Disturbed characters often try to “justify” their bad behavior. And traditional psychology trained us to see their “rationalizations” as unconscious defenses against feelings of guilt for their actions. But when disturbed characters make excuses, they’re really making a very conscious attempt to cast themselves in a more favorable light while manipulating others into seeing their point of view. It’s not a defense but a perfect example of covert aggression. And because it’s a very serious way in which they avoid responsibility and resist adopting the standards of conduct we want them to embrace, when a person makes excuses, it’s a sure bet they’ll engage in the bad behavior again.