I’ve been a scapegoat a few times in my life. Are you the family scapegoat? Are you the friend scapegoat? The worst part is that it happened when I was younger. And the situation was even more complex than it is now. But there are some things you can learn from this, so let’s get started!
What is a scapegoat?
A scapegoat is a person who is blamed for the problems of others. The scapegoat often has the least power in a situation, and they are often seen as the problem, not the solution. This can be especially true if your friend or a family member has been doing something wrong for some time without getting caught. (i.e., cheating on their partner). In this case, you may feel like you’re being punished for something that wasn’t even yours to begin with. And it can make you feel pretty frustrated!
What do I mean by “done something wrong”? Well… let’s say that your friend cheats because they’re afraid of being alone at home after their spouse leaves town on business trips all season long every year, or maybe they get sick from eating too much fast food while working late nights at work every week, or maybe they drink too much alcohol when visiting friends house parties every weekend night…
You might be the scapegoat if you’ve been called “too sensitive”, or “overly dramatic”.
- You might be the scapegoat if you’ve been called “too sensitive”, or “overly dramatic”.
- If people say things like this, it’s because they’re jealous of your sensitivity. They have a hard time understanding why anyone would be affected by other people’s moods so much more than them—and they can’t imagine being in such pain that it makes them tear up at work every day.
- But here’s the thing: They’re not wrong about their overall assessment of your sensitivity, but it doesn’t mean that all people who are more sensitive than others are victims of bullying or abusers—just like there aren’t always bullies around any corner (or anywhere else).
What makes you vulnerable to being a scapegoat?
Being a scapegoat is a learned behavior. It’s not a personality trait, and it doesn’t mean you’re bad or unlovable. It’s just what people do when they feel like something needs to be done about the problem. If you’re reading this and thinking “I’ve never been called a scapegoat before,” that’s because most people aren’t exposed to this concept until they grow up and have friends who care enough about their well-being to call them out on their shit when necessary (which isn’t always necessary).
So why do we get blamed? Because it works! It keeps us off balance by turning us into victims of circumstance. And because there are plenty of other reasons why we might want our friends or family members’ attention diverted from ourselves: if we were feeling excluded from group conversations, we could find ourselves letting someone else take credit for our contributions; if we were trying something new at work but didn’t know how your boss would react if I showed up late again today. Or worse yet, not show up at all!
How does codependency play a role in this?
Codependency is a learned behavior that can be difficult to break. It’s easy to get into the habit of blaming yourself for other people’s problems. Also it may not seem like you have much control over your life.
But if you’re trying to break free from codependency, try these steps:
- Recognize that codependency is part of your identity—and that there are many ways for codependent relationships with other people in your life (or even yourself) to evolve over time.
- Identify what makes you vulnerable when others use blame as an excuse for their own behavior and learn how those situations play out in your brain so that they don’t happen again!
How do you break free from being the scapegoat and stop the cycle?
If you’re the scapegoat in your friend group, it can be hard to break free from the cycle. It’s important that you talk to someone who understands what’s happening and can help you find ways to deal with this issue. A therapist or support network of friends and family members might also be beneficial in helping set boundaries between you and other members of your social circle.
If none of these options work for you. Consider finding a job where there is less pressure on self-care. Perhaps working part-time at home would allow for more time spent on yourself. Or maybe a new hobby could bring some balance into your life. Maybe photography is something that interests you!
Learn to set boundaries.
Set boundaries for yourself. The first step to being a friend or family scapegoat is learning how to set firm limits on your time and energy. Which means you’ll need to learn how to say no. And mean it!
You can’t protect others from their own bad behavior if you’re constantly giving in. But there are ways that even the most self-sacrificing of us can limit our own contributions without sacrificing our relationships. For example:
- When someone asks for help with something, don’t let them guilt-trip you into doing it by saying “I’m busy right now!” or “I’m too tired.” If they really need help, then yes—you should probably do whatever they ask (and not just because they’re friends). But if their request isn’t urgent enough for them not to have given up already on asking yet another favor… well… then maybe just don’t give in! Don’t feel guilty about setting boundaries; everyone needs those sometimes 🙂
Be willing to walk away.
If you’re the scapegoat, you might have a hard time believing that there are people who are willing to take your place. But it’s true! The same person who once helped you out may now be working overtime to make sure everyone knows how much of an ingrate and self-centered brat you’ve become.
It can get pretty crowded in your head when this happens—and it shouldn’t be surprising if some of those voices overlap with other situations or emotions (like guilt). But remember: It’s only temporary! The cycle of being blamed for everything has its limits; eventually, someone else will be chosen as the scapegoat instead of YOU because no one wants responsibility for anything ever again after seeing firsthand how much damage social media can do when used incorrectly by well-meaning people like yourself (and me).
So what should I do? Write down all the reasons why being eliminated from society is good news for me! But don’t worry: even though we’ve been through many phases together over these past few years. Including some really fun ones. This one won’t last forever either.”
Breaking free from being a scapegoat takes work, but it’s worth it.
Breaking free from being a scapegoat takes work, but it’s worth it. If you’re going, to be honest with yourself and others about your role in the family drama. There are three things that can help get you out of it:
- Be willing to walk away. If you don’t want to be around this person anymore, then tell them so. You could also choose not even respond at all by sending an email or text message saying something along these lines: “I’m sorry but I don’t feel comfortable communicating with you right now.” This will let them know that their behavior is unacceptable without making anyone feel bad about leaving the relationship altogether—which can be difficult when those feelings are still so fresh! When we have strong feelings about something negative happening in our lives (and sometimes even positive ones), they can make us feel trapped inside ourselves and unable to escape unless someone else helps us break free from those bindings…
So there you have it! The nine things you can do if someone regularly calls you “the scapegoat”. Remember, when it comes to being the scapegoat, no one is perfect. Even if you’re trying your hardest, sometimes things just don’t go as planned. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck in a cycle of codependency and need to be rescued forevermore! You can break free from this pattern by setting boundaries around yourself and learning how to walk away from situations that make you uncomfortable or anxious. In the end, it’s all about learning how to take care of yourself so that others won’t feel obligated