Hey Optimist Minds!
Whenever there is a conflict or problem, people are quick to blame others. Finding a scapegoat is always easier than approaching the problem in a solution-oriented way. Unfortunately, that means that people who are innocent get labelled as wrongdoers.
A lot of times, the reason why people blame others is to deflect their own responsibility towards the situation. It’s called playing the victim.
People use the victim card to control or influence other people’s thoughts, feelings and actions; to justify their abuse of others; to seek attention; or, as a way of coping with situations.
Now with all this awareness about blaming behaviour and self-victimisation, how can you know if you really are a victim? There could be times when you actually have been wronged or treated unjustly but the other people involved have different versions of what happened.
This often happens in incidents of abuse, especially emotional and narcissistic abuse. Both the abuser and the victim say it was the other person’s fault. How can you tell if your version is true?
Here are seven signs you’re actually the victim.
Things were beyond your control.
You can honestly call yourself a victim if you had no influence at all on whatever happened. For example, if your parents have an unhappy marriage and are getting divorced, nothing you said or did caused it.
As their child, you may have been caught up in all the drama, and if one of your parents is abusive, they might even try to blame you for their problems. But since they became a couple, fighting, or breaking up were all beyond your control, you are a victim of the upsetting situation.
You’ve been hurt in some way.
A victim is someone who has suffered or been taken advantage of. So, the easiest way to figure out if you’re a victim is to assess if you’ve faced any kind of damage.
Then, reflect on whether this damage was done to you or you did something to bring it upon yourself. If you had nothing to do with how things turned out, then it’s highly probable that you are a victim.
You’ve taken accountability but the others haven’t.
It’s possible that the unpleasant situation was caused not by just one person but due to the collective actions of multiple people. Let’s say you’re stuck in an interpersonal conflict of this sort and everyone involved got hurt.
Now, you may acknowledge how your actions impacted them but the others haven’t taken any responsibility. They’re comfortable licking their wounds and pointing fingers at others. In this situation, you’re likely more of a victim than anyone else.
Even after being open-minded, you still feel wronged.
After a nasty exchange, when things settle down a bit, you might find yourself in a conversation with the other person. They had done something that really hurt you and now you’re both trying to resolve the issue.
Throughout this conversation, you might try to be as open-minded as possible. Consequently, you listen to their point of view and consider all their challenges. Nevertheless, you still feel like they owe you an apology.
If you are denied that or given an insincere one, you’re right to feel like a victim.
You’re the only one interested in constructive communication.
A big sign that you’re actually the victim is if the people involved do not engage in nonviolent communication but you do. This type of communication is designed to increase empathy and improve the quality of life of those who utilise the method and the people around them.
It involves speaking with compassion, listening attentively, and avoiding negativity, attacking language, and defensiveness. If you’re the only one keen on preserving a positive relationship with others while also addressing the problem, you can call yourself a victim.
Unbiased third parties agree with you.
Another way of checking whether you’re the victim is to consult an unbiased third party. This has to be someone who doesn’t have positive or negative feelings for anyone involved in the conflict.
Narrating the versions of all the people concerned can provide a whole picture of whatever happened. The third-party can then rationally decide who they think is the victim.
You’re doing everything you’re supposed to but things haven’t improved.
This is a predicament highly common in situations of narcissistic abuse. The abuser has you feeling like you are the problem and that you need to work on yourself for things to improve.
Out of guilt and motivation to find relief, you might do whatever they ask of you to fix the situation. Sadly, even after doing all that, there’s no improvement. The problem still exists. In such scenarios, it may not be obvious to you, but you are the real victim.
Were you able to relate to any of the signs we described? Do you think you might actually be the victim in your situation? Let us know what you think in the comments.
A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.
Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.