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.



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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Fred

    just because I wasn’t able to choose and actually GET one of the paying positions that I would’Ve been able to actually fill and do adequately, doesn’t make me someone who plays the victim.
    And btw a phone call isn’t real…. and to someone who never gave their number even less, and to someone who plans on destroying a social system that works for me, to force me into theirs is not something to look out for

    1. Sherrie

      I apologize if I do not follow everything that you’re saying. I do, however, wish you the best in resolving this matter peacefully. You know who you are, and that’s all that matters.

      Thank you for reading.

  2. Chris

    Hi there is a 49 year old female covert cerebral malignant narc whose first letter of their first name is M and she absolutely loves and enjoys playing the victim, fooling people with her acting like a damsel in distress and crying crocodile tears, making everyone give her plenty of sympathy, empathy and compassion and then a pity party is made for her whilst simultaneously she falsely accuses the real, true victim of playing the victim and she falsely portrays the true victim of being a narc, bully, villain and she also does slander, defamation of character, libel on the victim and she also spreads rumours, gossip and big black lies about her victim and she gets her flying monkeys to harass, stalk, terrorize and traumatize her victim, she does triangulation on her victim with her flying monkeys. She’s extremely manipulative, she’s an pathologically extremely jealous, envious, covetous, competitive, insecure, immature, infantile, inferior, manipulative person.

    1. Sherrie Hurd

      Wow, Chris,

      Unless she is a loved one, you need to distance yourself from this person. If you’re not careful, she will have you believing that you are a horrible person. Your self-esteem will be destroyed. Now, with loved ones, it’s not so easy to just walk away, but you must find a way to put a mirror in front of their face and show them who they are. I cannot suggest doing particular things because I am not in this particular situation, but….THEY ABSOLUTELY need to know who they really are so they can get help. You deserve a healthy life and they deserve a healthy life. We all do. Find others who see these traits in her as well, and build a support system. Sometimes confrontation gets the ball rolling. It’s worth a shot.

  3. Steve

    This article was fantastic and made me feel al ot less guilty for walking away from someone with a victim mentality. I’m bookmarking this. Thanks Sherrie

  4. Julie

    Thank you Sherrie.

  5. Tim

    This morning, I stumbled across your article because I’m dealing with a person who has valid injuries but I believe they enjoy them because they’re constantly trying to sue someone for their injury, be it psychological or physical. Today, this person is refusing any pain medication because they first want to call the business where the injury occurred and is expecting the business to send them to an urgent care to have the injury looked at. Honestly, I don’t know how to deal with this. It’s life-draining and a waste of time for everyone else who’s being sucked in. This person seems to make so much fuss out of so little. Always an angle, always trying to find someone to sue. Always trying to milk the situation or financial gain… But this person has done this many times in the past and it seems like it never ends up resulting in a lawsuit; it occasionally results in a workers comp claim that allows them to not have to work for a few weeks.. Maybe that’s the real angle? Not having to work? It just seems like such an inefficient way to make money, instead of just working for it!

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