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Last Updated on December 15, 2020

14 Clear Signs Someone Is Always Playing the Victim

14 Clear Signs Someone Is Always Playing the Victim

How many of us have blamed our little sister or brother for breaking a family heirloom? How many of us have pointed the finger at our co-worker for screwing something up at work? Playing the victim is something many of us have done without even realizing it.

Unfortunately, playing the victim rarely gets anybody what they want. Furthermore, people that believe they are victims tend to push friends, family, and coworkers away.

Let’s look at 14 signs that someone is playing the victim card and what they need to do instead.

1. They Don’t Take Responsibility

When playing the victim, a person will refuse to take responsibility for the circumstance that they are in. Instead, they point the finger to make others feel guilty, or simply ignore their role in perpetuating the problem.

What’s the remedy here? Every circumstance, situation, and event in their life offers the victim an opportunity for growth. They may not be completely responsible for what has occurred, but they can always ask if they contributed somehow.

Asking this question invites a person to be responsible, mature, and cooperative. Plus, it will help them avoid similar situations in the future.

2. They Are Frozen in Their Life

Victims believe that they are at the mercy of everyone and everything around them. Usually, a victim will not make progress or advance in their life because they perceive that they are powerless. As a result, their life is stagnant.

If you were to ask them why, they would respond by giving you a laundry list of reasons why they are stuck. The real sticking point here is that the victim will not usually tell you what they plan to do about their lack of progress in life.

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In order to fix this, the so-called victim needs to see that small behaviors or changes in their attitude can reap big rewards. Try to help them make a list of small, achievable steps they can take towards a goal in their life. Hold them accountable and ask them to hold themselves accountable, too, in order to get them out of the role of victim.

3. They Hold Grudges

The victim likes to hang onto old grievances and make other people feel bad about their actions. They carry these around like weapons, just in case anyone ever tries to hold them accountable for something. A victim will bring up old memories and events in which they were probably legitimately hurt, but they use them as reasons why they can’t make changes to their attitude, their life, or their circumstances in the present.

To move forward and stop playing the victim, people engaging in this behavior need to see that keeping grudges is only holding them down. The victim needs to recognize that freeing others of blame is actually returning all power and self-control back to the victim.

4. They Have Trouble Being Assertive

The victim does not truly believe they can control their life, so they struggle to state what they need, desire, or deserve. The victim’s life will usually involve repeating patterns of submissiveness and passivity. This pattern is detrimental to self-esteem and personal development. The victim generally fails to break this pattern and suffers from potential anxiety or depressive disorders.

What’s the remedy here? A first recommendation is to seek help from a professional psychologist, counselor, or life coach. This is a chance for the victim to turn the direction of their life around.

Ultimately, learning to be assertive is not a quick fix[1]. It will take time, practice, learning, failing, and trying over and over. In the end, however, he/she will no longer feel that gnawing sense of powerlessness and self-pity that has kept them down for so long.

You can learn more on improving assertive communication skills here.

5. They Feel Powerless

This could be a shadow behavior, meaning that the victim does not outwardly show that they feel powerless. Instead, the victim will try to be manipulative, coercive, and underhanded in getting what they need.

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You may have dealt with someone experiencing this kind of powerlessness. Usually, the victim is someone that is suspicious of others, feels insecure, and is constantly needing to know the latest gossip while playing the victim.

As an outsider, do not play the game with them. Stay away from the game of sharing gossip, listening to their stories of manipulation, or engaging with their stories of insecurity. Let them know you’re there to support them and to listen to them, but not to contribute to their feeling of powerlessness.

6. They Don’t Trust Others

This issue is not only a problem of not trusting others. This is a problem of the victim not believing they are trustworthy themselves. The victim makes the assumption that other people are exactly like them: untrustworthy.

To help this issue, the victim must examine the evidence. There are trustworthy people in the world and people that want the best for you. It is the job of the victim to begin revising their old assumptions about people instead of always playing the victim.

7. They Don’t When Enough Is Enough

In relationships, victims have no sense of limits. They don’t know when to say enough is enough. They have a hard time creating boundaries, both for themselves and others.

To begin fixing this, boundaries are crucial. What is the maximum they are willing to take in a relationship, or in any given situation? It is the responsibility of the victim to decide these boundaries for themselves.

If you are a friend or loved one, you should also set boundaries with the “victim.” Decide how much of their victim behavior you’re willing to put up with before you bow out.

8. They Argue a Lot

The victim has trouble choosing their battles. To them, every battle is a war. They feel that they are under attack all the time and have a hard time realizing that not everything is about them.

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What’s the remedy here? The victim needs to realize that a difference of opinion or a piece of criticism is not necessarily about them. It could very well be about the other person. The victim must recognize they have a choice over whether they allow themselves to enter into petty arguments and decide what it’s worth to them.

9. They Feel Self-Pity

Victims have a habit of pitying themselves. Their mirror reflects a defenseless child that cannot fend for itself. Since other people do not usually show them sympathy or empathy, they try to give it to themselves, only to potentially appear immature to others. This further traps them and keeps them playing the victim.

The victim needs to recognize that all people have tough days and experience bad events. Even the luckiest people experienced unfortunate events. S/he must learn to avoid thinking that they are the only person in the world that has experience sad, difficult, or unfair circumstances[2].

10. They Constantly Compare Themselves to Others

The victim usually struggles with the habit of comparing themselves to others negatively. The truth is that we are all lacking in some respect compared to others, so it will always be easy to engage in this behavior or train of thought.

In order to improve this, the victim needs to change their view. They must recognize that they have good qualities and likely have experienced privileges, too. This will also help their mental health overall. 

11. They See Life as Always Lacking

Even when something good happens, the victim will seek out what’s lacking or what’s missing. The victim will complain about complaining, and then complain that they can’t stop complaining.

Instead, they should count their blessings, The victim needs to treasure each good thing in their life and develop a new habit of being positive and optimistic through gratitude. They should aim to be the most thankful and hopeful person they can be.

12. They Are Critical

The victim has a need to put others down and find fault in people in order to feel good about themselves. By doing these things, they get a fleeting sense of superiority by playing the victim.

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What’s the remedy here? The victim should take all their energy and use it to build others up. This will reflect back on them in a positive way, too.

13. They Think They Are Perfect

Ironically, when there is a chance that a victim could be caught in an error, they suddenly become perfect. This arrogance and narcissism closes the victim off from having truly trustworthy and cooperative relationships.

Instead of thinking this way, they need to remove the word “perfect” from their vocabulary and accept that they are human and naturally imperfect. In fact, the victim needs to realize that the more they own their mistakes and failings, the more others will gravitate towards them.

14. They Cut People out of Their Life

If a victim faces a difficult or challenging moment with someone in their life, they’re likely to respond by cutting someone out of their life. This highly emotional behavior creates chaotic relationships.

The victim needs to recognize their pattern of cutting people off, as this usually doesn’t lead to the resolution of problems and conflict. They could always take a different, more positive approach, such as letting people know their feelings instead.

The Bottom Line

In the end, playing the victim doesn’t get you anywhere. The victim will end up facing painful consequences in their life and relationships if they do not change their behavior by taking constructive criticism and turning it into positive action.

As with most things in life, alternative options are there. We just have to be willing to look for them and make a start.

More on Identifying Victim Behavior

Featured photo credit: LoboStudio Hamburg via unsplash.com

Reference

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Last Updated on April 14, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

Reference

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