Why A Narcissist Plays the Victim: A Telltale Pattern
It’s only with 20/20 hindsight that this distinct behavior becomes clear to those who have had relationships with narcissists; of course, once you see it, it becomes impossible to unsee. For example, in retrospect, you might realize how carefully he or she curated his or her narrative of past relationships in order to garner your empathy and to get you fully on his or her side. (I will be using the male pronoun to avoid the pile-ups but feel free to switch genders.) You don’t notice in the moment that every story of failed love has him doing everything he can to make the woman happy but nothing is ever enough; you don’t register that, in his telling, everything he did was perfect. Most important, as you reach for his hand—moved by how much pain he’s gone through—you miss the fact that he takes absolutely no responsibility for the relationship’s failure.
Or perhaps you’ve finally set some boundaries in place with your high-in-narcissistic traits and controlling mother, only to discover that she has mounted a smear campaign against you, filled with false accusations, and has contacted everyone you know from relatives to your boss, painting herself as the victim of an abusive and ungrateful daughter. And, to your shock, many of the people she contacts believe her.
Or maybe you’ve decided to divorce your narcissist at long last because you’re tired of his abuse, his lies, and, yes, his cheating, but you want the process to be dignified and civil because you intend to try to co-parent your kids with him. You live in a no-fault state so you tell your attorney to come to a mediated settlement and then you’re hit with a barrage of accusations, including infidelity, along with alleged child abuse. He portrays himself as the victim of a conniving woman—and asserts the kids are victims too. None of this is true but it doesn’t matter to him because he both wants to win and appear like the victim.
Read more here: Why A Narcissist Plays the Victim: A Telltale Pattern