Say Goodbye to Victimhood

· February 1, 2017

Saying goodbye once and for all to victimhood is key to an exciting and happy life. Nobody likes to be a victim, but the truth is that we sometimes think that playing the victim offers certain advantages. For example, it seems we can demand care and attention when we could otherwise not demand it.

Life is often hard and difficult, both for ourselves and for the rest of the world. Everyone at some point along the way will suffer adversities. Some are tougher, others are more bearable, but it seems clear that the obstacles are also part of this gift of living.

The most important thing is to be clear that, as the great Buddha said, pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. That is, we do not have the ability to choose what will touch us in life. At most, we can make decisions that are more or less right, but nothing guarantees us freedom from pain. Of course, we can always choose how we prefer to deal with the problems.

Being anchored in victimhood

We’ve all met someone who is constantly complaining about everything. By assuming the role of a damaged or hurt person, they often blame the world or others but they do little to get out of that black hole where they are supposedly buried. Sound familiar?

woman with her back turned thinking about what you want

They are people anchored in victimhood, which is the tendency to think they are unhappy, they are misfortune’s favorite target and that others are mean to them and want to hurt them, when the reality is something else. They may really believe it because of a perceptual distortion, or they may simply be acting.

The person anchored in victimhood cannot get out of that slump they are going through, but rather still pierces into it much more.


The people around them are trying to help in vain, which does nothing but strengthen their pessimistic attitude, and, ultimately, everyone ends up suffering. Although the person who suffers the most is the victim themselves because deep down there are very few times they stop feeling bad for themselves. Often, they have low self-esteem and think that by playing the role of victim they will gain affection and attention.

How to recognize a person playing the victim?

They want others to recognize their suffering

When their circle tries to help, they feel attacked because they seek to reinforce their state. They would rather be told: “poor thing”, “life is treating you so badly”, or “you’re an unfortunate person, what bad luck you have.” If you try to encourage them to take charge of their life and try to find solutions, they get offended and think you do not understand them or do not want to put yourself in their place.

They try to blame others and life

We mentioned earlier that, although it is true that life brings many bumps with it, the way we face these challenges determines our level of happiness.

woman pointing to the other to blame her

Blaming others and the world is useless. This attitude only perpetuates the problem or reassures us as victims without resources. The people who victimize themselves do not seek solutions, but rather they protest the unfairness of life until they and others get exhausted.

They emotionally manipulate others:

They use the tactic of provoking feelings of sadness in others to get certain privileges.

Some phrases that may come to mind: “I have raised you since childhood and now you’re going to live with your partner and leave me alone”, “If you get good grades, mom will be cured.” In this way, they place the responsibility on the other person. 

What do we do about these people?

Simply put: do not play into their game. If we engage in the blackmail and cries of those who play the victim, we are strengthening them and not helping them, but  rather doing them a disservice. The problem is that doing this is very difficult because our culture has taught us from an early age we have to feel compassion for those who suffer and help others, but our interests are relegated to the background and this really does not have to be.

woman feeling guilty

 When it has to do with a family member, things get more complicated… Who wouldn’t help their mother who says she is sick, depressed or sad even though she does nothing to get out of it?

Anyone would surrender to her complaints and would come to her defense, but that is certainly not the solution because we are reinforcing that she is not able to get out of it and that the solution is to complain and do nothing. It is difficult, but if we correctly identify a victimizing attitude, we must try not to give in and help them in a way in which we will not reinforce their attitude.

We will tell them that we are there to help them find a solution for the problem. But not to hear complaints or to be infected with negativity. Otherwise, the “victim” will not begin to realize that they should consider changing.

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