the note you made in your journal. This will help you stick to the point irrespective of what your narcissistic partner says.

Speak to Other People
If you are ever in doubt, speak to people close to you. Run the situation by them and ask them for their honest feedback. When you speak to close friends or family, chances are they will tell you the facts as they are.

Record Everything
Even though recording someone you love can seem wrong, it may be the only option. When every day is a blame shifting day, you may feel overwhelmed, angry, and frustrated. However, let your partner know that the conversation will be recorded. Even if you record them, they may still try to manipulate you by shifting the blame on you.

Stay on Topic
A good way to deal with and respond to shifting blame is by keeping the conversation to what your partner did. They may try their level best to keep blaming you, but you should bring the conversation back to the action.

For example, if you have been cheated on. They may say it is because you are “nagging” or” demanding”. However, don’t let that distract you from the fact that they cheated. Ask them to stay on topic and discuss their action rather than what you did wrong.

Set Boundaries
Finally, the key to a healthy relationship is setting boundaries. When you set a boundary, your narcissist partner will be unhappy and may react. However, stand your ground and be clear about the consequences of them overstepping this boundary.

Sometimes, you may try all these methods but feel like you have reached a dead end. Always responding and dealing to blame shifting can be energy draining. It can shake your confidence and make you question your self-worth. If you are in this situation, we recommend enrolling in our self-help course “Low Self Esteem“. It will help you regain your confidence and set healthy boundaries in the relationship.

"Quizzes and recommendations were very uselful" Donna

87 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount