12 ways sociopaths say, ‘It’s not my fault’ — what have you heard?

One of the defining characteristics of a sociopath is that they never take responsibility for anything. Nothing is ever their fault. Any problem they face is always caused by someone else, or circumstances beyond their control.

I’ll bet that a young sociopath invented the excuse, “The dog ate my homework.”

Early in my relationship with my sociopathic ex-husband, James Montgomery, he explained that his innovative business venture wasn’t built because “the government took his land.” Of course, he never mentioned the fact that he never owned the land, and never raised the money to buy the land. He just blamed the government for his business failure.

Since I launched Lovefraud, I’ve heard countless stories of sociopathic excuses for their problems and antisocial behavior, like these:

  • I’m screwed up because I was abused as a child.
  • It’s not my fault that I lost my job — the customer ticked me off.
  • I’m not to blame for raping a 14-year-old — she threw herself at me.
  • I quit because my boss is a moron.
  • I got arrested because the cops had it in for me.
  • My ex is mentally unstable — but I put up with her for years.
  • My ex won’t let me see my kids because she’s a psycho b*tch.
  • The government froze my bank accounts so I can’t access my money.
  • I failed because the teacher hates me.
  • The guy was so hot-looking that I had to sleep with him.
  • The driver gave me a dirty look, so I had to speed past him.
  • The dog wouldn’t stop barking so I had to kill it.

In making excuses like these, sociopaths have one or more of these related objectives:

  • Playing the victim
  • Blame shifting
  • Gaining sympathy

They are trying to convince the target — that would be you — that they deserve to be believed, trusted or helped, because they are not responsible for whatever problems they face.

If someone who you believe may be a sociopath is making excuses, here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  1. Sociopaths lie a lot, so any excuse may be a total fabrication.
  2. Even if sociopaths aren’t lying, they always have an ulterior motive.
  3. The excuses are attempts at impression management, to convince you to give them what they want.

So what outrageous excuses have you heard from sociopaths? Add your examples to the list.



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44 Comments on "12 ways sociopaths say, ‘It’s not my fault’ — what have you heard?"

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A huge red flag is when someone is never at fault. Every single thing is always someone else’s fault.

Watch for this!

Yes I wish I woukd have went with my gut at the very beginning when i questioned this. I’ll know how to watch out now!

She got pregnant because she drugged me. (said, husband to wife about his girlfriend)

I was ripped away from my dad and brought to CA.

I was told by phone.

I need to tell you something that I don’t want you to hear from someone else. My friend w( who I was staying with)raped me when I was pissed.
I was trying to comfort her because of her druggy husband.
I was only being nice.
I couldn’t finish it…( sounded annoyed)
She thought a bit of me belonged to a bit of her.
I never meant her to get the wrong idea.

“You are such a geek, anyone would want to punch you in the head.”

You made me like this.
If you did what I asked I’d be ok with you.
I learned how to be nasty/ spiteful / uncaring from you.

“You’ve got all that money and I’ve got nothin’ so you won’t miss it ’cause once a crim, always a crim and since I got out of prison no one’ll gimme a go.”

“Well you should get down on your knees and pray thanks to God for having a Mum like me and for not having been me when I was a kid.”

“If you only knew how hard it was to give you such a beautiful, beautiful childhood when all I had was… well you know what I had… you wouldn’t whinge about that…”

“That was consensual” after a violent sexual attack on me.
“I just don’t know you at all” after I was devastated by him molesting me in a sudden unexpected attack when my arm was in plaster
“I have hearing loss because of my job” after being asked why he didn’t stop when I told him I was uncomfortable with his hands near my private area in public
“They couldn’t handle my talent” so they made him redundant
“My aunt molested me as a child” when confronted by me on his sexually violating behavior

My ex would always tell me that I heard him wrong, or I misunderstood him. Another one was, “I never said that.”
I really doubted myself.

