14 Phrases That Reveal Someone’s Tendency To Play The Victim

14 Phrases That Reveal Someone’s Tendency To Play The Victim Shutterstock

We all know that person who always seems to be in the middle of some drama, always the one who’s been wronged. While it’s important to be empathetic and supportive, there’s a fine line between genuine struggles and a tendency to play the victim. Sometimes, it’s not about what happens to people, but how they frame it. Here are some phrases that might signal someone’s tendency to play the victim.

1. “Why does this always happen to me?”

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This phrase implies that the person is uniquely unlucky or targeted by misfortune. While bad things do happen to everyone, this statement suggests a belief that they are singled out for hardship. It can be a way to deflect responsibility and avoid taking ownership of their choices or actions.

2. “I can’t catch a break.”

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Similar to the first phrase, this one paints a picture of a person who is constantly facing setbacks and challenges. While life can be difficult at times, this phrase can be a way of garnering sympathy and attention, rather than actively seeking solutions or taking responsibility for their situation, Psychology Today notes.

3. “It’s not my fault.”

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This is a classic deflection of blame. While it’s true that sometimes things are out of our control, this statement can be used to avoid accountability and shift responsibility onto other people. It can also be a way to manipulate situations and avoid facing consequences for one’s actions.

4. “Everyone is against me.”

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This phrase suggests a persecution complex, where the person believes they are being targeted or unfairly treated by everyone around them. While it’s possible to experience discrimination or injustice, this statement can be a way of creating drama and garnering attention, rather than addressing specific issues or conflicts in a constructive way.

5. “I’m the only one who understands.”

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This can be a sign of arrogance and a lack of empathy. It implies that the person is superior to everyone else and that their perspective is the only valid one. It can also be a way to isolate themselves from other people and create a sense of superiority.

6. “Nobody appreciates me.”

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This is a common complaint of someone who feels undervalued or unappreciated. While it’s important to feel recognized and valued, this statement can be a way of seeking constant validation and attention, rather than focusing on one’s own self-worth and accomplishments.

7. “I’m always the one who has to sacrifice.”

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This suggests a belief that the person is constantly being taken advantage of, or that they are always the one who has to give up something for the sake of other people. While compromise and sacrifice are important in relationships, this statement can be a way of manipulating people and garnering sympathy.

8. “Nothing ever goes my way.”

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This is a general statement of dissatisfaction and pessimism that doesn’t really mean much. While everyone experiences setbacks and disappointments, this statement can be a way of focusing on the negative and ignoring the positive aspects of one’s life. It can also be a way of avoiding taking responsibility for one’s own happiness and success.

9. “You just don’t understand.”

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This phrase shuts down communication and dismisses other perspectives. It implies that the person’s experience is so unique that nobody else could possibly relate or offer any helpful insight. This can be a way to avoid taking responsibility for their own feelings and actions.

10. “I’m always the one who gets blamed.”

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This phrase suggests a belief that the person is constantly being unfairly targeted or held accountable for things that are not their fault. While it’s true that sometimes people are wrongly accused, this statement can be a way of deflecting blame and avoiding taking responsibility for one’s own actions.

11. “I never get what I want.”

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This phrase is a statement of dissatisfaction and entitlement. While it’s natural to want things in life, this statement can be a way of focusing on what’s lacking rather than appreciating what one has. It can also be a way of manipulating people into giving them what they want.

12. “You’re lucky you don’t have to deal with this.”

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This is a great way of minimizing other people’s problems and highlighting one’s own struggles. While it’s important to acknowledge our own difficulties, this statement can be a way of seeking attention and sympathy, rather than genuinely empathizing with people.

13. “I’m used to being treated this way.”

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This phrase suggests a learned helplessness, where the person believes that they are powerless to change their situation or that they deserve to be treated poorly. This can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, as it can lead to accepting and even seeking negative treatment.

14. “I just want to be happy.”

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This expresses seemingly innocent desire, but it can be a way of manipulating people into catering to one’s needs and desires. It can also be a way of avoiding taking responsibility for one’s own happiness and well-being. True happiness often comes from within, not from external validation or circumstances.

Piper Ryan is a NYC-based writer and matchmaker who works to bring millennials who are sick of dating apps and the bar scene together in an organic and efficient way. To date, she's paired up more than 120 couples, many of whom have gone on to get married. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Cut, and many more.

In addition to runnnig her own business, Piper is passionate about charity work, advocating for vulnerable women and children in her local area and across the country. She is currently working on her first book, a non-fiction collection of stories focusing on female empowerment.