What Is ‘Weaponised Incompetence’ and Why Is It Trending on TikTok?
Weaponised incompetence is when one partner fakes or exaggerates their inability to perform a task in order to shift the responsibility back to the other partner. It’s real and women and men alike are sick of it. Have you come across weaponised incompetence from your partner?
The hash tag #weaponisedincompetence is currently trending on TikTok and features thousands of videos from mainly women explaining how they’re victims. One mum called @realskyes_notsobright reveals a home that looks ransacked: piles of toys on the floor, toilet paper all over the bathroom floor, a sink full of blue water, a paint-smeared dresser and carpet, just to name a few.
While it may look like a typical mess a toddler would make the mother of three explains it was the result of her daughter being placed in the care of her husband for about an hour and a half — while she was busy putting the pair’s two younger children down for a nap.
“This is weaponised incompetence,” she wrote in her video.
Dr. Mimi Winsberg, MD, the Chief Medical Officer at telemedicine platform Brightside and author of Speaking in Thumbs says if left untreated, weaponised incompetence can erode trust in a relationship and build resentment, which can kill even the strongest relationships.
“By not doing something or not addressing something, the person effectively acts in a hostile or manipulative manner,” the psychiatrist said. “People in relationships with one another naturally depend on each other for certain things. And when one person shirks responsibilities by feigning incompetence or worse yet — just doing such a poor job that it begs to be redone — the other person is certain to feel resentment.”
@pickle_plants Reply to @mksd711 #weaponizedincompetence #mentalload #tellmewhyitsfunny ♬ original sound – Chris
RECOGNISING THE SIGNS
The general idea is that when you ask your partner to do a seemingly simple task they answer that they are likely ‘unable to complete it correctly, or well, or as good as you would.’
And if the partner actually attempts the task they will do such a ridiculously poor job of it that their partner or colleague or friend or family member will eventually respond with, “I’ll just do it myself”.
This tactic is not only manipulative and disrespectful, it also very quickly leads to feelings of resentment which can easily break down relationships. Unfortunately it’s usually mothers that are having to deal with the additional mental load as a result of this intentional incompetence. Because most of the examples we’re seeing pop up are for domestic labour, which we know is largely completed by women and mothers.
As for Skye, the TikTok creator whose toddler wrecked her home while her husband was supposed to be watching her? Her bio now reads “newly single” mum of three.
Images: Pixabay and TikTok