Individuals who habitually indulge in self-victimisation (also known as playing the victim) do so for various reasons: to control or influence other people’s thoughts, feelings and actions; to justify their abuse of others; to seek attention; or, as a way of coping with situations. Although they can actually change circumstances to avoid being victimised, they won’t seize the opportunity because they want to play the role and appear as victims to others and themselves. The main identifying traits of those who choose to play the victim role include:
- They tend to manipulate or abuse others verbally or physically, but then blame the other person (i.e. the real victim) for provoking the abuse.
- They influence or control other people’ sympathy to gain compassion or support.
- They form friendships or intimate relationships with those who disrespect, mistreat or abuse them to convince themselves and the world of their unfortunate status.
- They tend to avoid taking responsibility for their life, instead blaming others for their mistreatment or unfortunate circumstances.
- They think and talk a lot about how others take advantage of their kindness.