Many narcissists are known for playing the victim, in particular covert narcissists. They seem to think that everyone else has caused their problems but themselves. Their own actions are always excused away or even denied. They also claim there is nothing they can do about these problems.
As a person with a kind heart, it can be easy to get drawn into this victim act & feel sorry for this person. The problem is that is easy for these people to manipulate the kind hearted in these situations.
Following are some ways to identify someone who is playing the victim to help you avoid that situation.
People who play the victim obviously feel sorry for themselves. They think the world is so cruel & unfair to them, & they’re helpless to do anything about it.
These people also have no desire to put any work into improving their situation. They prefer staying in the bad situation than changing it or even allowing anyone to help change it.
They also accept zero responsibility for their behavior. Whatever is wrong is always someone else’s fault, according to them. They did nothing wrong. If they ran someone over with their car, they would blame the person they hit for being in that parking lot at that particular time of day rather than admit that they didn’t look before backing out of their spot.
People playing the victim are incredibly manipulative. Once they know they have someone’s pity they feel free to get anything they want from that person. They will gain their sympathy & support. They will get money from them. Most of all, they get attention & these people do thrive on that attention.
Parents who play the victim are especially manipulative with their children. There are so many situations where an overt & a covert narcissist marry, & the covert ends up looking like the innocent victim who needs his or her children’s protection against the overtly narcissistic parent. This was my situation. My father claimed there was nothing he could do to protect me from my mother’s abuse, & it was so hard for him when she abused me. I often comforted him after one of her abusive episodes rather than him comforting me.
People like this are also emotional vampires, as the saying goes. They cling to other people & expect them to listen to their woes at any time, for as long as they want to talk, no matter what is going on in their lives. If the listener is unavailable, that person will do their level best to make the listener feel guilty for failing to be there when they were needed the most.
Another quality of those who play the victim is how offended they are with any differences. If their chosen listener disagrees with them or continues suggesting they make changes, they will become very angry with the listener or even cut that person out of their life.
Most people who have experienced serious problems learn to appreciate the good things in life as a result. Even small things such as a pretty flower can brighten their day. Not so with those playing the victim. They are intensely negative & unappreciative. Nothing pleases these people.
When you come across someone like this in your life, & you definitely will, the smartest thing you can do is to set boundaries. Limit your exposure to this person & avoid them if at all possible. If avoiding them isn’t possible, keep conversations with them short & superficial. Talk about the weather & other light topics that aren’t about them & how they have been wronged.
If you’re like many children of narcissistic parents who feel obligated to care for others to the point it’s unhealthy, these people can be hard for you to spot at first. As God to give you discernment & remember the signs of their toxic behavior.
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