How Narcissists Convince Victims They Are The Problem

Narcissists have a way of making their victims feel like we are the problem.  This is awful for the victims, because as a result, we end up tolerating their abuse for years.  We think they’re good to put up with us, & we try harder & harder to be good enough for them.  Meanwhile, as we’re losing ourselves in trying to please the narcissists, the narcissists are gaining tons of supply.


So how does this happen?  How can a person honestly believe they’re the problem when the narcissist clearly is?  Narcissists accomplish this in several ways.


Projection.  Narcissist always accuse others of their own flaws.  This makes a person feel inadequate.  A person may even become angry but feels they don’t have the right to be angry since they are the flawed one.


Narcissists don’t examine their behavior, only yours.  If you’re angry with a narcissist, all that narcissist sees is how you’re acting.  They don’t ask themselves why you’re angry or is it something they’ve done.  They see you acting in a way they consider irrational, & make you feel crazy for your behavior.


They gaslight.  All narcissists love gaslighting their victims.  Gaslighting is basically when you say the sky is blue, & the narcissist says it’s clearly green & something is wrong with you for thinking otherwise.  Granted, that is an extremely obvious example, but that’s pretty much how gaslighting works.  Narcissists see the same thing you see (that blue sky) but don’t want you to see it that way.  Rather than agreeing that the sky is blue, they’ll tell you it’s green & try to make you feel crazy for thinking it’s blue.  Narcissists do this often with abusive things they have done.  They may deny the events happened entirely, or try to convince you that they happened in a very different way.


Narcissists provoke their victims to rage while maintaining their cool.  One primary feature of narcissism is their complete lack of empathy.  This enables narcissists to feel no guilt or remorse for abusing a victim.  This also means they can maintain their calm demeanor while simultaneously driving a victim to the brink of madness.  When this happens, a victim feels insane.  After all, the victim is the one screaming & crying while the narcissist is cool & collected.  The victim looks crazy to herself & anyone else who may be witnessing this phenomenon.


If you’re in a relationship of any sort with a narcissist, these things are most likely happening.  When they do, please remember this post & remind yourself that you are NOT the problem!  The narcissist is only trying to make you think you are!


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

14 responses to “How Narcissists Convince Victims They Are The Problem

  1. “Narcissists don’t examine their behavior, only yours.” To me the most striking difference between abusers and victims is that victims examine their own conduct and are willing to admit they may be at fault and to change, while abusers examine the conduct of their victims and blame them for everything that is wrong in the relationship. That was my experience for decades. I didn’t realize that my willingness to examine my own conduct to understand my relationships within my FOO needed to be balanced with the same introspection from them. I was willing to change while they were not. It took so long to see myself as the family scapegoat and how that affected every relationship in my FOO, that they were content with my role, that it worked for them, and that they had no internal motivation to change how they treated me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t think any of us realized until adulthood that it takes 2 to make a relationship work. Narcissists do exactly as you said- they don’t examine their behavior, only their victims’, which means we, as children, assume we’re to blame. If we’re to blame, then obviously it’s up to us to fix everything, right? If we only would do/stop doing *fill in the blank*, they would treat us better. The logic is certainly understandable but it’s also flawed. Thank God for teaching us better!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. And take it from someone who escaped their dangerous narcissist, get out. Don’t keep subjecting yourself to the horrors.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. HopeGlenn

    I appreciate your posts greatly. I have spent years believing I was this or that…fill in all the nasty words you can think of. If I believed I was those nasty things it justified being treated horribly by my ex husband, my sons and a relationship that I was in but am now 10 months NC.
    Those crap thoughts of me infiltrated every, every part of my life…every part. About a week ago and said HEY!!! And realized it was all lies. It was to cover up how filthy they are. And I know you feel me.
    So at 54 I am seeing how my life has been run by these filthy people. Its like I am brand new. I am finding me. I moved 2 states away. Took another job and got a place on the 3rd floor of a small town. I am finding me and have discovered that the reason they have spent many, many years trying to convince me I am trash and snuff me out is because I am not trash. I am hugely gifted, creative, loving, intelligent. They knew what I was long before I did.
    I’m so glad I woke up. Something they never wanted.
    I don’t know how to explain this aha moment. But I see them for what they have “chosen” to be. Not what they are.
    So I guess I’m one week out..of horrific hell. 😌

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Reblogged this on Emerging From The Dark Night and commented:
    A helpful post for why we can continue to blame ourselves after being involved with narcissists.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Beckie's Mental Mess and commented:
    Original post by”CynthiaBaileyRug” – My goodness this was what I endured in my last relationship. Sad. Great post though!!!


  6. Well-written and concise. This article describes my relationship with my family to a T.


  7. Do Narcissist ever try to convince you that you are the narcissist and they are the victim?
    Please someone help me.


    • Some do, yes. Narcissists always try to convince the victim that the victim is the real problem & do it in all sorts of different ways- saying the victim is the narcissist, crazy, oversensitive, overreacting, unreasonable & more.


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