DARVO—Role Reversal


A strategy common to all abusers is called DARVO.




Deny the abuse, Attack the victim, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender.

This is roughly how it can be done (ad absurdum for emphasis):

You are stupid.

Are you accusing me of being stupid!?

You are accusing me of making accusations!

…but what you said was rude and untrue.

More accusations! And you are calling me a rude liar!
You are hostile and name calling. Leave me alone.

Why did you call me ‘stupid’?

You are harassing me.

I want an explanation. Was it something
I said that sounded stupid?

I told you to leave me alone! Stop harassing me! Look, everyone, I am being victimized by that evil person for no reason!

Do you recognize this scenario?
Please leave a comment and share your story!



5 thoughts on “DARVO—Role Reversal

  1. Wow! I live with this on a daily basis! Almost verbatim! If I didn’t know better I would think someone has been in our home listening to what is said!


  2. I lived with a narcissist for 17 years. I kept trying to figure out what I was doing wrong, until I finally realized it wasn’t me. So glad I ended that relationship!


  3. My mentally ill narcissistic mother is highly critical & judgmental of all others while utterly incapable of receiving merely the hint of any criticism herself, anyone who attempts is then attacked on every level that she can conjur up, & also placed on her radar for further smear campaigns against them as well!


  4. I have a twin sister who does this to me all the time….she will go years without talking then come into my llife again..a few weeks go by..then she will make up some lies and make believe I treated her poorly, all the while she follows my websites and post nasty remarks to embarass me until I am left with deleting all my work and friends to get rid of her. worse of all… she will make sure I know she is attending my grandchilds birthday party so that I will not go to prevent farther arguement in the front of my grandchild… I am tired of living like this.


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