Victim

Description: Emotional and temperamental as a way to gain attention and affection. An extreme focus on internal feelings, particularly painful ones. Martyr streak.

Characteristics: If criticized or misunderstood, tend to withdraw, pout, and sulk. Fairly dramatic and temperamental. When things get tough, want to crumble and give up. Repressed rage results in depression, apathy, and constant fatigue. Unconsciously attached to having difficulties. Get attention by having emotional problems, or being temperamental and sullen.

Thoughts: No one understands me. Poor me. Terrible things always happen to me. I might be uniquely disadvantaged or flawed. I am what I feel. I wish someone would rescue me from this dreary mess.

Feelings: Tend to brood over negative feelings for a long time. Feel alone and lonely, even when I’m around people I am close to. Feelings of melancholy and abandonment. Envy and negative comparisons.

Justification Lies: Maybe this way I get some of the love and attention that I deserve. Sadness is a noble and sophisticated thing that shows exceptional depth, insight, and sensitivity.

Impact on Self and Others: Vitality wasted through focus on internal processing and brooding. Backfires by pushing people away. Others feel frustrated, helpless, or guilty that they can’t put more than a temporary BandAid on the Victim’s pain.

Original Survival Function: The Victim is sometimes associated with a childhood experience of not feeling seen and accepted, coming to believe that something is especially wrong with you. Victim is a strategy to squeeze out some affection from those who would otherwise not be paying attention. The moods mimic a false sense of aliveness.

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