Healing from Narcissistic Scapegoating: Embracing Purpose, Joy, and Freedom

In today’s post, we explore the concept of being a scapegoat in a narcissistic family system. Being the scapegoat in such a dynamic can have detrimental effects on one’s self-perception and overall well-being. Understanding the reasons behind scapegoating and learning how to heal from it is essential for personal growth and reclaiming one’s identity.

The Nature of Scapegoating in Narcissistic Families:

In a narcissistic family system, a narcissist often designates a scapegoat who bears the blame for everything that goes wrong. The narcissist uses the scapegoat as a projection of their own imperfections, shame, and internal struggles. By shifting blame onto the scapegoat, they avoid taking responsibility for their actions and protect their self-image of perfection. This destructive behaviour can be extremely detrimental to the scapegoat’s self-esteem and overall well-being.

The Family Dynamic and Survival Strategies:

Within a narcissistic family system, other members may also adopt survival strategies to cope with the toxic environment. Some may align with the narcissist (enabler) or be favoured by them (golden child). These dynamics create an intricate web of interactions where survival becomes the primary focus. Consequently, some family members may unwittingly join the narcissist in scapegoating the chosen individual. The scapegoat may find themselves isolated, blamed, and pushed out of the family circle, affecting their sense of belonging and self-worth.

Understanding the Narcissist’s Motivations:

The narcissist’s need for a scapegoat stems from their fear of being exposed and their obsession with maintaining a perfect facade. They perceive any flaw in themselves as a direct reflection of their image. Consequently, they project their shortcomings onto the scapegoat to ensure they appear faultless. The scapegoat, often a strong-willed individual who questions the narcissist’s behaviour, becomes a threat to the narcissist’s fragile ego. By targeting the scapegoat, the narcissist attempts to suppress any self-reflection that may unveil their true nature.

Rejecting False Narratives:

It is crucial for the scapegoat to understand that the narratives imposed upon them by the narcissist are false. The negative beliefs ingrained by the narcissistic environment, such as feelings of inadequacy or being “not good enough,” need to be challenged. Recognizing that these beliefs are a result of the narcissist’s projection rather than inherent truths about oneself is a crucial step in the healing process.

The Journey of Healing:

Healing from being a scapegoat in a narcissistic family system can be a challenging process. It often requires introspection, self-reflection, and a willingness to challenge deeply ingrained beliefs. If possible, physical distance from the narcissistic environment can aid the healing journey. However, for those unable to escape, inner transformation becomes imperative.

Reclaiming Personal Identity:

To begin the healing process, it is essential to change the internal narrative about oneself. By identifying and embracing personal beliefs and values, the scapegoat can reconstruct their sense of self. This may require exploring interests, passions, and personal aspirations that were suppressed in the narcissistic environment. Over time, these new perspectives and self-discovery can reshape how the scapegoat views themselves and their place in the world.

A Shift in Perspective:

Shifting perspective is another vital aspect of healing. Visualizing the narcissist as a deeply troubled individual, locked in their own mental prison, can provide a new lens through which to view their hurtful actions. By recognizing the narcissist’s behaviour as a reflection of their internal struggles rather than a genuine reflection of one’s worth, the scapegoat can detach emotionally and find empowerment.


Healing from scapegoating in a narcissistic family system is a journey that requires strength, self-reflection, and a commitment to personal growth. By understanding the dynamics at play, rejecting false narratives, reclaiming personal identity, and shifting perspective, it is possible to break free from the damaging effects of scapegoating. With time and self-compassion, one can embark on a path towards living a life full of purpose, joy, and freedom, reclaiming their true self and embracing a brighter future.

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