Underlying psychology – Victim Playing

Transactional analysis distinguishes real victims from those who adopt the role in bad faith, ignoring their own capacities to improve their situation.[8]Among the predictable interpersonal “games” psychiatrist Eric Berne identified as common among by victim-players are “Look How Hard I’ve Tried” and “Wooden Leg”.[9]

R. D. Laing considered that “it will be difficult in practice to determine whether or to what extent a relationship is collusive” – when “the one person is predominantly the passive ‘victim'”,[10] and when they are merely playing the victim. The problem is intensified once a pattern of victimization has been internalised, perhaps in the form of a double bind.[11]

Object relations theory has explored the way possession by a false self can create a permanent sense of victimisation[12] – a sense of always being in the hands of an external fate.[13]

To break the hold of the negative complex, and to escape the passivity of victimhood, requires taking responsibility for one’s own desires and long-term actions.[14]

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