Why am I always the scapegoat? What is so wrong about me?
This question has haunted me for as long as I can remember. I feel that I was being constantly blamed, criticized, and held responsible for things that weren’t even my fault.
If you feel the same way, don’t let it bother you because I’ve been there, and I can tell you from my own experience that it’s not worth the headache.
If you feel stuck as being the scapegoat all your life, it might be because your family has inherent narcissistic qualities.
Your family who wronged you and made you the scapegoat in your family are the ones with unresolved issues. So, it’s not you, it’s them.
I know how emotionally draining and frustrating it can be, this is why I decided to share my story in the hope that you’ll learn from it and use it to make your life better.
No more sleepless nights, trying to think of why and what to do. Here’s to finding your peace and being with people who truly love you!
- Figuring out what makes you a scapegoat is the first thing that you need to do to get out of it.
- You can stop being a scapegoat by clarifying what you’ll not accept from your family.
- To escape the scapegoat role, you need to understand your core values so you can have the confidence to handle your toxic environment rationally.
Table of Contents
Why Am I Always the Scapegoat in My Family?
You may always be the scapegoat in your family due to dysfunctional family dynamics where you are unfairly assigned the role of bearing the blame for the family’s problems and tensions. In my family, my mother made me her scapegoat and my siblings participated in it.
My mother is manipulated and narcissistic. She felt I was an easy target and she would often blame me for things I didn’t do.
I was the one who became the target of frustration. My role was to be my mother’s emotional punching bag.
If you can relate, you know how emotionally exhausting and unfair it can be. Dysfunctional families can cause trauma to their family members.
Anyone can be the family’s scapegoat. In my journey of escaping this role, I realized that understanding why you’re the scapegoat is the first step in reclaiming your identity and confidence.
7 Ways on How to Stop Being the Scapegoat in Any Situation
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’re labeled as the scapegoat, unfairly bearing the blame for your family members’ mistakes or misfortunes?
It’s a tough spot to be in, and I understand how frustrating and disheartening it can be.
But here’s the good news, you’re not alone, and more importantly, there are practical steps you can take to break free from this cycle.
Below I’m going to share with you seven effective strategies to stop being the scapegoat in any situation, specifically, in your family.
These methods are not just theoretical, they are tried and tested approaches that I personally used that have helped me control my narrative and assert my true worth in both my personal and professional settings.
These tips will equip you to confidently navigate these situations, communicate your perspective, and establish healthier, more respectful relationships.
1. Establish Clear Limits on What You Will Accept From Others
The first step is to establish clear limits on what you will accept from your family. This means setting boundaries that protect your emotional and mental well-being.
When you establish these boundaries, you send a powerful message to those around you: “I will not be a doormat.”
Setting clear limits was the first thing I did to break the cycle of scapegoating. I no longer tolerate their actions like unjust blame, unfair accusations, or taking on the unresolved problems of other people.
I stopped saying yes and agreeing to everything that they said or asked. I practically stop allowing my family pushing me around.
This was not easy thing to do and you might be scared, but believe me, setting clear boundaries will make you feel uncomfortable at first but later on you’ll get used to it and you would feel very empowered.
2. Practice Assertive Communication to Express What You Want
Assertive communication is your shield to stop being the family scapegoat once and for all. You have to voice out your thoughts, needs, and feelings in a respectful, confident manner.
It’s about standing up for yourself without being too aggressive or too passive. When you communicate assertively, you take control of your own narrative.
Here are some phrases that I used to tell my mother when I felt that I was being treated as the family scapegoat:
- “I understand you have your opinions, but I won’t accept being blamed for something I haven’t done.”
- “I deserve to be heard and respected, just like anyone else.”
- “I can’t control how you see me, but I know my worth, and I won’t let your words define me.”
- “I value our relationship, but I can’t continue if I’m consistently made the target for everything that goes wrong.”
3. Work on Building Your Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence
Low self-esteem and self-confidence can make you an easy target for scapegoating.
Before, I was a quiet and shy person. I found out that my lack of confidence allowed my family members to project their insecurities onto me.
To break free from this pattern, I invested in my self-esteem and it was the best decision I ever made. Like me, you should focus on your strengths and accomplishments.
In my diary, I wrote down all my accomplishments no matter how small they are. I know it can be difficult to write a list if you feel that you haven’t accomplished anything.
But I believe in you. I know you are strong, you are capable, and you are beautiful.
