Do You Like Playing The Victim?

Name: Marshmallow
Age: 30s
State: New York
Question: I’ve noticed lately that a lot of people are using the term sociopath to describe people they or others have dated. Now, either we have a increase in people with a disturbing mental illness or something else is going on. What gives?



What gives is that we like to glamorize these men and women rather than admit that we got duped by some immature, lacking in personality doofus. Classifying these boobs as something as nefarious as a sociopath raises our status.  Plus, if you say the person you dated was a sociopath, then you have less to answer for. There’s less accountability if the person who hurt you was a highly intelligent emotional mastermind.

He never showed any concern for your feelings? He’s a sociopath.

He cheated on you with other women? He’s a sociopath.

Don’t get me wrong. There are some true sociopaths out there who take advantage of unsuspecting men and women. They certainly exist.  But most of the men or women we encounter on a day to day basis are not sociopaths. They’re actually far more pedestrian than we like to believe.

Every woman has her story of being involved with a Don Draper, Mr. Big or Christian Grey. Do you know why? Because it makes us sound impressive. We were able to capture the attention of a man who was mysterious, domineering and charming. We didn’t get discarded, tossed aside of generally shat upon because we were idiots and they were cads . No. We got abused because these men were just so cunning and clever that didn’t have a chance.

We had a chance. We just didn’t take it. We didn’t want to. We wanted to exist in that little fantasy world that we read about in romance novels when we were kids.We wanted to believe that there was something so desirable and undeniable about us that we were able to lure this caliber of man into our beds. Yes, I said caliber. The truth is that many women hold such men in high esteem. We think they chose us because we were unique. Nope. They chose us because we were weak. Of course, there is also the humblebrag factor. You , too, can tell your story of dating a Christian Grey or Tony Soprano or Chuck Bass. You become the antagonist in your own personal fan fic.

I can remember, awhile back, going over a particular situation with my friend J. I was telling her something stupid a guy had said to me, and how I was sure that it was said with the intention of getting a reaction.

“I think you’re giving him way too much credit” she said. “I honestly think he’s just a guy who hasn’t self-actualized yet. He’s self-involved and immature. ”

My friend M. gave me a similar explanation when I showed him the guy’s email messages.

“I’m now in the camp of he’s just very, very stupid.”

So we have – stupid, immature and self-involved. That’s a far cry from mysterious, domineering and charming, right?

We all want to be Carrie Bradshaw or Anastasia or Meredith Grey. We want to consumed by passion, dominated by a dark force or just plain  dark and twisty. It’s the tale that we want. The idea of an experience. One that sets us apart and yet bonds us with other women at the same time. We long for that moment when we can stand in an operating room and say, “Pick me. Choose me. Love me” or something equally melodramatic. Sadly, all we aspire to be are cliche’s.

There’s the woman who is jaded and kicks every guy out of bed because she’s just in it for the sex. That is, until she meets a guy she likes and by date two, she thinks she’s in love with him.

Then there’s the woman who goes after unavailable guy after unavailable guy, yet she’s terrified to trust and let someone in. Except, you know, that unavailable guy that had “unavailable” stamped on his forehead.

Add in the “I have sex like a man” woman. Yet, unlike a man, she wants the guy to call her on the phone to schedule sex and not just text her. Or she gets flustered when a guy actually expects her to follow through on the underlying sexual promises of her dating profile or conversation.

Don’t forget the girl who comes up with flimsy excuses for why every date she has ends up with her on the receiving end of a big fat boot. He asked me if I was DTF!  He canceled our date! He called me crazy! He made me pay the tab! He was too short!

Finally, there’s that female who has some vignette about how she escaped the sociopath. Only, he wasn’t a sociopath. He was just a dude who lied to her, poorly I might add, and she believed him. He didn’t control her or dominate her. He used her and she let him. There was no intense attraction on his end. It was in her head. In fact, the whole relationship was in her head.

What it really boils down to is our dependence upon attention and playing the victim. It’s not terribly glamorous, but that’s what it’s all about. We desperately need that drama so that we can feel special. This desire is borne from loneliness and immaturity.


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13 Responses to “Do You Like Playing The Victim?”

  1. Badger Says:

    “What it really boils down to is our dependence upon attention and playing the victim. It’s not terribly glamorous, but that’s what it’s all about. We desperately need that drama so that we can feel special. This desire is borne from loneliness and immaturity.”

