Could you be the scapegoat for your family?


No one likes to be accused of something bad that they didn’t do. However, in almost every family, “someone” is chosen, and “him” is blamed for almost everything that goes wrong. Maybe the youngest in the house, maybe an older brother/sister living in another city, maybe “you”… That “happy” person who is criticized in any situation, when something goes wrong, who is blamed when something bad happens, whom to be held responsible for, even if he is not directly related to the incident, in short, his personality is ignored.I’m the family scapegoat!‘ you may have rebuked many times.

A concept that most of us are familiar with. scapegoat; This is a person who is accused, criticized, blamed for what happened in a group of people, for what he did not do. And often the reason for choosing such a person may be to protect the overall image and reputation of the family, or in favor of one or more family members, or in an attempt to cope with the negative experience experienced. Since the dynamics of each family is different, who is chosen as the family’s scapegoat can also vary based on different criteria. There are many reasons why a parent might scapegoat their child, but the child is never at fault. Although the reasons are invalid and illogical, they usually are:

  • birth order
  • Floor
  • Appearance
  • color of the skin
  • Factors such as sexual orientation can be decisive.

For example, the only boy in the family in front of or Golden Boy while the second born girl may be given the role of scapegoat. On the other hand, a narcissistic parent may make the child a scapegoat that does not elevate the family’s image. Or a sensitive, curious, attractive, and intelligent child may be chosen as the scapegoat because a parent who lacks these qualities is perceived as a threat. One Although there is no logical reason for a parent to decide to make their child the scapegoat. Unfortunately, this situation is observed in many families.

scapegoating, which usually begins in childhood unhealthy/dysfunctional family dynamics This is a critical sign. If you feel like you or someone you care about is the scapegoat, that’s the chosen one. it’s not the scapegoat’s fault It’s important that you remember. The person or family members who attack you unfairly may project their own feelings of shame, anger, and guilt onto you instead of dealing with the hurtful thoughts, feelings, or behavior. They may try to avoid responsibility by finding someone to blame.

Fine, Is there a way to know if we are scapegoats? Counseling Handbook According to therapists, there are many signs that we may consider ourselves scapegoats; To understand this, it is important to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do my parents treat me differently than they treat my siblings?
  • Am I expected to take on additional responsibilities from an early age?
  • Are my mistakes properly punished? Or am I getting a much greater response?
  • Does my family notice when I’m being bullied?
  • Do I fit in with my family, or do I think I have strong ties to them?
  • Is my family ignoring my accomplishments?
  • Does my family show interest in my hobbies or hobbies? Or do they just know me more superficially?
  • Am I criticized or “jokingly” ridiculed for my qualities?

In short, if we are constantly accused of things that are out of our control, rarely (or almost never) praised, and we face attitudes that make us feel humiliated in front of others, all this may indicate that we are a scapegoat. in your family. .

What are the disadvantages of being a scapegoat?

In addition to mental and emotional exhaustion, the human scapegoat:

  • toxic relationships may develop
  • It can be difficult to know if a relationship is healthy or not.
  • Difficulty setting boundaries
  • May not notice self-harmful behavior (gaslighting, etc.)
  • He can blame himself for everything.
  • He can constantly criticize himself,
  • You might think you’re not good enough
  • Avoid prioritizing your own needs
  • Can survive long-term trauma
  • It can normalize dysfunctional/harmful behaviors and attitudes,
  • May engage in self-sabotage or attempt to harm themselves.

In short, he can develop all the attitudes and behaviors that prevent him from living a good, happy and fulfilling life. Therefore, it is very important to take action as soon as the situation is understood, and free yourself from the role of a scapegoat.

Is it possible not to become a scapegoat?

According to psychotherapist Nicky Cowley, the first and most important step is to get rid of the role of a scapegoat. build healthy boundaries. This is the only way to move away from toxic family members: “We use boundaries to protect ourselves and set the expectations of others. By drawing a boundary, you begin to limit the toxic behavior and reduce the likelihood of it occurring.” According to many experts, if you feel like your boundaries are being ignored or pushed stand firm This is also very important, otherwise you may leave yourself vulnerable and inadvertently allow them to treat you however they please.

It’s not just about boundaries when you realize you’ve been scapegoated.don’t say noYou must be firm in this. You do not need to take on unnecessary responsibility and false accusations; all of them You must learn to say no. prioritize yourself remember; your needs, your emotions, your mental and spiritual health… Remind yourself often that you need to take care of yourself rather than blaming yourself for prioritizing your needs.

Finally, if you have traumas that go back to the past because you were the scapegoat as a child, you can turn to a specialist who will support you on your path to healing. If you want to read a lot on this topic, you can also take a look at Toxic Parents, Mothers Who Can’t Love, and Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents.

You may be interested: Parent Gaslighting: Are you undermining your child’s perception of reality and emotions?

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