I would often ask my close friends, “What do you love the most about me?” You would be surprised at how people see you.
This routine really allowed me to see myself in positive light. I feel happier throughout the day and I can overcome the challenges that will come my way.
The people around me noticed that I had a different glow. It also helped me build better, healthier relationships instead of being the scapegoat of the group.
4. Try to Understand the Dynamics at Play That Lead to You Being Scapegoated
Scapegoating is often caused by complex dynamics within your family. Reflect and take the time to analyze the dynamics, power play, and patterns that often lead to scapegoating.
Understanding these dynamics can help you address the root causes and, in some cases, you can solve the issue at its source.
Dig deep into the possible reasons why your family chooses you as the one to carry the blame. Most of the time, they are highly insecure or they have unresolved issues like failure in life, marriage, or business.
In my family, my mother would blame me for the things she actually lacks. Whatever I did, she would belittle me to make me feel like I was a failure in every aspect of my life.
Growing up, my life was full of shame. But when I finally saw these patterns, I knew what to do when it happened again.
5. Respond to Scapegoating Attempts Calmly and Rationally
When you feel that you are being treated as a scapegoat, try your best to keep calm, like very calm. Doing so means you refuse to engage in a destructive power struggle, which leads to nowhere except bigger problems.
Respond rationally rather than reacting impulsively. I always keep this in mind to maintain my dignity.
Before, I was swallowed by fear, anxiety, and even anger. I never want to experience being the scapegoat again but I don’t know what to do.
Being angry did not help improve the situation. Instead, I just believed in myself and I did what was best.
I know their actions are not right. I do not deserve this so I would respond calmly and address the situation carefully.
6. Focus on Solutions and Not on the Problem or the Unfairness
In this world, some things are simply out of your control. Instead of dwelling on the unfairness of being a scapegoat, focus on the solutions.
You should let go of things that are out of your hands. These thoughts are like poison to your brain.
If I interrupt myself whenever the negative thoughts popped up or things in the past, I can truly take action.
When I changed my mindset, my life began to change for the better. I’m no longer a passive victim or a robot that does what my family tells me.
7. Change Your Environment if Scapegoating Is Systemic in Your Situation
If you feel like you already did everything, but you still become the scapegoat, it may be time to consider changing your environment.
And that was exactly what I did.
If scapegoating is systemic in your environment, you are forced to take extreme measures. Get out of the situation or limit your interactions with your toxic family members.
Remember that you deserve to be in spaces where you are respected, valued, and treated with kindness. Seek environments where you are not judged, but those where you are loved.
My whole life, I was the scapegoat. I really believed this was my fate and nothing would change. But no, it’s not the end.
You still have a lot ahead of you! You can change your situation and turn your life around.
You Do Not Deserve to Be the Scapegoat, You Are Worthy
Why am I always the scapegoat in my family? Well, my family has toxic dynamics and my narcissistic mother thought she could use me and I would simply let her.
But my past is not important. The present is.
Where am I right now? I escaped being the scapegoat.
So, tell yourself this: “Being the scapegoat is not my destiny.”
I know that you deserve to be loved and you are worthy of all the love and beauty in this world.
I highly recommend that you follow these practical steps and shift your perspective. Keep your eyes on the goal. It’s not going to change overnight but just keep pushing.
Stand tall, chest out, chin up! And assert your right to a life that is free from unfair accusations. Like me, you can reclaim your life and be the happiest you have ever been!
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of person becomes a scapegoat?
Scapegoats can be anyone, but they often possess qualities such as empathy, vulnerability, or a history of not setting strong boundaries, making them susceptible to being targeted.
Does the scapegoat ever heal?
Yes, scapegoats can heal and break free from the cycle of blaming others, which leads to better emotional health. They just need to be self-aware, set boundaries, and get help.
How do you get over being scapegoated?
Set clear limits, work on your self-esteem, and practice assertive communication to stop being a scapegoat. If the problem worsens, get professional help or think about changing where you live.
Is the narcissist jealous of the scapegoat?
Yes, a narcissist may sometimes be jealous of the scapegoat. It usually happens when the scapegoat gets a lot of attention or is seen as strong.
Why do narcissists need a scapegoat?
By putting their worries on someone else, narcissists may use a scapegoat to avoid looking at their own flaws. By using you as their scapegoat, they continue to believe that they are in charge and they can boost their low self-esteem.