I only recently learned what gaslighting is, but learning about it has really opened my eyes. 19 years of self-doubt and questioning my own sanity. I feel your pain.

Laine i was gaslit also. Female gf went nuts when i told her my adult daughter was prgenant. She said all my kids were f ed up. I never got closure from that. I brought it up a week ago and she denied saying it as well as any recollection of the argument.

I think gaslighting is one of the more common forms of sociopathic manipulation. I own a DVD copy of the 1944 Ingrid Bergman/Charles Boyer film Gaslight from which the term derives. I recommend to anyone interested.

yes! all the “you misunderstood”s. just circular arguing so he can make you doubt your own mind and intuition.

That’s not what I said.
You misinterpreted me.
That was not my intent.
I had a bad day. (So it’s ok to verbally abuse you.)
I made a mistake.(so it’s ok to verbally abuse you.)
You say worse things to me. (I don’t but it’s ok to deflect)
Look at that Bird! (Really happened to change subject to avoid accountability)
Oh so I never do anything right! ( because I point out his insults are unacceptable.)
Oh so You’re perfect!
You’re just being difficult.
I deserve more latitude. ( said during counselling to avoid responsibility cause he has it so hard)

My 30 yr old girlfriend kicked or “ tapped” me in the face as she called it because i was annoying her with immature noises. I got blamed for being assaulted. I saw stars from the hit and left a mark on my face. Oh btw, shes a cop too:(

Let’s see, where to start… yes, this is all the same person:

“I did tell you my real name. You just forgot.” (Three months after our relationship began, when he had been living with me for over a month.)

“I quit because I know I was going to get fired.” (He was about to get a stellar review.)

“Quitting drinking made me lose my mind.” (When he left me for another woman after 14 years together and then spent 2 years begging, coercing, and harassing me to get back together.)

“I’m racist because my mom sent me to a boarding school where I got beaten up by inner city kids all the time.”

“The puppy keeps biting my toes, so I have to pinch its mouth and make it cry to teach it a lesson.”

“Our daughter hates me and wants no contact with me because you’ve poisoned her against me.” (Surely it had nothing to do with his lifelong disparate treatment between our 13-year-old daughter and our 10-year-old son, nor the physical abuse he dealt our daughter while I wasn’t around.)

“Our marriage is suffering because you like gay people too much.” (I kid you not.)

Also: “Our daughter thinks she’s bi because you taught her being gay is OK.” (What the actual f***?)

There’s more… so much more… but it’s too depressing to keep thinking about it. Luckily, I now have a restraining order against him, so at least he’s out of the house. That, of course, hasn’t stopped him from trying to manipulate my 10-year-old son in order to get to me. Ugh.

I had to quit my job because I don’t believe in their policies and political views.
(he was fired from an entry level position at an electronics store)

The sociopath (a female sibling) who was in my life for 48 years said to me “You are the cause of everything negative that has happen in my life.”

She never took responsibility for anything negative, but she always took full credit for everything positive in her life or anyone else life. According to her:

Everything NEGATIVE in her life was caused by me.
Everything in her life that was POSITIVE was caused by her.
Everything NEGATIVE in my life was caused by me.
Everything POSITIVE in my life was caused by her.

Thank goodness this disordered human being is no longer in my life, and I finely found peace and freedom!!!!!

Amen at peace

When I finally had proof of his two year affair, with his married co-worker with kids, my ex told me that she was “trolling” for an affair. I had never heard the term “trolling”….of course it was her fault. If it wasn’t her fault, he would spin it around to blamed me. When I finally escaped I found out he was screwing around with 3 women in two different states, maybe 5 women, not sure about the last two. He traveled weekly for business.

In reality he was the one that was always “trolling” including internet hook up sites he used when on business trips. After I escaped, I found a counselor who finally told me the truth, that he was a sociopath. I told her that I believe he cheated on me 8-12 times during the marriage. She told me it was more like 3 to 4 times that amount because that is what sociopath do = serial cheaters!

