Friday, August 16, 2019
Do you play the victim? Want to give this game up?
Sometimes people are victims and need understanding, consolation, and compensation for the harm that has been done to them. This is NOT what Dr. Marks is talking about in this video. What she is referring to is a habitual pattern of dysfunctional behavior which is manifested in the complaint, "Why do these things always happen to me?"
A statement like "Why do these things always happen to me?" indicates a familiar rut, a familiar pattern of behavior, a "thing which the person seems to repeatedly do." This is the major schema of what is called a "personality disorder."
"Playing the victim" is an maladaptive attempt to get one's needs met. This method or strategy is usually below the person's level of conscious awareness. Becoming aware that one has a tendency to play the victim is the first step in escaping and changing this long term schema or way of behaving in one's interactions with other people.
As I like to say, "If you can't name it, you can't change it. But once you can name it and are aware of it, you can imagine other ways you might manage your emotions and the circumstances you find yourself in. Dr. Marks suggests five possibilities. Maybe you can imagine five more.