While it’s tempting to fault ourselves for being duped, the tactics covertly aggressive and other character-impaired people use are inherently powerful manipulation tools because they throw us on the defensive while simultaneously concealing obvious aggressive intent. And universally, folks familiar with my work reported that merely adopting the different perspective I offered about how to view their manipulator’s behavior was key to them putting an end to future victimization and empowering their lives.
An offense involves fighting hard enough to secure a goal and remove obstacles to that goal. A defense involves expending just enough energy to ward off an attack or prevent injury.
The tactic of denial can be expressed in several other subtle variations such as feigning innocence, feigning ignorance, and acting surprised. But no matter what form in which it comes, it’s most often merely a way of lying.