Persons diagnosed with a victim complex tend to dwell on every trauma, crisis, disease, or another difficulty that they have ever suffered, particularly those that happened during their childhoods. Often seeking a survival technique, they have come to believe that society simply “has it out for them.” In this sense, they passively submit to their unavoidable “fate” as perpetual victims as a way of coping with problems from tragic to trivial.
Some common traits of persons with a victim complex include:
- They refuse to accept responsibility for dealing with their problems.
- They never accept any degree of blame for their problems.
- They always find reasons why suggested solutions will not work.
- They carry grudges, never forgive, and simply cannot “move on.”
- They are rarely assertive and find it hard to express their needs.
- They believe everyone is “out to get them” and thus trust no one.
- They are negative and pessimistic, always looking for the bad even in the good.
- They are often highly critical of others and rarely enjoy lasting friendships.
According to psychologists, victim complex sufferers employ these “safer to flee than fight” beliefs as a method of coping with or completely avoiding life and its inherent difficulties.