Understanding the Excuses: 13 Things Narcissists Say to Excuse Their Behaviour.
Navigating encounters with narcissists can be a challenging experience, as their self-centred and manipulative behaviour can often leave us feeling confused, hurt, and invalidated. In an attempt to justify their actions, narcissists resort to various techniques, one of which is employing particular phrases that target our emotions and perceptions. In this article, we will delve into the world of narcissists and explore why they excuse their behaviour and the thirteen commonly used excuses they make, including the infamous “you’re crazy.”
Narcissists typically resort to excuses and justifications for their behaviour rather than acknowledging their own faults due to several reasons:
- Fragile self-esteem: Narcissists have an inflated sense of self-importance and an overwhelming need for admiration. Admitting fault or acknowledging their flaws may challenge this fragile self-esteem, causing them to feel vulnerable and unworthy. So, they employ various tactics, such as making excuses or justifications, to protect their self-image and maintain their superiority.
- Lack of empathy: Narcissists often lack empathy and struggle to understand others’ perspectives or emotions. They tend to prioritise their own needs and desires above all else. By justifying their behaviour, they convince themselves that their actions were necessary or justified, disregarding any harm caused to others.
- Defence mechanism: Making excuses or justifications can be a defence mechanism for narcissists. It serves as a way to avoid feelings of guilt, shame, or responsibility for their actions. By shifting blame onto others or external factors, they protect their own ego and maintain a sense of control.
- Manipulation and control: Narcissists often use various manipulative tactics to control and dominate others. By deflecting and justifying their behaviour, they can manipulate situations to their advantage and avoid any accountability for their actions. This allows them to maintain power and control over those around them.
It’s important to note that while these are common behaviours displayed by narcissists, not all individuals with narcissistic traits will resort to these tactics. Not everyone who displays these behaviours is necessarily a narcissist.
- “You’re overreacting”:
One of the go-to phrases used by narcissists is dismissing your legitimate concerns by invalidating your emotions. They attempt to minimise or undermine your justifiable reactions, making you question your own judgment and feelings, ultimately shifting the blame onto you.
- “I was only joking”:
Narcissists often mask their manipulative remarks or hurtful comments as jokes, leaving you feeling confused and like you’re overreacting. By using humor as a shield, they avoid accountability and can easily deflect from their harmful behavior.
- “You’re being too sensitive”:
Narcissists downplay your emotional responses and attempt to convince you that your sensitivity is a personal flaw instead of addressing their own insensitive behaviour. By doing so, they avoid taking responsibility for their actions and manipulate you into believing you are the problem.
- “You’re just trying to find faults in me”:
When confronted with their shortcomings or inappropriate behaviour, narcissists often respond by accusing you of being overly critical. They attempt to shift the focus away from their actions, projecting their own insecurities onto you and creating a defensive shield around their inflated ego.
- “It’s everyone else’s fault”:
One of the most common excuses narcissists use is shifting the blame onto others. They possess a strong need to minimise their own shortcomings, making it easier to deflect responsibility by blaming external factors or individuals. By portraying themselves as victims, they can evade accountability for their actions.
- “I’m just being honest”:
Narcissists use honesty as a shield to justify their harsh critiques. While honesty can be valuable, narcissists employ it as a tool to assert their superiority and inflict emotional damage. It’s important not to dismiss their words completely but discern their intent and separate genuine feedback from their attempts to undermine others.
- “You don’t understand me”:
Narcissists often employ a tactic of positioning themselves as victims of your lack of understanding. By twisting the narrative and making you feel inadequate in comprehending their complex emotions, they conveniently avoid owning up to their own behaviour and manipulations.
- “You’re imagining things”:
Gaslighting is a manipulative technique frequently used by narcissists, aimed at making you question your own reality. By invalidating your experiences and memories, they erode your confidence and self-trust, ensuring their own control over the situation.
- “I had a difficult childhood”:
Narcissists may use their past experiences as an emotional alibi, painting themselves as victims of their upbringing. By sharing their struggles, they aim to rationalise their behaviour and garner sympathy, discouraging others from holding them accountable. While empathy is essential, it is crucial to balance understanding with setting boundaries to protect oneself from toxic dynamics.
- “I’m just looking out for you”:
Narcissists may make grandiose claims of benevolence, stating that their actions are driven by concern for others. However, their true motivation often lies in asserting control and dominance. It is vital to be wary of their ulterior motives and question whether their supposed help aligns with one’s own well-being.
