5 extremely sneaky ways wrongdoers try to wiggle out of it

Wrongdoers always disown responsibility using these classic tricks

Photo by Juan Rumimpunu on Unsplash

Have you ever been caught doing something wrong?

Obviously, duh! It’s only human to be imperfect and screw up from time to time. But to disown responsibility from the incident or to completely sweep it under the rug like it never happened? Now that’s something else.

Here are 5 sneaky tactics that a person in denial would use to get themselves out of a situation:

“It happened so long ago”
This typical move is used frequently by people who think they can get away with things just because it happened in the past. Time doesn’t extract your responsibility from an event, nor absolves you of your wrongdoings. You still have to own up, and at least acknowledge the part you played in the incident. You’ve still got to be sorry. Especially if you still haven’t faced any punishment, or done anything to make it up to the person whom you’ve wronged. And more so, if that person is yet to forgive you.

Don’t just assume the clock is a good boy image fix.

“You yelled at me, so it’s squared off”
Yes, I did yell at you. I might have even thrown a huge tantrum and cussed a lot. But that was just a reaction at that point. I had to. How could I not? I had to protect my self image and self worth right there at that instant. Also, I had to make you feel the gravity of the situation, right then and there.

That was my reaction to it. Not my response.

Those are two very different things. If I still haven’t responded to you, chances are I’ve still not forgiven you for it, or forgotten about the incident. And it is still pretty fresh in my memory. So don’t try to squiggle your way out of it, by telling me you allowed me to yell at you. That was my pent up anger that was being released, and has nothing to do with the long term consequences you’re about to face.

It’s okay to react. It’s healthy to express your anger right then and there (because “repressing anger can actually hurt you”). If you hold it in, it’ll ultimately boil over and spill onto your loved ones, who’ve done absolutely nothing to be deserving of such treatment. Release your anger first, if you have to. Then appropriately respond later, when you’re in a calmer frame of mind.

To the wrongdoers: Stop mistaking peoples reactions for their responses.

Externalize, externalize, externalize
Feign ignorance, say you don’t remember what it was about, claim you were drunk, sleepy, or just pass the buck onto an unsuspecting third person: someone who’s being emotionally manipulated into becoming part of an equation that they were never a part of in the first place.

This is a classical ploy of narcissists, and is usually combined with invalidating the victims emotions and feelings:

“Someone who wants to devalue their victim will use invalidation as it is one of the most powerful forms of manipulation and provides the abuser with full emotional control.”

A foxy narcissist in denial will externalize as much as possible to shift the burden of blame onto a third variable, which most often has nothing to do with the original situation. This could be another person, another organization, another team, a rival company, your in-laws, or whatever. You get the gist.

Never allow a wrongdoer to externalize their lapses. Always use incriminating evidence to shine the spotlight right back on their faces.

Downplaying the seriousness of the issue
Another one of the most commonly used techniques of getting out of a hard spot, is adjusting the intensity of the event like an AC thermostat to suit the wrongdoer. Watch out for phrases like “Don’t make such a big deal out of it”, or “they wouldn’t have cared anyway”, or “she’s getting out of town next month anyway, who cares?” , or “he’s got bad memory, he’ll forget any of this happened by next week”.

Trivializing an issue or minimizing it is a tactic that’s been used since a very long time, and quite frankly, has been done to death. Most people who’ve worked long enough in corporate or in some position of power can smell these excuses coming a mile away and know how to deal with them appropriately.

Stop reducing the intensity of the event to benefit yourself.

Using the dishonesty of others as moral baseline
This one is the most common of all tactics utilized by wrongdoers to gain sympathy and support. This tactic basically works by using the misdeeds of others as a moral baseline. Then comparing themselves against that baseline to look good. Watch out for words like “you don’t even know what she did last summer”, “what I did totally pales in comparison with how you behaved at last weekends party”, or “That’s pretty rich, coming from you”, or “you of all people, must know better than to school me in such issues.”

The basic fallacy of all the above statements is again, comparison. Mostly to a bad or more dishonest person. It also happens to be a variation of my third point, externalization.

The perpetrator essentially tries to get off the hook by pulling up the imperfect personalities of others, or something that they might have done in the past. This is perhaps one of the easiest “get out of jail” cards in a narcissists arsenal of psychological tricks. And it may be the most effective one too.

The faults committed by others isn’t a license for you to act disingenuously.

Always hold yourself to the highest standard.

Final thoughts
While there are umpteen ways in which a narcissist can pull a fast one on you, it takes a keen eye to look out for it, and a sharp sense of wit to not be made a fool out of. Narcissistic and selfish people are extremely good at persuasion, manipulation, and emotional blackmail to get what they want. It’s you who needs to be primed to look for the bait and not fall for it.

Check out more such logical fallacies to look out for, at: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/

Chances are, you’ve fallen for one or more of these fallacies multiple times in your life. Conversely, you might have even committed some of them yourself. We all have at some point. It’s a learning process.