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Victim playing (also known as playing the victim or self-victimization) is the fabrication of victim-hood for a variety of reasons such to justify abuse of others, to manipulate others, a coping strategy or attention seeking.

Victim playing by abusersEdit

Victim playing by abusers is either:

  • diverting attention away from acts of abuse by claiming that the abuse was justified based on another person's bad behavior (typically the victim)
  • soliciting sympathy from others in order to gain their assistance in supporting or enabling the abuse of a victim (known as proxy abuse).

It is common for abusers to engage in victim playing. This serves two purposes:

  • justification to themselves – as a way of dealing with the cognitive dissonance that results from inconsistencies between the way they treat others and what they believe about themselves.
  • justification to others – as a way of escaping harsh judgment or condemnation they may fear from others.

Victim playing by manipulatorsEdit

Manipulators often play the victim role ("poor me") by portraying themselves as victims of circumstances or someone else's behavior in order to gain pity, sympathy or evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone suffering and the manipulator often finds it easy to play on sympathy to get cooperation.[1]

Other types of victim playingEdit

Victim playing is also:

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Simon, George K (1996). In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People. ISBN 978-0965169608.
  2. http://www.socialphobiaworld.com/social-anxiety-stop-playing-the-victim-16906
  3. http://www.homestudycredit.com/courses/contentPAIN/trkPAIN09.html
  4. Evans, Katie & Sullivan, J. Michael Dual Diagnosis: Counseling the Mentally Ill Substance Abuser (1990)

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