Why do narcissists act like victims?

Don’t be fooled by that sad face!

Has that sad face fooled you…?

Well, I assure you. If you have, you really aren’t alone. 

The narcissist is good at pulling the victim card out of their pocket. So good, in fact, that it’s fair to say, they are wearing the card out.

The question that so many people ask me is, why do narcissists act like victims? It is quite funny when you think about it. A person who wants to be nothing but strong and dominant willingly wants to be the martyr. 

There is a game behind this tactic, though.

I’m glad I’m here to offer you yet another tool of knowledge in your narcissism backpack!

Narcissist 101

Narcissists wouldn’t be narcissists if they didn’t grasp at attention like it was oxygen. If they have an audience, they will be able to perform. They perform best when they’re accused of something they absolutely did, or if they want to gain sympathy.

Either one of those things paves the way for the ‘victim.’

Poor me.

I’m so sad and helpless.

Life is so tough.

I try so hard.

I work to take care of everybody.

I wish people knew how hard it was.

So on, and so forth.

If you’ve experienced narcissism, I bet you could write a book on the times the narcissist in your life pulled out their victim card.

I personally find it so intriguing that a narcissist, usually a person so full of their own self-importance, can suddenly put themselves in such a weak place. It’s what confuses the majority of people when they’re learning about narcissism in general, because it just doesn’t seem to add up.

Well, it does add up, and if you think about it in a little more detail, you can certainly join the dots.

Narcissists don’t want any accountability for what they do. I mean, they really will go to all lengths to avoid having any fingers pointed at them. 

See also  How To Stop Being a Narcissist?

The Acting Game: And … Action!

You’ll notice the narcissist waiting for their chance to shine. They need a few things before they get going. 

  • The right people around them. They aren’t going to play victim if the audience isn’t going to drop everything to listen to them. Having you right there at their beck and call, they’re ready to start feigning. And they will
  • The right break in conversation. Narcissists are fantastic at leading conversations the way they want to. They can divert what you’re saying to become about them and how they’re the victim at the click of a finger. No matter how tenuous the link, you’re going to hear about it. 
  • Pre-planning. Narcissists a lot of the time know in advance what they’re going to do and how they’re going to do it. For example: you’re about to head out for drinks with a few friends, and the narcissist will say, “Your friends hate me. They don’t talk to me and I always feel so left out when we go out.” 

It’s all a ruse to get you to either back out of your drinks, or feel bad for going. But it’s premeditated by the narcissist so that you channel your attention to them.

Is it nice to be put through these kinds of dramatic paces? No way. Nobody wants to be dragged or bogged down by the narcissist. 

Is it frustrating? Yes! It puts a downer on nearly everything you do – and by design – that’s the narcissist’s aim. 

The Hidden Agenda: Why Narcissists Play the Victim Card

Never put it past a narcissist – there will always be a motive with them. That hidden agenda will work in their favor, and they will close in on you to come out winning. 

See also  Famous Narcissistic Characters in Movies

Even if they have to play the victim.

  • Expect the sad tone in their voice to appear. People will buy it 
  • They are known to cry (shocking, I know!) – you will be the only one to see them for crocodile tears. 

Notice when they use you as a ploy: I feel (your name) doesn’t listen to me anymore. I don’t know what to do. You’re immediately in the wrong, and people will judge you for it.

Behind the Tears

Behind the tears lies a very, very insecure person. Narcissists need constant validation, otherwise they truly feel hated.

Their perfect image has to come across as genuine so that people believe them no matter what they say. 

Acting The Victim – Tell Me Why!

#1 Plain Old Attention

I’ll start with the most obvious – attention is the narcissist’s middle name. They can’t last a day without it, and need it like they need oxygen.

If a narcissist wants everyone to feel sorry for them, it’s because of the attention that brings. Suddenly, everybody flocks around them and asks questions, or offers to help them.

Remember this is what the narcissist wants and expects. It’s not a little thing they do because they’re bored – it’s because attention to them is essential.

If they feel that’s dwindled, expect to see them up to all sorts in order for people to flock to them.

If the narcissist is calling for attention, it means they’re going to have people doing anything and everything for them. Every little thing like this feeds their egos, and tells them that they’re important.

#2 Jealousy

Jealousy spills out of narcissists without any effort at all. If you have great news to share, or if something truly amazing has happened, expect the narcissist to do anything to ruin it.

See also  11 Crazy Narcissist Lies They use to Control You

I don’t feel well, I won’t be joining you in celebrating.

I could have had a much better job had I been given the opportunities you have.

It’s not fair! It should be me. I work just as hard. 

I feel like you’re milking this a little bit too much, it’s making me feel quite sad. 

Jealousy is ugly no matter where it’s coming from, but narcissists are on a whole other level. They have a specific way of making people feel guilty for their own successes – as if they should feel bad.

#3 To Elicit Sympathy

Narcissists don’t need a reason to want to garner sympathy. They just want it. To you it might not make much sense, but if you think about it, the sympathy soothes their insecurities. 

Without asking directly for anybody to feel sorry for them, narcissists will invent something to make them a victim. That’s got to be better than saying, “I’m a terrible person with very low self-esteem and I hate myself. Please pity me,” right?

It’s all a cover-up, and they feed off people’s niceness. Underneath it all, people are only being nice to a version of that person – not the real character behind the mask.

#4 To Manipulate

Manipulation is at the heart of everything the narcissist does. They plot to get you right where they want you and use tactics such as playing the victim to succeed. 

A lot of the narcissist’s victim mode is set outside of your boundaries, too, so they can push you to your limits and beyond. For example, if you hated arguing and shouting, their victim mentality could be goading you into an unhealthy response. 

It’s all done to get you to react in a way they want – no matter what that costs you.

Related Articles