    I’ve noticed this among women who do a lot of projection of the sort “you know I hate that and you did it anyway so you must have been doing it to piss me off!”

    They spin a man’s ignoring them as a cruel plot to hurt her, because at least it means he was thinking about her. As one young woman put it, “I guess bad attention is better than no attention.”

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      It’s hardly an original sentiment:
      “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” –Oscar Wilde

  2. E-B Says:

    Moxie is right on target, but I would add that a lot more guys are trying to manipulate women because “game” is now out in the open. A lot of these guys are not very good at it, so they come off as a “immature, lacking in personality doofus,” just like Moxie says.

    But you can’t blame guys for trying because they are just responding to how women act and no longer listening to what women say they want. After fourteen years of SATC and now 50 Shades of Grey, guys have figured it out: If you act “nice” around women, chances are she’s fantasizing about “Don Draper, Mr. Big or Christian Grey.” If women do date you, they’ll eventually wonder why they are “settling” and will look for excuses to dump you, just like Moxie said. If you add the gold-diggers, you can see why guys are giving up on traditional dating.

    So these guys are deciding to give “game” a shot and see if it works. Their initial attempts may be lame, but is it really worse than how they were doing before? I’m not advocating it as an approach, but I can understand why more guys are acting that way.

  3. Christina Says:

    I don’t know if I’ve ever agreed with you so much. :-) Until people – men or women- are willing to take responsibility for their own actions, they will never have the life they want.

    And the romance-novel fantasy is just pervasive in our society. Even though “50 Shades” blew the lid off the whole thing, romance novels are by far the biggest sellers in the fiction market, and have been for a long time. Women are fed the Disney fairy tales as little girls, and continue to imbibe fantasy through the media as adults. ‘

    I’m not sure if it’s as bad for men, but I’ll bet that a steady diet of porn and Judd Apatow movies won’t exactly give you a realistic view of life, either.

    Again, it really comes back to taking some responsibility for yourself, your life, and the outcomes you get. It’s a lot easier to label every man you date a sociopath or every woman a psycho than acknowledge that maybe you’re persistently engaging in unhealthy relationship patters, and then doing something to change those.

    • Kay Says:

      I do agree. Disney movies and romance novels has skewed our views of relationships, leading unsuspecting women to believe that there is a Price Charming and a happily ever after. I think if BOTH partners were more honest with themselves and had realistic expectations, relationships would last longer and be more fulfilling.

      When potential partners dont fit the mold of our expectations, we simply deem them crazy, psycho, or say whatever we can to cast us in the sane light. But, as others have said, it’s much easier to put the blame on others than to think that maybe, the fault lies within ourselves. We want to believe we’re the sane one in the relstionship, the normal one. What’s the saying ‘it’s not you, it’s me’? Well, usually it is, we just don’t say it.

    • LostSailor Says:

      I consider romance novels emotional porn for women. To me, it’s a red flag if a woman reads a lot of romance novels; it means she has a habit of feeding herself unrealistic expectations.

  4. Selena Says:

    I’ve noticed an increase in the use of the term narcissist used on the internet. Apparently there are a plethora of women qualified to make this psychiatric diagnosis of men – after they stopped dating them.

  5. LostSailor Says:

    Maybe it’s playing the victim, but I think it’s just more cheapening of our language. I’d wager real money that virtually no women who say a guy they unsuccessfully dated was a “sociopath” or a “narcissist” actually dated a sociopath or narcissist. Just a garden variety guy who might not have treated them as well as they think they ought to be treated.

    What? I was into him, but he wasn’t into me? How is that possible? There must be something wrong with him. He’s a sociopath! Yeah…that’s it. And a narcissist to boot. Yeah…

  6. Eliza Says:

    Yes, apparently there is a wide population of commitment-phobic, narcisstic sociopaths out there…that can barely carry on a conversation–so all they do is text! lol. Ladies…he’s not a sociopath…he’s just a waste of time, and not worth our time. Kick him to the curb, like yesterday’s trash. That simple.

  7. Eliza Says:

    And yes, the more I speak with both men and women alike, the more I hear–that people are turning to all this medication for their issues/troubles. It seems that there is an increasing number of people on meds for depression or anxiety. Scary. But true.

    • LostSailor Says:

      It’s called whiskey. A time-honored remedy…

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      It seems that there is an increasing number of people on meds for depression or anxiety.
      True, but mainly because doctors these days hand out such meds like they’re candy on Halloween, not because the number of people who are actually clinically depressed or anxious is increasing.

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