It appears that playing “victim” in the U.S. is getting more popular these days. I’m struck with all the whining, blaming, accusing, and bellyaching.     It seems like playing the victim is now becoming fashionable!   

Many people unconsciously play a victim role and, in so doing, they enable others to mistreat, criticize, take advantage, and be disrespectful to them. Others consciously choose to play victim so that they can continue to be irresponsible and blame others for their misfortunes. 

Remember, the only way that others can mistreat you is with your consent… and victims consent all the time. Most professional victims are volunteers. They unwittingly put themselves in a position where others continually take advantage of them.   

Some typical habits of professional victims are as follows: 

  • Self-pity and feeling sorry for yourself. “Poor me.” “Why me?”It isn’t fair.” “Why am I always the loser?” It’s wanting others to feel sorry for you, yet being unwilling to change your behavior.
  • Being sick, often with hypochondria, just so that others take notice of you; because if you are well, then they can simply ignore you.
  • Being perpetually financially strapped or broke and then blaming others for your bad decisions.
  • Continually being the recipient of abuse and yet placing yourself in the position where you are a target.
  • Being a martyr and/or a masochist so that you can enjoy “the delicious agony of life.
  • Being an over-accommodator and perpetual people pleaser (hoping to avoid conflict or disapproval from others).
  • Being lazy, a chronic failure, and unwilling to try so that others have to pick up after you.
  • Staying addicted to drugs, alcohol, abusive people, or bad situations because you are unable to face life as it is, and instead attempting to hang out in the fantasy of how life is supposed to be.
  • Being a chronic crisis junkie, catastrophizer, whiner, or awfulizer; unwilling to seek solutions to your problems. You would rather describe the problem rather than take responsibility for the situation and look for your own answers and solutions.
  • Being an enabler of others, which allows them to take advantage of you financially and emotionally in relationships, etc.
  • Medicating with food rather than dealing with the real issues. And because you are disgusted with yourself for over-indulging, you continue to medicate with more food.  It is a vicious cycle, and it’s insane to treat an emotional condition with food.
  • Being unwilling to take responsibility for your future; you acquiesce to others, then resent them for the decisions they make.
  • Deciding to give up before you start; choosing defeat; believing you are always going to fail to be good enough, smart enough or attractive enough.
  • Hiding behind a mantra of “That’s just the way I am.” You are unwilling to make changes to your behavior because it is just easier to stay the way you are, even if you dislike it.      
  • Routinely saying “I’m unlucky,” which suggests that luck has something to do with life’s successes rather than the choices you make, and thereby implying that those who are successful are successful just because they are the “lucky” ones.
  • Staying in a bad marriage or relationship because you think predictable misery is preferable to unpredictable outcomes… then blaming your partner for your unhappiness.
  • Hanging on to a job you hate because you prefer the illusion of security as opposed to potential happiness and success. Your insanity is opting for predictable unhappiness rather than pursuing unpredictable happiness.
  • Continually limiting your options because you are consumed with the fear of failing. You think that it doesn’t matter anyway because other people get the “lucky breaks.”
  • Refusing to take responsibility for your life situation, thinking that someone else is responsible for you and owes you something.
  • Feeling entitled to be a victim and then complaining about it. Routinely singing the song, “I’m rejected, unfairly treated, discriminated against, criticized, abandoned, frowned upon, betrayed.” 

         What have you done for me lately?


To get better and unstuck with the victim routine in you: 

  1. Identify the victim behaviors in yourself.
  2. Admit that you are behaving this way and that you have been a volunteer victim for too long. The only way to win is to refuse to play victim anymore; instead you will now be in charge of your life and destiny.
  3. Decide that you are finished choosing “the delicious agony of life.”
  4. Get bothered enough that you believe it is time to do something different.
  5. Take responsibility for your life, your behaviors, your decisions, and your contributions to your situation.
  6. Clean up your messes! Start:
  • paying your bills
  • saving money
  • losing weight
  • getting fit
  • apologizing for your bad conduct
  • taking charge of your life
  • getting clean from substance abuse
  • finishing your education
  • getting help

     Rather than describing the problem, solve it.  Do the right thing!      Pay it forward!

  1. Think about several options (3 or more) that you could choose to change your situation. Multiple options reduce the threat of losing, resignation, failure, and surrender.
  2. Get started in small steps on one or some of the options.
  3. Learn to say “NO.” Realize that others may disapprove and/or may be unhappy with you. 
  4. Get on with your life and maintain your self-respect. You will begin liking who you see looking back at you in the mirror.
  5. Keep going even when you have setbacks, because everyone does.
  6. Remember, life is about learning lessons, and lessons will be repeated until they are learned.

If you want help or more information on this subject, go to my website and send me an email. I will respond!

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1 Comment

  1. Unfortunately I’m going to have to let go of a friendship because that person is a professional victim who thrives on making other people feel bad because they don’t function according to her schedule . Instead of compromising or trying to be flexible , she would rather be miserable and make everyone else miserable too. She then wonders why nobody wants to be around her.

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