Know someone who always 'plays the victim'? Psychologists now say it's a real personality type.
via Pexels

Everyone has that person in their life who "always plays the victim." When something goes wrong it's "never their fault" and if you try to challenge them on the issue they get all "high and mighty" on you.

They're the type of person who does something wrong then tries to paint you as being the real problem for calling them out. Because their bad deed was just them making things even.

These people can be impossible to deal with because they're never wrong. This mentality also stunts their developmental growth, because when you're never wrong, you don't have to change a thing.


A recent study by Israeli researchers Gabay, Hameirio, Rubel-Lifschitz, and Nadler has found that the "victim mentality" is a real and stable personality construct that influences how people make sense of the world around them.

These constructs are powerful to us because we use them to predict and anticipate events and, in turn, they influence our thoughts, behaviors, and feelings.

According to research, the victim mentality or, as they call it, "Tendency for Interpersonal Victimhood," or TIV, is a stable construct that people can carry with them throughout their lives.

It's defined as "an ongoing feeling that the self is a victim, which is generalized across many kinds of relationships." That's why your friend with the victim mentality always plays the victim and everything that happens in the world is an affront to them.

Researchers say there are four main components to TIV:

Need for recognition – whereby individuals have a high level of need for their victimization to be seen and recognized by others

Moral elitism – seeing oneself as morally pure or "immaculate," and seeing those who oppose, criticize or "victimize" oneself as completely and totally immoral and unjust

Lack of empathy – having little empathy or concern for the suffering of others, because your own victimhood is so much greater than the suffering of others. Also includes an entitlement to act selfishly or harmfully towards others, without recognizing their pain or experience

Rumination – a strong tendency to brood and remain extremely fixated on times, ways, and relationships where they experienced victimization and being taken advantage of

A person who has TIV may be very vocal about their victim status whether it's caused by societal issues, a personal problem, or something they've fabricated. They believe their status affords them moral superiority to others and allows them to behave in ways that are unassailable.

"How dare you judge me? I am a ______ ."

People with TIV are also more likely to try to seek revenge on those who've aggrieved them.

This type of person is defined by, and clings to, their perceived trauma and weaponizes it against others. Scott Kauffman of Scientific American says that people can develop TIV without even "experiencing severe trauma or victimization."

Kauffman believes that people who have experienced trauma are capable of using it for healthy personal growth instead of unhealthy self-aggrandizement.

What if we all learned at a young age that our traumas don't have to define us? That it's possible to have experienced a trauma and for victimhood to not form the core of our identity? That it's even possible to grow from trauma, to become a better person, to use the experiences we've had in our lives toward working to instill hope and possibility to others who were in a similar situation? What if we all learned that it's possible to have healthy pride for an in-group without having out-group hate?

By coming to the concrete realization that this form of victim mentality is real it gives sufferers a greater ability to realize that they are living with an unhealthy personal construct that can be altered. It also gives those of us who have to deal with these people a better way to understand these frustrating people.





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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

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One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.