Before me, he blamed his father for “not paying him money due for work” and that is why he & his father “did not speak”. Of course that was not the truth. The truth was his father cut him out of his life for scamming money from him. No one ever told me this until I escaped. Everything he told me in the beginning & throughout was a flat out lie, or head spin manipulation.

Thank you Donna & Terry for giving us this wonderful site full of endless information on what we endured & a place to vent & connect with others who endured the same abuse. I cant even imagine mentally where I would be if it was not for the counselor & this wonderful site.

I was annoying her, so 30 yr old gf kicked me in the face while wearing shoes. No aplogies, i was just annoying and then called a pu**y. Her favorite go to when she hurts me.

Oh the usual. You get along until you point out her rude manners such as phone addiction. And then get attacked with you’re too sensitive, get over yourself, grow a backbone, don’t like it leave. And then they shut down with “im not talking abt this anymore, stonewall, and blame shift.

Greetings to Brazil.

You are going to find a pair of pajamas and other things in the drawer of the dresser. Those belonged to someone I used to work with, she used to stay here with me when she had to travel for work, to save $ on motels (the company they worked for provided rooms for her when she had to travel!). Then later, every once in a while, they would have a text-fest, and she would call sometimes…hmmmm…

My ex-wife divorced me and stole my kid. She said I was abusive. She hid my kid from me. Just because I beat the crap out of her new husband in front of the kid…that doesn’t make me abusive!

I lost my job because I got hurt at work. It wasn’t my fault, I was following procedure and not violating safety rules, but yet I didn’t file a workman’s comp report, or ask the company to pay for my doctor bills.

“I shouldn’t have said that” After a year of dating a man and just finding out he is married. He told me he wanted to date me, was divorced 9 years ago… Acting like he is so innocent. A year of my life being mind f–ked and emotionally raped.
Lot’s of gas lighting and blame shifting when I confronted him!

He told me that his soon to be ex-wife was unhinged, and that she was going to “take him to the cleaners” in the divorce unless I told her that he was faithful to her, even during their separation. I refused to lie. I also smelled a rat – that just did not make sense to me – especially because he told me SHE was the one who cheated on him and left him lonely and sad.

I told him that did not add up. A few days later she sent me a text. (She had gotten my number from the cell phone bill on their ‘family plan’ account.) According to HER, he wanted to get back together, but she was having trouble trusting his claim of faithfulness.

The next time he called me I confronted him about the discrepancy in their statements. “Is it wrong for me to try to save my marriage?” he asked, neatly stepping over his duplicity. “Of course not,” I said, “but it is not exactly honest, is it?”
True, but what a lukewarm rebuke.

“[N]ot exactly honest”…That was the best reply I could come up with? I was still trying to get my money back from him, but REALLY? In reality, it would not have mattered what I said, a snake is still a snake. And, sadly, I already knew my money was long gone…

The person (a former school friend)I no longer have any contact with used to blame women for all of the problems in his life, mad exes were a feature.
Even though he would pride himself on manipulating women in relationships with other men into having affairs with him he would still find ways of making it sound like their fault, he would say how it was him that was easily manipulated sexually and that these horrible women only used him for sex when in fact it was definitely the other way around, and he would blame them for exploiting his alcoholism to get him to have affairs with them, one time I remember him actually saying “they know I’m an alcoholic, one bottle of wine and I’m too drunk to say no”, I came to realise that actually it will have been the other way round, he had a habit of drinking excessively things like Jack Daniels and vodka so a bottle of wine to him would have had little to no effect, I called him out on this and was met with righteous indignation and the “you don’t know what it is like to be me” speech. And there was a lot more than just these instances, but it would take hours to write them down.
I know that others had spotted the same things as i had done when i ended up chatting with a friend of mine from school who had been in the same class as us, this person works in early intervention and when someone in a job like that says “I can’t have anything to do with someone like him because it could put my job or career at risk” then you know you are doing the right thing in getting out of a friendship with an spath, this person had been a close friend with the spath at school, other former classmates also won’t have anything to do with him either also because of their professions (teachers, nurses etc) and the risk to thier careers too if he were to get into trouble.
He was very predatory and I would consider him very dangerous something I don’t take lightly in saying.

