Neurotics hate to think of themselves as the injuring party and would rather carry the burden of abuse than see themselves as an abuser. Disturbed characters know this well. So, when they want to take advantage, a good one-two punch is to play the victim and then vilify the real victim.
Neurotics, being who they are, are very vulnerable to the ploy of vilifying the victim. When a neurotic individual finally gets up enough nerve to confront a disturbed character about their behavior, within minutes the disturbed character is generally able to turn the tables and cast the victim of the hurtful behavior in a bad light. In my book, In Sheep’s Clothing [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK](?), I give an example of a mother who finally had to confront her aggressive child’s increasingly disruptive behavior. When she did, the child launched a verbal barrage that included: “You’re always saying bad things about me” and “You act like you hate me.” As conscientious as the mother was, she then began to wonder if she actually hadn’t become too critical lately and if indeed her behavior might truly look to her child like she hated the child. She never stopped to think that if the child actually believed that she never had a good thing to say and that she actually hated her, then there would be absolutely no point in the child’s pointing out those things, because such words would have absolutely no impact on a woman with a heart of stone. It never occurred to her that the child must instinctively and deeply know that she actually cared quite a bit and that her conscientiousness was her biggest vulnerability. In other words, it never occurred to her that her child knew exactly what to say and do to manipulate her. It also didn’t occur to her that by allowing the child to continually use those tactics to manipulate her, she was helping to ensure that the child would continue resisting accepting the principles of responsible conduct she was trying to instill in her. Continue reading “Vilifying the Victim”