- “You’re jealous of me”:
To maintain their superiority and deflect from their own flaws or misdeeds, narcissists often paint you as jealous or envious of their success, appearance, or social status. This excuse allows them to further assert their dominance, shifting the focus onto your perceived insecurities instead of addressing their own behaviour.
- “You’re just trying to control me”:
Narcissists may accuse you of attempting to manipulate or control them when you voice legitimate concerns about their actions. This serves as a diversion tactic, enabling them to evade accountability while painting you as the aggressor in order to maintain their dominant position.
- “You’re crazy/mentally unstable”:
Perhaps the most damaging of all excuses, narcissists may resort to outright gaslighting by undermining your mental stability. By questioning your sanity, they hope to discredit your valid concerns and further erode your self-confidence, leaving you dependent on their skewed version of reality.
Understanding the excuses narcissists use to evade accountability is crucial for our own mental and emotional well-being. By recognising and becoming familiar with their manipulative tactics, like the ones outlined above, we can protect ourselves from falling into their traps.
Safeguarding Your Mental Well-being: Navigating a Narcissist’s Excuses.
Dealing with a narcissist can be a challenging and emotionally draining experience. Their self-centeredness often manifests in manipulative tactics, excuses, and the inclination to place blame on others for their behaviours. In such situations, it is crucial to protect yourself both emotionally and mentally without allowing their excuses to undermine your well-being.
Before diving into protective measures, it is vital to grasp the essence of narcissistic behaviour. Narcissists possess an inflated sense of self-importance, exhibit a lack of empathy, and frequently elevate their own needs and desires above others. They often go to great lengths to defend their behaviour, making excuses for their actions while deflecting guilt or blame onto others. So what can you do?
Establishing clear boundaries serves as a foundation for protecting oneself from a narcissist’s harmful tactics. Clearly defining what is and isn’t acceptable to you demonstrates self-confidence and self-respect, limiting the negative impact their behaviour can have on you. Ensure that these boundaries are communicated assertively but kindly, emphasising your needs without engaging in confrontations or arguments that the narcissist may use to attack you. The best boundaries when dealing with narcissists are physical, psychological and emotional distance.
Self-care plays a crucial role in maintaining your emotional well-being when dealing with a narcissist. Engaging in activities that recharge and nurture your mind, body, and soul can be highly beneficial. Prioritise self-care practices such as exercise, hobbies, spending quality time with loved ones, and seeking therapy or counselling if needed. It is essential to cultivate self-compassion and remind yourself that you are worthy of happiness, regardless of the narcissist’s behaviour. (Sponsored.). https://betterhelp.com/elizabethshaw
Identify Manipulative Excuses:
Narcissists are experts at making excuses to justify their actions and deflect ownership. Being aware of their tactics is key to protecting yourself. Some common excuses include gaslighting (denying or downplaying their behaviour), projecting blame onto others, and seeking pity or sympathy. Recognise these manipulative strategies and mentally prepare yourself not to fall for them, avoiding self-doubt or guilt that the narcissist may try to inflict upon you.
Practice Mindful Communication:
Engaging in mindful communication can help you manage interactions with a narcissist more effectively. Remain aware of your emotions during conversations, maintain a calm and composed demeanour, and strive to convey your thoughts assertively. Avoid reacting impulsively or defensively to their excuses, as this may escalate the situation. It can be helpful to practice active listening, acknowledging their perspective while staying firm in your values and boundaries.
Dealing with a narcissist can be immensely challenging, and you do not need to face it alone. Surround yourself with a strong network of supportive friends, family, or groups who empathise and understand the dynamics involved. Sharing your experiences and seeking their validation can help reinforce a healthy sense of self, reminding you that you are not the cause or source of the narcissist’s behaviour.
Maintain Emotional Distance:
Creating emotional distance is essential for protecting yourself when a narcissist attempts to excuse their behaviour. Remind yourself that you cannot change or fix them, and your happiness should not be dependent on their validation or approval. Detach emotionally, focusing on your own well-being and happiness rather than trying to appease or change the narcissist.
Protecting yourself from a narcissist’s excuses requires a multi-faceted approach that encompasses setting healthy boundaries, practising self-care, mindful communication, and seeking support. By prioritising your well-being and recognising the manipulative tactics they employ, you can maintain your mental health, emotional stability, and personal growth. Remember always to be gentle with yourself, as healing from the impact of narcissistic behaviour takes time and patience.
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