My dad is an un-diagnosed very likely covert narcissist and at the last counseling meeting, he declared that he felt that everyone made him the instant scapegoat. (which isnt't true, because from my perspective, it's self-inflicted). How do I respond to that statement, and let him know that I have no intention of truly harming him?
As mentioned before, my dad's behaviors reflect that of an covert narcissist. Disclaimer: I am not diagnosing him, he fits the description very well.
Ever since the divorce 8 years ago, the relationship between us has not been pretty. Many mean words were exchanged, and I considered going no-contact (cutting him out of my life) many times.
- He feels everyone is not listening to him enough, but in my perspective, everyone's had enough listening to him.
- He has been wanting counseling for a long time, but left things up to me as if I needed more help. This has been discouraging, and not at all supportive of my mental well-being.
- He continually states that he suggested counseling first, even though I've been going all those 8 years and he has gone for maybe half that or less. I do not know for sure.
What has been tried.
During the meeting, I directly told him that it was a big, big assumption of his that everyone has this sort of negative feeling against him. He talked around that and basically didn't really respond to it. He really can talk himself out of these kinds of situations, narcissists in general are very smooth talkers. I suggested he go to counseling, he said he doesn't understand what to work on until I tell him in family counseling. (Saying he will not go to individual counseling because he's learned all he could about himself) He's manipulating the situation to fit what he desires.
- During the counseling, the counselor only acted as a mediator, not as a family counselor. This was previously agreed on.
How do I respond in disagreement to his statement of "Everyone makes me the instant scapegoat!"? My goal is to assert that I am not trying to make him a scapegoat for my issues.
(everyone, including myself, while I am in front of him) I would rather remain cool, calm, and collected, and civil, while directly stating my belief. I want to assert that I am not automatically making him the scapegoat of my issues, but also recognizing that he needs to continue to own his mistakes and accept responsibility. It seems like this is a method of his to avoid responsibility.
Notes and clarifications
- I am a 25 year old female that is married and not living with my dad
- My parents divorced 8 years ago, my mother has remarried (happily) and my dad is still dating.
- Family drama history is extensive, my dad has started spats and he is isolated from his family (siblings, my mom's family, etc), because not many people want to talk with him
- Last but not least: I care about him still, and want a healthy relationship.
I will not accept answers that tell me more about narcissists, how they behave, why they behave, whether to cut him out of my life or not (that's not the question), and anything that is not explaining how to respond to the statement the next time he tells me in front of a counselor.
Any suggestions and edits needed, let me know and I will edit accordingly.