In relationships, when one partner is a “projector” the other partner becomes the scapegoat. Because one partner refuses to take responsibility for their own shortcomings, behaviors or mistakes, they use the other partner as the scapegoat to take on that responsibility. It is as if one partner can do no wrong, while the scapegoat can do no right. A scapegoat is similar to what people often call doormats. A scapegoat tends to be a very sensitive person, someone who is more a peacemaker, and quite often not aggressive enough to stand up for themselves or defend themselves. A scapegoat can often be a person who has a hard time saying “no” to anyone.
The scapegoat will get far more than their share of blame in the relationship, and be made to feel ashamed, never good enough, and the sole reason for all the problems in the relationship. (Big or small, it is always the fault of the scapegoat). Many times the scapegoat begins to believe it really is their fault. As a scapegoats responsibility for everything negative grows, their self esteem diminishes. Even when a scapegoat does something worthy of praise, they will rarely, if ever get it. If the do, it will be minimal or have an underlying criticism in it. You could make a wonderful meal that Julia Child herself would love, and all you will get for it is a “compliment” such as “That was a good meal, I was actually shocked you could come up with something better than edible, since we know what your cooking is normally like”.
The reason for making someone a scapegoat is the pursuit of personal perfection. When you want to be perfect, and cannot achieve it, you can either blame yourself or others and make them the scapegoat for your imperfections. In relationships, you would be surprised how often this can happen. When you do not want to accept blame or guilt, because you must also acknowledge your failures or imperfections, you will seek out a scapegoat.
You can be a scapegoat at work if your boss always gives you the tedious work while someone else is always given a lighter workload. If your boss has made you the office scapegoat, everything that goes wrong at work will somehow be your fault. You will have to abide by rules and will be severely punished if you don’t. Other people? There are no rules for them and there is no punishment either. Only you.
Relationship Scapegoats-Are You The Scapegoat in Yours?
You can be a scapegoat in a romantic relationship too of course. If your partner is an ego maniac or narcissist they will find every way possible to blame everything that goes wrong in the relationship and in their life on you. If they woke up late for work somehow it will be your fault for not getting them up on time. Even if you did try to wake them up but you couldn’t? Sorry, you didn’t try hard enough. Their work meeting didn’t go well? That can be your fault because you were sick all week and they had to fend for themselves. They yelled at you? Your fault for making them mad. The possibilities are endless.
The scapegoat in family dynamics are also often called “the black sheep of the family” and they too will be responsible for everything that goes wrong within the family. The rest of the family learns to blame the scapegoat, so it becomes a family effort to blame the scapegoat. Usually, when their is a scapegoat in a family, there is also a “golden child” too. A scapegoat in a family often becomes a scapegoat in their adult romantic relationships as well. Then never feel good enough or worthy of anything good.
If you are tired of being a scapegoat or doormat, a psychic life coach can help you break that cycle and learn to stand up for yourself. You may not even know you are a scapegoat in your own relationship. If someone is using you as a scapegoat, they have no intention of stopping, so it is up to you to take the first step to putting an end to this dynamic for good.