Playing Victim Is Emotional Abuse

There are people who don’t allow the feeling of compassion in. That may seem amazing to you: If someone else said they are hurt, how can you not feel badly about it? The answer is that they come from worlds away where tears don’t stir emotions; they are hardened – except, perhaps, to themselves. Interestingly, they feel their own pain but have never been able to leave themselves behind in their dealings with others. They play victim. That means they feel they have a license to strike out and hurt others. That’s emotional abuse. Here’s how it works: This is what people like this believe about their loved one when the loved one cries and says he or she is hurt: they must be manipulative. they are just too sensitive and they will react badly to anything. they are really hurt because of something else and it is convenient to blame me. –Anything to not look at themselves Evan and Alice A year ago, Evan thanked Alice for the lovely tie that she gave him for his birthday, but was not as enthusiastic as Alice would have expected. He explained that he really would have preferred a new golf club. Alice was taken aback by this as he knew that she objected to his devotion to golf at the expense of time spent on Sundays with the family. She didn’t say anything and hoped he would forget that he had mentioned it to her. Now, a year later, his birthday was coming and Alice didn’t know what to do. During the year, she had gently mentioned her objections on...

How The Victim Thinker Thinks and Why He Will Never Be Happy

What’s your reaction when someone tells you, “You hurt my feelings”?   There could be two possible reactions: You’re going to be either me-focused or other-focused. That is, if you’re me-focused, you’re going to feel irritated, offended, angry, insulted or—this is the famous one—“picked on.” If you’re other-focused, you’re going to feel compassion for the hurt you may have inflicted on the other person.   If you’re me-focused, several things will ensue:   1. You will never, ever make the person you’ve hurt happy. On the contrary, since you don’t want to hear and deal with the complaint, you’ve probably already forgotten what the complaint was even though you’ve been licking your wounds for having been told you did something wrong. You certainly haven’t fixed the problem.   2. You, yourself will not be happy. By focusing on the pain you’re imagining you’ve received, you have to feel unhappy. By fashioning yourself into a victim, you have compelled yourself to remain unhappy. You may try to escape from that awful victim feeling, but you can’t get too far away from it. Every time you get happy, the little voice inside of you that wants you to remain a victim will be sure to remind you.   There it is: Unhappiness for the person you hurt and unhappiness for yourself.   Now, you can legitimately ask: “But what if I did not hurt that other person? What if she/he is the one that’s playing victim? Why are you making it my fault?”   If you did that, I guarantee you that you are thinking like a victim. A compassionate person...

Don’t Play Victim in Your Marriage

Don’t rush to get hurt feelings–Stay away from playing the victim in your relationship. Ask yourself one, two, three, four, even five times: Did she really mean to hurt me? Because if your spouse, lover, friend did not really mean it, you can choose not to have hurt feelings. You can calmly tell her that what she said didn’t come out right. You can explain what went wrong without absorbing all that hurt and pain. Why take poison into yourself? You don’t have to! How do we get into victim-playing? Abused children grow up to be adults who know all about abuse. They hate it but they can wear it like an old shoe. When Abuse Feels Normal This presents two problems. One is that when someone is abusive, they might not realize it because they are so used to it, it feels normal. For those people, they might take it and take it when they should either get out of the relationship, or, if there is hope of reform, go to counseling with a sharp therapist who can help the abuser to change. The second problem is a mirror image of the first. When Normal Feels Like Abuse The victim is so used to being abused that everything feels like abuse. So with that person, the partner may be doing or saying something perfectly innocent and the victim “takes” it wrong. That’s what I meant by playing the victim. That’s no good, but being a punching bag is no good either. That is, being a victim when you really aren’t is not good and being a victim when...
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