Victim complex in women and men – what is it, how to get rid of it

What is a victim complex

The victim complex is a condition in which a person feels unhappy, helpless, incapable of anything, weak, bad. At the same time, he is inclined to blame others for all his troubles. The victim will never say: “It was I who allowed myself to be offended.” She always says: “I was wronged.”

The victims always have it bad and they do everything possible to ensure that this state of affairs continues. They complain to others about tyrant bosses, cheating wives and alcoholic husbands, evil relatives, lying girlfriends, etc. At the same time, victims do not want to do anything to improve their lives. They do not leave their offenders (tyrants), because in fact the position of the victim is beneficial to them.

Complaining and crying are a form of manipulation. This is how they get attention. Pity for a victim is synonymous with love, or rather, the only known form of manifestation of love. Let's talk about this in more detail in the next paragraph.

Important! The victim’s favorite game is “Yes, but...”. The victim complains, the opponent offers options for solving the problem, but the victim always has excuses for further inaction. The victim does not want to act, she just wants to cry and take up other people's time and energy.

Why is this condition dangerous?


Why is this role dangerous? Firstly, such people stop living by their desires and needs. They are ready to endure unpleasant circumstances and lower their demands: for example, they agree to spend their vacation at the dacha instead of relaxing at sea. The victim simply cannot refuse to family, friends or colleagues. She believes that she is doomed to lose in advance, and does not try to improve her situation because she thinks that she is unworthy, she will not succeed, or she is simply unlucky.

To some, the position of a victim may seem very convenient: they will always listen to you, feel sorry for you and will not demand too much from you. But you are unlikely to get pleasure from such relationships and communication. At a certain point, loved ones and acquaintances will get tired of listening to suffering and complaints and forever acting as a savior. And it will be difficult for the victim to get rid of the usual type of thinking, because the context of life has already been built. It is difficult to break out of this state on your own, to begin to rejoice, live and develop.


Victim syndrome develops in childhood. This result is given by four pedagogical positions of parents:

  1. Cold. Parents do not love the child and pay attention to him only in case of illness or trouble. The child is not praised or supported. They don’t say warm words to him, they don’t confess their love. And if you fail, they scold you. Because of this, he grows up unsure of himself and gets used to seeking attention through pity from an early age.
  2. Overprotection. From the first days of life, everything is decided for the child, everything is forbidden to him. And he also constantly hears negative attitudes: “Don’t go there - you’ll fall”, “Don’t take risks - it’s dangerous”, etc. That is, the child is programmed to believe that any activity will definitely lead to failure and suffering.
  3. Education according to the “family idol” type. The child is overprotected, all his desires are satisfied, they sacrifice themselves for him. He grows up with the attitude that everyone must obey him, that everything in life naturally falls at his feet. But when he faces real adult life, he realizes that this is not so. And then he chooses the easiest way to earn the attention and favor of people (the first thing the subconscious suggests) - pity.
  4. Authoritarianism. The child is suppressed, insulted, devalued, humiliated. They are not interested in his opinion, his needs are ignored.

In rare cases, the victim complex develops in adulthood. But if this happens, the reasons usually include a strong shock in a relationship with someone. In some situation, a person felt helpless, and this affected his entire thinking and subsequent behavior.

Interesting! Behind the victim complex lies the transfer of responsibility for one's life to other people. The victim receives not only attention, but also assistance with housing, employment, money, etc. For many years the victim can live at the expense of someone.

Signs of a victim complex

Victims are manipulators. Their vocabulary comes down to a few phrases:

  • “Don’t you feel sorry for me?”;
  • “He doesn’t feel sorry for me at all (mother, wife, daughter, friend, sister - fill in the appropriate one)”;
  • “Oh, what is happening in the world”;
  • “Why are they doing this to me?”;
  • “Oh, I don’t know what to do”;
  • “My fate, apparently, is to suffer”;
  • “Yes, I’m always unlucky”;
  • “Don’t pay attention, something often happens to me”;
  • “When will all this end?”;
  • other.

Emotional Freedom Technique

One way to get out of the victim position is the “Emotional Freedom Technique” developed by Harry Craig. This is a direct impact technique, it is very simple and easy to learn.

Its essence lies in the fact that once again, when a person remembers a negative event, a traumatic situation, he needs to lightly press several times with his fingers on certain points on the body, which are points of energy flows.

In most cases, this method reduces fears and negative emotions.

You can learn how to correctly perform the Emotional Freedom Technique by watching the video.

Types of victim complex

In psychology, it is customary to distinguish two forms of the victim complex:

  1. Submissive. A person meekly submits to circumstances and allows himself to be mocked. He practically doesn’t complain or ask for help, he just endures. But if someone pays attention to him, then he then enters into the classic victim game “Yes, but.”
  2. Demonstrative. This is what occurs more often, and what is more noticeable from the outside. Actually, this is what we talked about in the signs. A person constantly complains, exclaims “Why am I doing this?”, suffers “out loud”.


