The passive aggressive feels they are treated unfairly. The passive aggressive is always the victim of your unreasonable expectations, an over-bearing boss or that slow clerk at the convenience store.
Why Does the Passive Aggressive Play the Victim Role?
I find human behavior fascinating. Not only human behavior but the reasons behind the behavior. There is a pay-off for all of us when it comes to the way we conduct our self in life. If we weren’t getting something out of it, we wouldn’t be doing it. Simple huh? Simple until you become involved with a passive aggressive!
What is the pay-off for the passive aggressive who plays the victim? It is a ploy they use to turn the tables and make them appear to be the injured party. The passive aggressive knows something about the person they are intimately involved with. They know that most people involved with passive aggressives are empathetic, most are co-dependent and most don’t like the idea of others suffering…in other words they are very easily manipulated. That is the pay-off, being in a relationship that enables them to have the upper hand.
In What Ways Does Playing the Victim Pay-Off?
• If you are the “victim,” you don’t have to take responsibility for any problems in the relationship.
• If you are the “victim,” you don’t have to take responsibility for any bad behaviors.
A glaring example of the ploy used in his need to be the victim is how he dismisses people and then acts as if he is the injured party. For example, he refused their request for him to spend more time with them. In his skewed perception of reality, it was his wife’s place to maintain a relationship with him by engaging in activities he was interested in, and if she didn’t comply, he was the victim of her perceived neglect.
It did not occur to him that his refusal to allocate time for her, listen to her or show any interest in her life plainly showed him to be the victimizer, not the victim. His only concern was building his career and having an excuse for not including her in his life. What better excuse than being the victim of your wife’s abandonment? His new circle of family and friends don’t know his wife, don’t know the issues surrounding his desire for a divorce and you can bet, being passive aggressive means he once again surrounded himself with people who didn’t like to see others suffer.
His friends and new family see him, as the long-suffering man who “wishes” his relationship with his family could be different. He tells them that he will always be there for his children if they ever seek him out for a relationship. Just imagine the out-pouring of sympathy he gets? It keeps him from having to accept responsibility for his behavior toward his wife and helps him hold onto the wounded, good guy image that is important to many passive aggressives.
How do You Keep From Becoming the Victim of a Victimizer?
Get rid of self-doubt. If you are in a relationship with a passive aggressive the manipulation is meant to cause you to doubt what you do, what you hear, what you see and what you experience. If you give into the manipulative ploys of the passive aggressive, you will soon not know which end is up. Somewhere inside is the nagging voice that something isn’t right. Do not ignore that voice!
• Don’t make excuses for bad behavior.
• Don’t feel guilt if your passive aggressive doesn’t like the boundaries you’ve set.
• Don’t allow anyone to disregard your emotional needs or doubt that you have a right your needs be met.
• Don’t accept a refusal to communicate about marital problems.
• Don’t settle for less than you want from your spouse.
* Don’t make yourself responsible for his/her hurtful words and actions.