This is a good article I reblogged from Nyssa’s Hobbit Hole. I think this information about determining accountability is not only useful on a personal level for those of us who have had to deal with narcissists, but as a useful way to decipher who are the real liars and truth-tellers in the current political mess we’re in. Narcissists and sociopaths use all kinds of tactics such as gaslighting, smear campaigns, and playing the victim while making the real victim the “enemy.” Of course, in our current political situation, both sides accuse the other of the exact same things, so it can be hard to determine who are the real victims and perpetrators. Personally I think a quick determination of who are the real liars and truth-tellers can be made by observing who protesteth too much and which side acts more aggressive. This can also be applied to dealing with people on a personal level and is very effective if you’re paying attention.
I have left Nyssa’s links in place. Her ongoing tale about narcissistic abuse by two former close friends who sunk to new lows by stalking her blog is riveting and educational.
How DARVO Could Prove Which of Us is Telling the Truth
By Nyssa McCanmore, Nyssa’s Hobbit Hole
DARVO refers to a reaction perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior.
DARVO stands for “Deny,, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.” The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim into an alleged offender.
This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of “falsely accused” and attacks the accuser’s credibility or even blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation. –Jennifer J. Freyd, What is DARVO?
While re-reading this article on Shrink4Men, I came upon a section which hit me as proof to my readers (who can read Tracy and Richard‘s bizarre, intimidating and remorseless e-mail to me in the “Now I’m Being Stalked” post, and how they’ve been trying to stalk and intimidate me online and off for the past few weeks) of which of us is telling the truth:
Of course, not everyone who denies wrong doing is engaging in DARVO. Many partners and exes of abusive women are accused of things they didn’t do or of things that never happened.
Naturally, when this happens, you deny the accusation and perhaps feel a little (or a lot) bewildered. How do you know if an individual’s denial is the truth or an instance of DARVO? Freyd (1997, pp. 23-24) proposes:
“It is important to distinguish types of denial, for an innocent person will probably deny a false accusation. Thus denial is not evidence of guilt. However, I propose that a certain kind of indignant self-righteousness, and overly stated denial, may in fact relate to guilt.
I hypothesize that if an accusation is true, and the accused person is abusive, the denial is more indignant, self-righteous and manipulative, as compared with denial in other cases.
Similarly, I have observed that actual abusers threaten, bully and make a nightmare for anyone who holds them accountable or asks them to change their abusive behavior.
This attack, intended to chill and terrify, typically includes threats of lawsuits, overt and covert attacks, on the whistle-blower’s credibility and so on.
The attack will often take the form of focusing on ridiculing the person who attempts to hold the offender accountable. The attack will also likely focus on ad hominem instead of intellectual/evidential issues.
Finally, I propose that the offender rapidly creates the impression that the abuser is the wronged one, while the victim or concerned observer is the offender. Figure and ground are completely reversed. The more the offender is held accountable, the more wronged the offender claims to be.”
Please click on this link to read the full article.