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Playing the Victim” redirects here. It is common for abusers to engage in victim playing. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone...

Playing the Victim” redirects here. It is common for abusers to engage in victim playing. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone suffering, and playing easy to get pdf manipulator often finds it easy and rewarding to play on sympathy to get cooperation.


Victims’ talent for high drama draws people to them like moths to a flame. Their permanent dire state brings out the altruistic motives in others.

It is hard to ignore constant cries for help. In most instances, however, the help given is of short duration.

Any efforts rescuers make are ignored, belittled, or met with hostility. No wonder that the rescuers become increasingly frustrated — and walk away. The language of “victim playing” has entered modern corporate life, as a weapon of use even for the most competent of professionals. In the hustle of office politics, the term may however be abused so as to penalize the legitimate victim of injustice, as well as the role-player.

Transactional analysis distinguishes real victims from those who adopt the role in bad faith, ignoring their own capacities to improve their situation. 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”. The problem is intensified once a pattern of victimization has been internalised, perhaps in the form of a double bind. 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.

In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People. Are you a victim of the victim syndrome?

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