My husband’s photography business never got off the ground because I wouldn’t quit my career to become his receptionist. Never mind that he never saved the money for it and wound up selling all of his equipment to buy drugs.

Watch out for statements starting with the word, “You . . . ” and sometimes they are also literally pointing their finger at you!

This one was classic: if I don’t draw blood or break a bone, it’s not abuse.

being blamed for something HE broke, alone with a tractor, truck/a piece of farm equipment..while I was at the house, or 20-40 miles away, shopping for groceries. Or being given a list (verbally, I had to learn to write things down, so I could prove what he said)..to take to a local vet for animal supplies. God help me, if I screwed up that trip to town. And sometimes he’d argue with what I wrote on the list..I couldn’t win even when I tried. Everything was MY FAULT.

“She tricked me into getting her pregnant because she lived in a small backwoods town where there is nothing to do but have babies.” was said when I confronted him after finding out that he DID actually have a child. He never paid her child support either. A**hole.

Oh My Gosh they NEVER give you the facts, never. They always take the facts, edit them, add to the- until the facts fit the story that will make you cooperate with their present plans. I wouldn’t mind knowing how the facts of my previous ‘relationship’ were altered in order for him to groom and keep a new target. I think it would be interesting.

If their mouths are moving they are lying.

Yes. Big red flag! Things that were said became weapons later. It got to where I was a zombie, not sharing anything, out of fear it would be twisted later. I’m sure his new victim thinks I’m a lunitic. If I knew who she was I would be happy to enlighten her!

“I only married her to get over you…”
“You are the reason I drink, drug, smoke, cheat”
So, so many that I have blocked out and that I don’t want to think of again.
Bottom line, they don’t take responsibility for their own actions. We may all have moments of that but this is extreme.

Two months into the relationship she took another guy to the prom.

“I would take you. I really would. But I made my friend ____________ an unbreakable promise before we got together, that if I didn’t have a boyfriend when prom came around I would take him. I’m not sure where this is going with you. I really don’t. And he’s a really good friend…”

She used the fact that I hadn’t asked for a commitment yet as a loophole.

She tried to use reverse psychology to break up with me two days before I left for college overseas even though I gave her six months notice that I would be leaving.

Me: “So, I guess I’ll be calling and writing you for the next few months until I get back in November.”

Her: “No… You’re gonna go off to college, and you’re gonna meet someone really really nice, and move on!”

Me: ??? (heartbreak + tears)

Me: “What? I don’t wanna meet someone else. I don’t care about anyone else. I wanna be with you.”

Her: (disappointed face) “But I don’t wanna be in a long distance relationship.”

After a few tears and begging on my part she gave in and gave it a chance (or so I thought).

I suspect that she cheated the whole time I was away even though she was supposed to be a virgin and a devout christian.

Excellent post! I hope it’s o.k. to add to a couple of the examples.
First, re: the first example- if you listen to this excuse awhile, you might see a sense of entitlement in it- while I certainly have compassion for anyone who truly was abused, these individuals use the word often to mean ‘didn’t always get their own way’ and/or ‘didn’t always get what they wanted.’ It’s like they felt they deserved their own way and everything they wanted. Later on it expands to cover lack of cooperation from others- ‘you’re not doing what I want, that’s Abuse!’

Second, re: the exes part- heard comments like “I just thought of THEM ALL as whores,’ ‘THEY were ALL psychos,’ etc.- not a single positive thing to say about anyone they’d been involved with. I think it says less about their ‘choices’ than about the way they see women in general.

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