Dealing with those who are playing the victim can be exhausting. Who exactly are these people?
It’s hard to talk about the victim mentality because many people have no idea they’re adopting it. It can be upsetting when they learn this truth.
Don’t know what it means to play the victim? Well, that’s because so many character flaws and toxic behaviors like this are seen as normal. The fact is, being a victim and having a victim mentality isn’t the same.
Who is playing the victim game?
Playing games with people’s lives is a manipulative act. People play roles in order to get what they want, or simply because of their upbringing. They may be stuck in a negative pattern due to childhood abuse, neglect, or trauma.
Here are a few types of people who tend to use the victim mentality:
1. The selfish
Those who act in a selfish manner will use the victim strategy. Sadly, when it comes to choosing others over themselves, playing the role of the victim will remove guilt when being selfish instead.
It will also make others feel sorry for them and give in to their wants and demands. Selfless people, on the other hand, try not to use the victim mentality in order to help others without putting the spotlight on their own needs. It’s just a different mindset altogether.
2. Controlling individuals
Some people absolutely must be in control no matter what’s happening in their lives. They use pity to make sure things go their way. They want to control the outcome of their lives and the people in it as well.
If they cannot control others in any other way, they will turn to playing games and playing the victim.
3. Parasitic people
Sometimes people like this understand what they are doing, and sometimes they do not. You can become a parasitic person when you’re trying to build your self-esteem off others who feel more confident.
Being the victim allows you to feed off the compliments of others which ultimately drains them. You see, when you’re a victim, you will never get enough of praise and support. You could have been a real victim in the past, and now you’re stuck in this mentality.
4. Those afraid of anger
I’ve noticed many people using the victim game because of the inability to properly deal with their anger. In some cases, they are afraid of the consequences of their anger, or maybe they’ve experienced situations where they’ve lost control, and they hate the feeling.
Either way, the victim mentality eventually replaces the ability to have healthy angry feelings and hinders the proper processing of these feelings and emotions.
Remember, it’s okay to feel anger, it’s just not okay to misuse this feeling. It’s even worse to become a perpetual victim.
5. The mentally ill
People who suffer from mental illness will often play the victim. Yes, and I have done this too. Most of the time, it’s due to feeling overwhelmed by the symptoms of the illness.
With bipolar disorder, for example, the victim mentality may come after a severe bout of mania due to the refusal to take medication. Instead of accepting the fault of not taking their medication, they may play the victim to keep from accepting responsibility for the negative actions from their illness.
No, we should never be too hard on the mentally ill, but everyone has to take a certain amount of responsibility at some point, especially when that person understands what to do.
6. Trauma survivors
While it is completely normal to feel victimized after trauma, it’s not normal to hold onto being a victim forever. You must remind yourself, or remind your loved ones, that enduring trauma and healing makes you a survivor and no longer a victim.
This, like the case of mental illness, is a sensitive topic, so tread lightly when trying to help others. Also, be kind to yourself, if this is you, but also keep trying to restructure and rebuild your life.
Dealing with the victim mentality
If you’re the one playing the role of victim, you must look within. What are your inner voices saying to you? Are you telling yourself that life isn’t fair to you? If so, there are probably other statements you’re using to justify your behavior.
You have to stop the negative voices. I know how hard this can be, but you can take one small step at a time. Practice turning those statements around into powerful assertions which help build your self-esteem. You don’t have to play the victim in order to solve a problem. It just seems like the easier way out.
If the one who is stuck in playing these patterns is your loved one or friend, then helping them transform their inner dialogue will help a bit.
You must understand, however, that changing thought patterns and inner statements will have to be done by the one who thinks these things. So, have patience if you’re willing to help.
Stand firm. Let your friends and loved ones know that you will not be taken for granted by victimizing behavior. While it’s okay to help people heal, it’s not okay to destroy yourself in the process.
I hope this has helped you understand what playing the role of victim means and who does this. Now, that you know, you can tackle this situation properly and take back control of your own life. I wish you well in your endeavors to be a better person and help others do the same.
Copyright © 2012-2023 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.