At the start of this year, I made friends with a girl whom I met online. As we started meeting up more and more, I got the feeling that she enjoyed exaggerating her misfortune for sympathy.
But I didn’t expect her to start whipping out the victim card on me.
So when she did, I was pretty disappointed, but also glad that I’d spotted the signs earlier than I have in the past.
In the end, I broke off the friendship because taking responsibility for oneself is an important trait I look for when allowing people into my circle.
If you want to get clued up on such manipulative tactics, read on. Because if someone uses these 8 phrases with you, they’re playing the victim card:
1) “Nothing ever goes right for me.”
Well…that’s probably not true, but let’s go with it…
If someone says this phrase, they’re deep in “pity me” land. In their eyes, they constantly pull the short straw.
Note that these types of people rarely look at their role or involvement in their problems.
It’s very easy to blame everyone else for their misfortune but they’ll rarely take responsibility for their bad actions or choices.
And it’s even worse if they use this phrase on you – they’re guilting you into feeling sorry for them (and thus doing whatever they want).
2) “It’s not my fault.”
It never is, is it?
That’s one thing that victim players often cling to – that nothing is ever their fault.
They deflect the blame by passing it on to everyone else around them. But this is just a simple way to avoid taking accountability for themselves.
The truth is, in most situations in life, we play a role whether we mean to or not. Owning up and apologizing when we mess up is what sets apart mature people from manipulative people.
3) “Why does this always happen to me?”
Ah, my personal favorite.
My (ex) friend used to say this ALL the time.
Someone would cut her off in traffic, and she’d throw her hands up dramatically and ask the heavens why these things ALWAYS happened to her.
As if the rest of us are magically spared from reckless drivers on the road!
If someone uses this phrase on you, be cautious. It says a lot about how they view themselves and the world around them.
And you can be sure that if one day you turn up late or forget something important, you’ll be added to the list of people out to “get” them.
4) “You just don’t understand how hard it is for me.”
The subtitles for this phrase read:
“You’re not giving me the attention I want.”
Even if you’re being empathetic and kind, if someone is playing the victim, it’ll never be enough.
In their mind, whatever they’re going through is just so devastating that how could anyone else possibly understand?
They essentially want you to believe that what they’re experiencing is unique and challenging, even if it’s something pretty common that we all go through, like heartbreak, betrayal, or just a bad day.
5) “Everyone is against me.”
I have a good friend (not the one I’ve mentioned previously) who I’ve grown up with. She isn’t a “victim” per se, but she can dip into that mentality from time to time.
Over the summer, she said this phrase.
And as we have a solid friendship, I questioned her on it instead of letting it slide. I told her:
“Look, it can’t be a coincidence that every single person around you has fallen out with you, and you’ve done nothing wrong. You’re the common factor, so maybe it’s better to reflect on your actions and behavior and go from there.”
It wasn’t an easy conversation, but surprisingly, she took on board what I said.
Now, this might work if you call out someone you know very well, but for anyone else, take it as a red flag that they’re just playing the victim card with you to evoke sympathy.
6) “I can’t do anything right.”
Let’s say you’re out with a friend. You decide to grab dinner, but when their order comes, it’s not what they were expecting.
The waiter claims it’s what your friend ordered, and rather than laugh, accept their mistake, and reorder, they put their head in their hands and utter this phrase.
This is purely to get pity out of you.
Because you and your friend both know that it isn’t the case in reality. They must get some things right otherwise they wouldn’t be alive, sitting across from you, playing the victim card.
Don’t fall for it. It may sound harsh, but the more you pander to a victim, the more they thrive off it.
7) “I’m always the one who gets hurt.”
This next phrase is a clear sign that someone is only really focused on themselves and their suffering.
They’re not stepping back, looking at the bigger picture, and putting things into perspective.
I had an ex-boyfriend say this to me once, during an argument. The funny thing was, he wasn’t a nice guy at all, and he’d hurt me a lot during our relationship.
So it was almost laughable when he said this, but also kinda scary that his sense of reality was so warped.
He genuinely thought he was the only one to feel pain, failing to see how it was his actions that led to him being hurt in the first place.
8) “No one ever listens to me or takes me seriously.”
Well, if someone plays the victim constantly, it’s no wonder no one listens to them!
All jokes aside, this is another phrase to be cautious of.
It shows that this person feels undervalued or misunderstood. And there may be some truth to it.
But if they use it on you, and you’ve always listened to them and given them your full attention, it’s just another way to control the narrative and make you feel bad if you dare to disagree with them over something.
So, there we have it, 8 phrases to watch out for.
People who play the victim rarely take responsibility for themselves. In extreme cases, they can be energy vampires, constantly draining your emotions and sympathy.
That’s why it’s important to know these phrases to avoid getting sucked in!
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