10 Signs Someone’s Always Playing the Victim

Hi there psych2goers, this is a disclaimer that this article is for informative purposes only. It is not intended to give advice or diagnose any issues. Please talk with a counselor, life coach, or other professional if you’re struggling.

It’s frustrating when someone in your life seems to be stuck in a constant negative cycle. They ask a lot out of you, yet they never take your advice and never strive for improvement in their life. They have a victim based mindset that everyone is out against them and everything is completely out of their control. The result: you find yourself drained while they stay in a perpetual state of discontentment. To better explore what a victim-mindset is, in this article, we’ll discuss 10 signs someone is always playing the victim.

It is important to use your best judgement if someone is truly in a victim mindset. There are people who have hardships that are valid, even if hard to understand. This article is not to discredit or devalue the experience of others, rather to shed light on an issue that may be used to manipulate and harm other people.

1. They Try to Manipulate You

While it may seem like someone is just going through a bad time, someone may be using the “victim-card” to manipulate you. Does it seem like there’s always something bad happening to this person? Can you never be satisfied with your own achievements because this person has some situation preventing them from doing the same? Perhaps they always try to find ways to get you to feel sorry for them. Additionally, maybe they place the blame on you and make you into the villain. They try anything to get you to believe that they are the victim, and to get you to support them (Brightside 2020).

2. They Place Blame Elsewhere

People with a victim mentality tend to blame their shortcomings on external factors that they can’t control. Perhaps they feel that a past, bad relationship is the cause of their unhappiness. They don’t take any responsibility for their feelings and make no efforts to improve their situation. Nothing is ever truly their fault, rather it’s other people slighting them. They use this blame as a reason to be stuck where they are in life and cannot be reasoned with (Nichols 2020).

3. They Hold Onto the Past

People playing the victim tend to hold onto past events – no matter how big or small the experience was. They may also hold grudges on other people and refuse to forgive or forget their wrongdoings. They are unable to let anything go and use that as an obstacle to stay where they are. For instance, they may talk excessively about an ex-partner long after the relationship has ended, or ruminate about a past failure to the point it interferes with them moving forward (Schewitz 2016).

4. They Make Excuses 

People who victimize themselves can make an excuse for any situation. No matter what advice you give, they deflect it off on some factor that cannot be controlled. They may be completely irrational in their reasons and refuse to accept the fact that they can change something about their life. This can combine with holding onto the past and placing blame elsewhere to create an impenetrable fortress around their current way of living. Maybe they think they aren’t smart enough to pursue a certain hobby, or that a certain skill is too much time, energy, and money to learn, so they avoid it completely (Raypole 2019).

5. They’re Unhappy About Their Situation

People with victim mentality can be extremely dissatisfied with the way things are, yet do nothing to change anything. They don’t want to be living a certain way, but they’re stuck in the past, placing blame elsewhere, and making excuses to not change. Perhaps they use this dissatisfaction to get more out of you. They don’t want to do things for themselves, so they get you to do them out of pity. This can be especially damaging to relationships as well as their own wellbeing (Brightside 2020). 

6. They Don’t Trust You

When someone is victimizing themself, they can become needy and clingy to those around them. However, they do so in a way for you to support them and their needs rather than finding ways to improve their situation. No advice can ever seem to suffice and everything tends to stay at a standstill. You feel that you’re always there, yet you don’t see them getting better (Brightside 2020).

7. They Are Draining to Be Around

It can be tiresome when someone is in a constant state of negativity and is hungry for compassion. You feel that you’re always supporting the other person but nothing ever gets better or changes. It’s possible to feel that you’re getting absorbed into their world, which can have negative consequences; their problems become your problems. They are so dependent on you and others, and the excessive neediness takes a toll on your energy level (Nichols 2020).

8. They’re Passive

Victim-minded people don’t take action, even when it’s absolutely necessary. They may let people take advantage of them in a work setting: refusing to speak up as they don’t know how to stand up for themselves. They internalize these events, and can hold onto these misfortunes to lash out at others. These encounters causes them to feel weak and powerless (Raypole 2019). 

9. They’re Insecure and Unstable

Low self confidence and/or self-esteem may follow a victim-minded person. They constantly compare themselves to others and feel inferior with no way to change themselves. They may even sabotage themselves and relationships as assurance that nothing will improve – which they might not even know that they’re doing. Relationships never seem to last long, and they always seem to be in some sort of distress (Schewitz 2016). 

10. They Attract Drama

A person with a victim mentality can seem to attract drama wherever they go. No matter what, there’s always someone out there mistreating them. They may quarrel with others over seemingly small things all the time. The drama is usually one-sided with the other person being completely in the wrong. The victim refuses to accept responsibility, and may twist the situation in their favor (Brightside 2020). 

Victim-minded people can be stuck in their ways and drain the energy out of others. It’s an exhausting cycle for everyone involved. However, it is always possible to make a change in your life for the better. What are some of your experiences with victim-minded people? How were you able to overcome the situation? Let us know in the comments!


  • Brightside. (2020, February 13). 10 Signs Someone’s Always Playing the Victim. BrightSide €” Inspiration. Creativity. Wonder.brightside.me/inspiration-psychology/10-signs-someones-always-playing-the-victim-795792/
  • Nichols, N. (2020). 7 Signs Someone Is ALWAYS Playing The Victim Role. Nancy Nichols. knowitallnancy.com/know-it-all-nancy/blog/7-signs-someone-always-playing-victim-role
  • Raypole, C. (2019, December 12). How to Identify and Deal with a Victim Mentality. Healthline. www.healthline.com/health/victim-mentality#responding-to-it
  • Schewitz, S. (2020, July 19). 10 Signs You Might Be Dating a “Victim.” Couples Learn. coupleslearn.com/10-signs-might-dating-victim/

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