According to ancient Jewish tradition, a goat was released into the wilderness after taking on the sins of others so the people could remain in the community. The term scapegoat stems from the concept of one person (or animal) absorbing the mistakes of others. The scapegoat has not done anything wrong rather they are the fall person for those who have done wrong. After explaining the term, Jerome realized he was his boss and assistant’s scapegoat. Now he needed to know how to get out of his situation.
- Understand what a scapegoat is.
- Don’t accept liability.
- Review past experience.
- Stop being the scapegoat.
- Expose the abuser.
Narcissists, sociopaths, and addicts are most effective when they are able to utilize a scapegoat to escape responsibility. Jerome successfully navigated around such behavior by knowing the warning signs and setting very firm boundaries. The only thing worse than being a scapegoat once is being one a second and third time.