6 Signs Someone Won’t Take Responsibility for Their Behavior

And 3 words you need to hear if you put up with their antics

Paul Ryburn, M.Sc.


Manipulative duck not taking responsibility for his behavior toward his friend
Image by Here and now, unfortunately, ends my journey on Pixabay from Pixabay

Do you ever feel like you’re in a one-sided friendship or relationship?

They have glaring faults. Their behavior is atrocious at times. You’ve tried to point it out. But, every time you do, they seem to find a way to get off scot-free while you end up feeling worse than you did before.

It keeps happening over and over again. You let it happen over and over again, thinking, just maybe this time they’ll change. This time they’ll grow into a more mature person.

Yet someday never comes.

Worse still, if you manage to wriggle away from one such person, you find yourself attracting others. You feel like an immaturity magnet.

In this article, I’ll lay out the mechanisms these people use to avoid badly-needed, deep conversations. Then, after you understand how they manipulate you, I have some words of hope.

Let’s start off with the 6 signs someone won’t take responsibility — that they will never be willing to own their own behavior.

“That wasn’t me talking, that was the _______ talking.”

I once heard a man attempting to apologize for an angry tirade he’d left on a woman’s voice mail the night before. He said he cared about her deeply and in fact, he was interested in a relationship with her — yet that didn’t stop him from cursing her out for a minute and a half on the phone.

“Look, Sandra, I apologize for what I said last night,” he told the woman the next day. “I know I shouldn’t have said those things, but you need to understand, I was out with some of my buddies and I had 5 glasses of wine. So, that wasn’t me talking. That was the alcohol talking.”

First of all, any time someone’s apology includes the word but, that is a huge red flag. It says, I regret my behavior (or really, I regret that you’re unhappy with me because of my behavior), but I’m going to try to push it off on something else. Therefore, I don’t have to be responsible for what I said or did. And that way, I won’t be responsible the next time I say or do the same thing.



Paul Ryburn, M.Sc.

I write about writing, ideas, creativity, intuition, spirituality, life lessons. Ex-college teacher https://ko-fi.com/paulryburn Twitter: @paulryburn