Signs of playing the victim are often difficult to see. People who like playing the victim know how to come off sympathetic at first. They bring to you their tales of being mistreated, and ask you questions such as “Why does everyone always treat me so bad?”
If you are in a relationship with someone who is always playing the victim, you may not have noticed at first. The signs are always there, but we often do not see them right away. So what are some signs or clues that the person you are dating or in a relationship with likes playing the victim?
The first sign would be that they are going nowhere. They are not moving forward, they are staying stuck in their patterns. They want you to believe it is of no fault of their own. They will give you countless reasons as to why they have been unable to be successful in any (or all) parts of their life. It will never be their fault mind you, but always someone else’s. They will also attribute it to bad luck, or situations out of their control. They will lament that “This keeps happening to me and I don’t know why”.
Here is where you may want to chime in and offer helpful suggestions. After all, you are only trying to help. However, another sign of someone who plays the victim is that they don’t want the kind of help you are offering. They want your sympathy, empathy, and for you to accept their excuses. They don’t really want to get unstuck. They just don’t want the blame or responsibility for being stuck.
For instance, if the person you are with is having financial difficulties because they are not working, you may decide to help them out until they get back on their feet. You may help them set up interviews or redo their resume for them. For some reason or another, they still haven’t gotten a job and still expect help from you financially.
When you begin to hear the excuses of why they didn’t go on the interview, or how the interviewer was nasty to them so they wouldn’t accept that job anyway you start getting a little annoyed. You expect them to take whatever job they can because they need to support themselves and stop relying on you. However, when you finally have had enough of their excuses why they haven’t gotten a job, the next sign of playing the victim comes out.
Now you are being mean to them. How could you do this at a time like that when you know what they are going through? Sure, they are grateful for your help, but why can’t you be more understanding? How can you kick them when they are down? They would never do this to someone they love, so I guess you don’t really love them.
See how that went? You were the victim and they were taking advantage of you and taking you for granted, yet they turned the tables. Now they are the victim, not you.
Another one of the signs of someone who is playing the victim is there is an endless pile of people who have done them wrong. They are shocked at how many mean people they have encountered, and wonder why people are constantly mistreating them. Don’t worry, you will soon wind up in that pile. When you call them out, or ask them to take responsibility for what has happened, or what is currently happening, they will probably do to you what they have done to the others. They will cease all contact and move on to their next victim.
The cycle with you is over, now it is time for them to line up their next mark. If you feel the one you love is always playing the victim, stop letting them get away with it. No relationship like this can survive and be healthy and happy. Why? Because how can either of you be happy if they are always the victim? You can’t. You will feel resentment, anger, and defensiveness. They will not see all the good you have done, only the bad. Does this sound like a happy relationship to you?