Many narcissists, in particular covert ones, love to portray themselves as victims no matter how badly they have abused someone. They prefer to hide behind the mask of innocent victim than to show people the ugly truth, that they are evil & abusive. Unfortunately countless people fall for their victim act. Real victims act very differently, & those who have bought a narcissist’s victim act think this means the real victim is the one faking it, not the narcissist.
People need to be able to identify a genuine victim from a narcissist’s victim act in order to avoid being pulled into a narcissist’s abusive web. I think this can be especially beneficial when applied to people met online. So many victims join support groups & forums looking to meet others who share their experiences only to learn someone they met in one of those places is actually a narcissist.
There are some behaviors narcissists do that give away the fact that they aren’t real victims. One thing they do is only tell their side of the story. What I mean is narcissists will talk about how the other person yelled at them or called the police on them, yet not share any information on what led up to that scenario. They make it sound like the other person just snapped suddenly for no good reason, & attacked them. A real victim doesn’t do that. They tell the entire story, not leaving out selected parts that might make them look bad.
Along those lines, if a narcissist feels they must mention some bad behavior they have done, they make excuses for it. For example, say they hit their victim in a fit of rage. They will find ways to blame the other person for making them hit them. Or, they will excuse it away, maybe saying the other person hit them first. A real victim doesn’t make excuses or blame others for their bad actions. They admit their bad behavior & accept responsibility for what they have done, no matter how ashamed of it they are.
Narcissists also turn any conversation back to their situation, even when speaking with victims such as in an online group. Real victims support each other. Sure, they share examples from their own life some, but they keep the focus on the person doing the talking.
Narcissists talk about the situation over & over. They tell their story to anyone who will listen, even if the listener isn’t interested. They seem to want to tell everyone how badly they were treated. Real victims don’t talk to anyone & everyone about their story. They are selective with whom they discuss their situation. Even if they are like me & write publicly about it, when it comes to discussing it, they still are selective.
Narcissists want pity. They want to be seen as a completely innocent victim who did nothing to deserve what was done to them, so people will pity them. Real victims don’t look for pity. Empathy is great as is support, but pity isn’t something real victims want.
Narcissists expect everyone to understand their plight & offer them validation. Real victims aren’t like that. They know not everyone can relate to their situation. They know not everyone will care that they were abused. They don’t need external validation. They know what they have been through, & that is enough for them.
Everyone needs to be aware of these behaviors in others, in particular victims of narcissistic abuse. Not everyone who says they were abused by a narcissist is truly a victim. There are plenty of wolves in sheep’s clothing out there, who look for true victims to meet the sick needs they have. Consider a person’s behavior rather than blindly believing someone who tells you they are a victim of abuse.