(noun) A scapegoat is an individual or group of persons chosen to bear responsibility so that others don’t have to. The scapegoat mechanism describes the unconscious process which leads a person or people to feel and believe that the responsibility really does belong to the scapegoat.
Psychopathy may accurately be described as a pathological need to scapegoat repeatedly. Psychopaths are always looking for a way to unburden themselves of bypassed shame and envy. By scapegoating victims they feel a temporary relief or catharsis.
Psychopaths never accept responsibility for their actions. It is always someone else’s fault. They will make excuses and shift blame toward anyone but themselves. Furthermore, they require that someone else always pay the consequences or bear the burden for them.
The parasitical aspect of the psychopath is part of the scapegoat mechanism. They like others to pay their way, pay for dinner, pay for their toys, pay for their children. Responsibility in any form is rejected by psychopaths. They believe that they should be allowed to play while others pay.
The psychopaths’ compulsion to slander their victims, to lie about them and ruin their reputation is part of the scapegoat mechanism. In a classic 180° twist, they will often blame their victims for harm that the psychopath perpetrated on the innocent victim. Commonly, they will say, “He had it coming” or “She deserved it” or “You made me do it.”
The scapegoat mechanism is considered a “hidden mechanism” because it is unconscious. Although psychopaths are fully aware that they are lying when they slander their victims, they feel entitled to do so. Unconsciously they have projected responsibility for their bad feelings onto the scapegoat. By slandering the victim, they convince more people of the veracity of their claims and make it more “true” in the psychopath’s fantasy world. For a psychopath, it is critical to be believed by as many people as possible because that’s what makes their false reality, “real”. Sometimes, psychopaths are so successful in transferring their slime onto the victim, that she, herself, becomes convinced of her guilt and accepts the shame and responsibility for her mistreatment.« Back to Glossary Index