Loneliness is a possible consequence of a victim complex

A person who considers himself a victim turns his own life into a living hell on Earth. The consequences of this condition, which cannot be corrected, are the following manifestations in humans:

  • loss of joy in life, constantly overwhelmed by disappointment;
  • cannot communicate normally with other people, always waiting to be thanked;
  • tries to become better than he is, is under great stress, and may develop severe stress;
  • completely oppresses himself as a person when he plays the role of a submissive victim;
  • remains alone because the people around him do not want to hear his eternal groans;
  • an unhappy personal life, the victim can take either a passive position (situations where a female representative gives herself completely to her husband and children) or an active one (men who constantly feel sorry for themselves);
  • unemployment - colleges do not tolerate such behavior, they can declare a boycott or force a person out of work. The victim has to change his place of work. However, everything repeats itself in the new team. Over time, it all ends with the person being left without work.

Ways to Express a Victim Complex

In men and women, the victim complex is expressed slightly differently. The hidden benefits are different.

Among women

The hidden benefits of the victim complex in women are admiration, love and care (protection). There are three types of sacrificial women:

  1. Losers in love. They are constantly abandoned, cheated on, betrayed and beaten. But even more often they fall in love unrequitedly. Why? Because they are used to suffering, seeking attention, but never receiving it - the relationship with their parents was similar. Such women are accustomed to being devalued and disadvantaged.
  2. An exemplary housewife and mother. Some women who could not succeed in the profession convince themselves and others that housekeeping and motherhood are their choice. From morning to night, a woman spins like a squirrel in a wheel to earn recognition from her husband and a little pity from her friends. The first one praises her for how great she is. And the latter sympathize with how tired she is. And if the plan fails, and the husband does not notice or praise (which often happens), then the girlfriends pay double attention. And for this, a woman is ready to put up with any difficulties, prohibitions from her husband, fatigue, etc.
  3. Mother Teresa. He will listen to everyone, comfort and feed everyone, help everyone. But she herself cannot ask for help and forgets about herself. But he doesn’t forget to say “I’m everything to them” and catch the admiring or sympathetic glances of those around him. And all this so that they would tell her: “You are good, worthy, significant.” And to be loved, because all those whom she helped are now in her debt. And if you don’t repay the debt (many don’t even know that they are being helped with the expectation of repayment), then you will turn out to be the worst person. The victim will report this directly or behind the scenes.

Find ten differences

We have already written that codependent people do not have a clear idea of ​​personal boundaries. But it is their stability that allows the individual to develop and realize himself. Our boundaries provide security for what is at the core of our self-identity.

Psychological boundaries separate “self” and “others” into different domains. Let's look at a few examples of how the attitudes of codependent and independent people differ.

How to get rid of the victim complex

How can a man or woman get rid of the victim complex? It is necessary to adjust self-esteem and learn healthy ways to satisfy the need for attention, love, care, and respect. Each case requires individual consideration. The choice of specific techniques and exercises also depends on the characteristics of the person, but the general points of the plan for working on yourself look like this:

  1. Learn to take responsibility for your own life. Typically, victims are unable to make even simple decisions, such as what to wear or what to eat for breakfast. Start with the same thing, small. Try to do something yourself without regard to other people's opinions. Gradually raise your personal bar, that is, make increasingly complex decisions. Make a list of situations where you usually turn to someone for help or hope that a problem will solve itself. And literally make your own decisions based on the items on this list.
  2. Learn to say no. Keep a diary and track those moments when you help someone, hoping that they will later return the favor or praise you or express gratitude. If you do not want to help someone, then you have every right not to do so. And, by the way, people often respect others more precisely for clearly defending personal boundaries.
  3. Don't apologize or ask permission. If we are talking about your needs, legal rights, then state this confidently. Instead of “Excuse me, could you…” say “Please do this” or “I want this, please...”.
  4. Learn to express your needs, desires, interests, dissatisfaction. This is an element of the previous paragraphs. When you learn to say no to others and ask people for things without apology, you automatically learn to assert yourself.
  5. Stop being patient. Have you been shortchanged at the store? Talk about it. This is your legal right. Did someone take your item without permission? Talk about it.
  6. Be careful and punctual. No one will sacrifice themselves or their time for you. It's normal for a person to express dissatisfaction with your lateness to a meeting or late completion of a task. But concentration, diligence, and activity attract people.
  7. Love yourself. Perhaps someone did not give you love or prevented you from knowing yourself, but now there are no restrictions before you. Study yourself, get to know yourself, learn to listen to yourself.
  8. Realize yourself in work and society. Find something you love and do charity work. This will allow you to get people's attention in a healthy way. You will also regain your sense of self-worth and self-respect.
  9. Become interesting to yourself, become a whole unit. Often the victim complex is combined with fear of rejection.
  10. Do not judge or blame yourself or others, but understand the situation. Learn to work with facts and objectively analyze the problem. Replace self-flagellation with healthy introspection.

My experience

To get rid of the victim complex, I used the same plan that we discussed. It was difficult at the very beginning, but with each week and month it became easier. At first I had to force myself, fight fears, guilt, complexes and other problems. It was especially difficult to learn to take risks, try, give up stability in favor of potentially better things. It was also not easy to change my social circle, but without this change would not have been possible.

I recommend that you make your own list of specific problems that you have to deal with. And work through each element step by step.

( 1 rating, average 5 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends:
For any suggestions regarding the site: [email protected]
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]