People who always play the victim often use these 15 phrases

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Let’s be honest, we can all feel sorry for ourselves from time to time.

After all, life can get tough and when it does it’s tempting to indulge in a little bit of “woe is me”.

But people who habitually fall into victimhood disempower themselves.

They don’t take responsibility for themselves and are always looking for other people and things to blame.

You can usually spot them a mile off.

They spend their time complaining about life, denying their role in any wrongdoing, and moaning to anyone who will listen.

Here are some common phrases that frequently come out of their mouths.

1) “It’s so unfair”

When I was a kid I would always protest to my mom that “it’s not fair”.

What I usually meant was that I wasn’t getting my own way and I didn’t like it.

She would simply reply to me: “Well, life’s not fair”.

I’m pretty grateful for her blunt response as it taught me from a young age something valuable:

That you don’t automatically deserve sympathy or attention just because you didn’t get what you wanted.

As tough love as it sounds, we’re not entitled to have everything go our way in life. But victims can’t get to grips with this.

2) “Why does this always happen to me?!”

I think I’ve probably said this once or twice in jest when sh*t hits the fan.

But when it is said seriously, there are some big problems with a phrase like this.

For starters, the overall theme is that “I’m constantly being targeted” — whether that’s by other people or simply life itself.

It’s pretty melodramatic.

But the “always” also suggests this is a pattern that happens on repeat.

Not sometimes, not occasionally, but ALWAYS.

Words like always and never suggest there is no room for change. That leaves you stuck exactly where you are.

3) “I can’t catch a break”

Some breaks in life we do catch. Spontaneous luck and good fortune certainly do happen.

Perhaps we are in the right place at the right time. Maybe we just won the life lottery.

But this sort of victimhood phrase also neglects to recognize a very important fact:

People also make their own luck.

When we don’t like something, we do have some control.

We can make changes and facilitate growth. We can shift our approach and our attitude.

We don’t have to sit around waiting for life to bring something good our way, we can go out in search of it.

Good things don’t just happen to people, they can also be created.

4) “Nobody understands what I’m going through”

In the mind of a victim, they have it the worst.

The truth is that none of us ever know what others are going through behind the scenes.

Even people who from the outside look like they’ve got everything going for them could be quietly suffering inside.

But victims are so self-absorbed that they fixate solely on their own pain.

They magnify it to an extent that they convince themselves nobody else could possibly get it.

This only feeds into the isolation that they feel, telling themselves they are just so misunderstood.

5) “I don’t see what the big deal is”

Another characteristic of victim mentality is a total lack of accountability.

So on the one hand, they inflate the significance of things that happen to them. Meanwhile, they seek to downplay the feelings of others.

If they do something inconsiderate or insensitive towards you, they’ll aim to minimize that.

Rather than be their fault, they manage to twist it back around so that it’s yours.

“You’re being too sensitive”

“You’re making a mountain out of a molehill”

“You need to chill out, it was just a joke”

6) “It’s not my fault, I was pushed into it”

This is yet another way for a victim to sidestep all responsibility for their actions.

Rather than hold their hands up to how they have behaved, they imply there was no other choice.

That is a running theme of victimhood.

They are trapped prisoners and not agents of free will.

Their actions are always a direct response to some other effect on them.

This “inevitable” process in their mind absolves them of any wrongdoing.

7) “People are out to get me”

Victims need someone or something to blame.

They cannot handle the thought that the quality of their life is down to them.

It scares them too much.

So instead, they always need a scapegoat.

There has to be a reason for what is happening, and it must lie outside of their control.

8) “I never get any recognition for my hard work”

Victims are always waiting for a cookie.

The sad truth is that many victims seem egotistical but deep down are insecure.

Without enough self-esteem or self-belief, they are reliant on external validation to feel good about themselves.

If they aren’t receiving the praise and compliments they feel they deserve, it is crushing to them.

It’s a bit like the kid at a playground shouting to his dad “Watch me” whilst he’s on the slide.

There is no reward for doing something unless an audience approves it. 

9) “Nothing I ever do seems to be good enough”

This is a phrase that’s used to either:

  • Play the martyr
  • Dodge responsibility for poor standards

Either way, the implication is that the real problem is that others don’t appreciate them the way they should.

They give and give and give yet it’s never enough for the vultures around them.

10) “What’s the point?!”

‘Why bother’ is a defeatist attitude that victims often fall back on.

The narrative is one where things will never change.

Any energy or effort that you expend trying to improve the situation is going to be a waste.

Giving up seems like a quicker way of getting to the inevitable failure that lies ahead.

11) “Typical”

People who feel perpetually sorry for themselves love to highlight how unexpected negativity in their lives is.

The message is:

Well, I’m not at all surprised that something bad has happened because that’s how my life just seems to go.

It highlights the negative and pessimist mental attitude that so often underpins victimhood. 

They expect the worst, but they don’t understand that in doing so, they are also simultaneously creating it.

12) “You’re so lucky”

Whenever someone tells me I’m lucky, it never feels like a compliment.

For starters, it is often tinged with jealousy and envy.

It seems to say:

“Why you and not me?!”

But it also disregards someone else’s part in their apparent “good fortune”.

To a victim, you didn’t earn that promotion, you were simply handed it.

You didn’t create a healthy and strong romantic relationship, you stumbled upon it.

Good things that happen to other people are just a stroke of luck.

13) “How could you do this to me?”

In many ways, this is similar to the “it’s not fair” phrase that we started this article with.

It assumes that everyone else should do and say things to make you happy.

If you choose to put your needs and wants above someone who is playing the vitcim, the problem is you are being selfish.

You aren’t thinking about how it will impact them.

But what they don’t seem to acknowledge is that you are not (and shouldn’t be) responsible for the way they feel.

14) “I’m just too caring”

I genuinely think plenty of people who play the victim do believe this.

They think the world is taking advantage of their good nature.

They suspect if they were meaner or more selfish they would have more success in life.

But they’ve totally gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick.

What they think is their kindness is actually their weakness.

The problem isn’t that they are too caring, it’s that they aren’t proactive in steering their own lives — setting boundaries, taking appropriate action, or saying no when they need to.

It’s someone else’s fault for taking too much, but never their fault for not setting the rules they want people to abide by. 

15) “If you cared about me, you would…”

Sometimes victimhood is simply about getting noticed.

Sometimes it’s to dodge responsibility.

Other times, it’s about manipulation.

That’s when you have to really beware.

Playing the victim can be used as a way to get you to do something you don’t want to do.

It’s a guilt-tripping attempt to emotionally blackmail you.

But don’t be fooled, this seemingly softer approach is just as much an act of bullying as making direct threats.

Playing the victim is self-harm

You can probably tell by now that I don’t have a lot of time for victimhood.

Constantly portraying yourself as the victim in various situations is annoying to people. It’s usually about seeking sympathy and attention or evading responsibility for your actions.

At worst it’s manipulative and at best it’s pointless as it only keeps you stuck and feeling hopeless.

But I know I should strive to have greater empathy. Because when we see victimhood in others and ourselves we need to promote self-reflection and resilience.

Being able to spot it within you is the only way to take control and rise above it.

The funny thing is, from the inside victimhood seems like the world around you is hurting you, when really it’s an act of self-harm.

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Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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