4

I have a friend who blames me for everything bad that happens to him. If he can't find his things, he assumes that I stole it. If he trips or if someone hits him, he blames me. Recently, this is happening more often and I'm not sure how to make him stop.

I tried to confront him about it and he just said that I was untrustworthy and this behaviour continued.

How can I tell him to stop?

  • I edited the question to make it more on-topic, because we can't make people do stuff, but we can help you figure out how to ask them to do things like not blaming you. What did you say when you tried to confront him about it? Are there any consequences that you have told your friend about if he does not stop? Is there something happening in your friend's life that may be affecting his behavior? – ElizB Mar 13 at 19:13
  • 1
    Indeed this question is not really logical... this kind of person is a nuisance but not a friend. What result do you expect? Do you think this becomes a good friendship by simply telling the right words? – puck Mar 13 at 19:46
  • How long have you had this friend, and how long has this behavior been happening? – Rainbacon Mar 13 at 20:37
7

That's uh.... that's not a friend. Friends may from time to time blame each other for minor or inconsequential things just as someone to vent at, but this appears a bit more than that from your description.

There is a significant amount of context not currently present that would drastically change how you approach this scenario. Here's some current working assumptions:

1) You have NOT stolen anything of his in the past or betrayed them in some major fashion that would lead to this distrust ongoing

2) Your friend and you have a limited social setting of some form and interact fairly consistently throughout a day

Personally, I've both done this and been on the receiving end so I'm going off my own experiences here. In my case, I had just been having the worst year of my life and was so convinced everything was out to get me I was just lashing out. It had less to do with actively trying to blame my friends and more to do with targeting the closest person that would listen to me. Eventually I was able to work things out, but looking back I was NOT behaving as a friend and needed a minor intervention from some people close to me in order to refocus and calm down.

I would sit down with this person and see what is truly bothering them. ElizB actually asked this in a comment, but I'm going out on a limb and assuming there is some other horror or pain in their life right now they don't know how to deal with. There's really no way to stop them lashing out, but what you can do is try and work with them to get through whatever is on their mind. Unfortunately, not everyone likes to share their personal lives, so they may rebuff your efforts. If so, don't pry that will just exacerbate everything. All you can do then, if they are truly a friend, is stick with them and offer support when asked.

We all have demons and sometimes they get out.

Good luck!

  • 1
    These are all great reasons for why he is lashing out at alexander. Can you go into detail how Alexander can interact and ask his friend to talk it out with him? – ElizB Mar 13 at 21:16
  • 1
    I had actually written something along those lines initially, but I'm not comfortable providing advice on the how until I have more context. Is this a family friend? What culture is Alexander in? Best friend from high school or work friend of 3 months? Was hoping OP would edit his questions with some more info from the current comments and then fill in some of the how – Red Mage Mar 14 at 12:09
3

You can't stop him but you can make yourself immune to his attitude.

Some people do not know how to acknowledge their own responsibilities. This does not make them bad, it means that accepting consequences is too overwhelming for them. Their defense mechanisms against this overwhelment make them blame anyone who will accept it.

I agree with @Sreekanth when he says that the best way to stop this kind of behaviour is making conscious your part of the deal. If you make an effort to stop engaging with his guilt, he will either find someone who takes the blame instead of you or he will start accepting his own consequences.

From the background you offered, it seems to me that you are too involved in his unhealthy behaviour. He blames you for everything that happens to him and you blame him back for the way you feel. Unfortunately you can't change people, you can only control your own reactions.


Now, how do you stop caring? I've found this options useful when I've been in similar situations:

Taking a break from that person. If he is your roommate or you have a shared activity from which you cannot escape, find substantial amounts of alone time. This will bring clarity to your mind, and within a few days you will begin to feel stronger, so that next time he offers blame, you are centered enough to say "that's not mine, I will not take it".

Understanding what's in there for you. The reason you have been accepting his behaviour is a hidden prize. What belief are you reaffirming each time he treats you like that? Perhaps it's "I don't deserve nice treatment", perhaps it's only letting you know that you have not forgiven yourself for something you feel guilty about ("I deserve punishment"). Maybe you hadn't been ready to accept your own responsibility for your feelings and you found useful to have someone like him to blame when you didn't feel good.

Look inside. It's rough (and a little counterintuitive) to admit that we are hurting ourselves on purpose to confirm beliefs, but you can turn this situation around.

I lived a similar situation for many months until I found that deep down I believed that I was not good enough to be treated nicely. I wanted so bad to be right that I did everything in my power to be in situations in which I could say "See? I am not worthy, that's why people abuse me". Little by little I learned how to deactivate that belief. For me, it started to change when I decided that being happy was more important than being right.

Being gentle with yourself. You might find yourself reacting to his comments again and again, despite your efforts. Like all habits, it's normal not to be constant at the beginning. Give it time and be patient with yourself. Recognizing that you don't want this kind of treatment is a HUGE step, own it.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.