Do you know how to deal with a victim-manipulative person?


"I never knew what to expect. Everything was ambiguous. At first I was the hero and soon after I was the aggressor of this eternal victim." (JM, patient). 

How to describe a victim-manipulative person?

Maintaining the role of a victim throughout life can be a strategy with numerous advantages. Protection, compassion, attention, support, are factors that a person with a victim role immediately acquires.

Immunity to everything that goes wrong is another benefit because everything the person say or do, and everything that happens, is built and legitimized with good intention, with keen sensitivity.

Undoubtedly, a person who is a victim of dire events and existential incidents requires all those emotional gestures and feelings of protection in the face of vulnerability in which the situation of aggression exposed him.

But ... then what?

If victimization extends over time, is it just a protective effect the eternal victim wants with this role? 

Victim-manipulative personality

Manipulative victim personality is, in most cases, passive-aggressive: a passivity that plays with others and aggression that really attacks, but if there is a turn of events, the reaction of others becomes (one more) an aggression towards the victim.

However, behind manipulative victimization, there is the calculation (unconscious or conscious) of emotional blackmail and the backstage plot in which the most unwary or least prepared to deal with these situations fall.

Sometimes, a manipulative victim was, in effect, a victim: he/she suffered one or more traumas. There was an accident, she/he was exposed to difficult circumstances, had an unhappy childhood, was abused, mistreated, rejected.

There are, of course, real situations of victimization that give rise to an objective condition of "victimized person".

However, if this pattern maintained itself over time, it becomes the person's business card, the lifestyle, or the predominant character trait. After leaving the specific situation of impotence, that person maintains the role of the victim as a life choice. The world becomes the formula "everyone is bad for me, so I have to survive anyway, no matter how".

The victim chooses this role as an existential process to obtain privileges that would not otherwise be obtained. Thus, this type of manipulative victimization aims to ensure their suffering is delicately exposed as a life curriculum (and not as a possible process of overcoming).

In psychologically serious cases, the manipulative victim believes she/he has an open password to nurture behaviors that will hurt others. 

Recognizing and dealing with a manipulative-victim is difficult.

Pay attention to these behaviors: 

Victimization messages: it is a type of tactic applied in most of their relationships; reactions are stories of unilateral victimization aimed at the person they want to target. Examples: "no one imagines how difficult it was to get here"; "I am not the type of person to complain but the truth is that nobody helped me"; "I already knew that this was going to go wrong, it's already a habit"; "I did not expect your contact, you were the only person who approached me"; "you are the best person I have ever met"; "what I suffered I do not wish to anyone and now nobody cares"; "I wouldn't be able to do this even to my worst enemy".

Manipulative victimization: the person with this profile is capable of distorting any story until he/she ends up being a victim of the situation that he/she created. The whole world becomes responsible for the injustices to which it feels subjected. Often, the distortion is accompanied by backstage plots with phrases like "she said he thought they were feeling sorry for me" or "I've seen people like you many times, coming closer because they have compassion for my past situation, but then explore my feelings" or "I thought they knew ". Often, the victim-manipulator takes on the role of alerting others about other people's bad intentions and justifies this role by knowing very well what is going on between the lines of life given their past suffering. However, if others are not sensitive to the warning signs the victim has signaled, they may be accused of apathy or lack of intelligence.

Narcissism: sometimes manipulative victim has a genuine talent and, therefore, believes he/she deserves exceptional treatment. As the person learn to manipulate others through victimizing behaviors, she/he learn to survive at the expense of her/his intelligence to play with others behaviors or lives and this brings alive a narcissistic feeling that often is difficulty of controlling.

Anger and fear: these emotions, together, are the ones that most define victim-manipulator emotional state. It harbors a mixture of anger and fear which she/he may not be permanently feeling, however are always there, illuminating possible imminent dangers. Thus, the victim-manipulator constantly projects anger and fear into the environment, connectiong pressure on others and sending subtle messages from anger and fear emotions. If others react, the victim-manipulator immediately assumes its already very familiar victim role.