In the “Constant Victim” manipulation game the manipulator plays the martyr to impose the feeling of guilt upon you. Avoiding that you suppose to do what he or she expects you to…
My friend, a struggling small business owner, asked for a reasonable expense: a ballet class for her daughter. Like most other times, talking about money created huge conflicts. Initially, her husband sunk into deep silence instead of saying yes or no maybe with an explanation. With some self-pity in his voice, he gave a rather lengthy depiction of his hard life: how hard work is necessary to earn the money, how stressful is the workplace but above all how little the small business contributes to the household.
In itself, the description was true but the emotional illustration was hard to bear for my friend . Her husband could have said in a soothing voice that he understands the wish of attending ballet class, but in the present situation the family could not afford it. That would be the direct communication. Pressuring the family with evoked guilt and shame makes the interaction manipulative.
Constant victims develop these kinds of tactics into a lifestyle. In most of their relationships they feel like – or pretend to feel like victims. They have victimized reactions and tell their stories one-sidedly to the next person.
Manipulative individuals are able to twist and turn any story until they end up being a victim of the situation. Naturally, everyone else is responsible for their injustices excluding themselves.
They try to seek sympathy or get favors by it or they can avoid accountability with it. Who would put more pressure to such an unfortunate person? In this situation, it is difficult to make them accountable for anything.
Sometimes their own guilt stands in the back of the process: perhaps they didn’t accomplish their assignments.
At other times they possess genuine talent and because of that they believe they deserve exceptional treatment.
They harbor a mixture of anger and fear. They might not feel their own anger but project it into their environment. They can pressure people and when they react back aggressively, they are immediately in the familiar victim role.
Confronting them with their tactics is very hard. They truly don’t see or don’t want to admit what they are up to. Not to mention that confrontation is the other perfect reason to feel and act victimized again.
Their goal is to collect sympathy, avoiding responsibility, or getting away with unaccomplished assignments and avoiding introspection following rightful critique.