Nietzsche – Beware of People Playing the Victim

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In this video, I talk about Friedrich Nietzsche, playing the victim, guilt, obligation, pity, disgust, and shame.

But before we can understand what it means to play the victim, we need to understand what it means to be a victim. For this essay, we can define a victim as someone who is taken advantage of by another person. And we can call the act of taking advantage of someone a crime. And typically, what we want for all victims is justice. And justice, as discussed by Nietzsche, can be thought of as giving back to the victim what was lost when the crime was committed. In other words, you can think of justice as the repaying of debts: the criminal must repay the debt they acquired by taking advantage of the victim. I’m not saying this is what justice means, but this is a way many people understand justice, and this definition is important in the context of this video.

So what does it mean to play the victim? What separates a genuine victim from someone playing the victim? A genuine victim was actually taken advantage of, but someone playing the victim wasn’t. And how do you determine whether someone was actually taken advantage of? It comes down to consent. Someone is taken advantage of when their presence is used in a way they didn’t agree to. And so a true victim did not give consent or was not in a position to give consent, such as in the case of a child or someone who was severely intoxicated. But someone who plays the victim gives legitimate consent and then claims they didn’t. Or they claim /you/ consented to things which you didn’t consent to or were not in a position to consent to. I’ll explore what both cases look like a little later on.

So why would someone play the victim? To put it simply, they play victim so someone will save them from their problems. They’re looking for a rescuer. And how do they get people to save them?

Someone who plays the victim has two main weapons: obligation and guilt, and pity and disgust.

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34 thoughts on “Nietzsche – Beware of People Playing the Victim

  1. Playing the victim often happens from unconsciousness. People who are unaware of their power often play the victim. When you choose to play the victim you choose to not discover your innerpower.

  2. Being honest to myself, I realized that sometimes in my own life. I have played the victim, and sometimes I have fall into a victim’s game. Most of this actions have come as Unconscious actions of unhealed trauma and toxic beliefs and patterns from my childhood. I keep reading and working on myself every day. To be a better human, for me and for all the people around me, and hopefully to make this world a more kind and better place. Thank you!

    1. I relate to ur comment soo much. Everytime i played a victim and later when I realised that I DID (play victim) , it all traced back to how i was treated in childhood. Everytime i get triggered of what happened when i was young , my thoughts automatically start showcasing me as a victim , as helpless , as pitiful .. I’m glad that i hv slowly started recognising the patterns and actually being aware that my mind is making me feel like a victim and i shud not let my mind do that to me.. we’ll get through this..hope u r doing good man 🙌

  3. Hey bro, thank you for using the example of the mother. You are saving a bunch of lives and I don’t think you even know how many. I found that out the hard way. But thank you and if they take this down pls put it back or do something bcuz you are saving lives with this. Hopefully the ones who need this are able to see it

  4. I really needed this video. I think I’ve been playing the victim, but unintentionally. Trying to right my wrongs before it’s too late.

  5. I got in a relationship were the other side played the victim it destroyed my mental health left and left me with a trauma , I hope I don’t ever bump into this kind of people again .

    1. @Green Beans I feel so guilty of just admitting I was the victim and not her .

    2. @ⵖⵉⵍⴰⵙ Iⴰⵜ ⵓⵎⵄⵓⵛ I’m sorry that happened to you. 🙁 That’s a crappy feeling to go through. I’m sure you’ll find someone better. It’s really tough branching out again after something like that. I feel the exact same way and it sucks. “Maybe I should’ve done this instead? But if I didn’t do that, then this would’ve happened and it would’ve gotten worse. Was I just being sensitive, critical, and dismissive?” And the ruminating keeps on going and going for about an hour and leaves either in tears or with a headache.

    3. @Green Beans same, I personally run away from relationships not because I fear of having the same experience but because I fear that my previous experience will affect the overall flow of the relationship as it won’t be natural and spontaneous as it used to be .

    4. @ⵖⵉⵍⴰⵙ Iⴰⵜ ⵓⵎⵄⵓⵛ Yeah! Exactly! And then you try to judge people on the surface before getting to know them to avoid danger, but feel guilty because you know deep down that’s wrong and they may be very nice.

    5. I don’t think we will ever have a shortage of apathetic people who charms the whole crowds just to fight against that one loner, if anything, they’re trying to power guilt the loner’s security through a power struggle in an attempt to garner the crowds to appeal to their own ignorant insecurity.

      Think about it, as a loner, you’re going out on your perfectly normal day, doing the things you love, until you find out, the person you’re helping with the things you love crashes all of that love down in favor of blaming you of everything for that passion of love into finding flaws about it, it’s a classic attempt to get you out of your comfort zone and end the peace of yourself (it always comes down to other people, not you, it’s ALL about them). That peace is what’s most valuable to a lot of humans. But sadly, not for these people.

      I tend to be selfish, but only to an extent that I just want to be left alone, not to an extent that I want to cause trouble, if anything, their actions is what will BLIND ME to follow suit and cause the same destructive chaos as them, it’s a self-destructive cycle! And one that I want no part in.

      If this is all confusing to you:

      Know that in order to cause conflict, you need other troubled people that are “ideal” as you as possible. And for them to manipulate themselves the same way to follow your ideal, now where has that in history happened before…

      This is why loners don’t get along with these “ideal” crowds, we KNOW how these people behave and work, hence, why we want no part in their mass downfall. They will DUG their own graves.

  6. Isnt this exactly the thing we are giving up lately in our society? The victim is always right, how dare you to blame the victim?
    How long will such discussions be allowed on youtube untill the videos are taken down?

    1. There is a distinction between someone who is ACTUALLY a victim (I.e. someone who was actually wronged) and someone who is PLAYING a victim (i.e. someone who is not actually wronged but thinks they have been because of their non-consented expectations of other people). In the case of someone who was actually a victim (of bullying, abuse, assault), there absolutely shouldn’t be victim blaming. This will further exacerbate the pain that they are already feeling and does not change the behaviour of the abuser.

    2. @YT yes but in practise this is given up more and more.
      F.e. canadas bill 67
      Or what happens in practice around some rape trials, or companies that get accoused of racism and sued will allways try to settle because the damage is enormous no matter who is right. Its not about justice, its about victims. More and more.

  7. I didn’t like the example. Clearly if you are a baby you can’t give consent. Between adults consent can be implied, obviously the ideal is to communicate that consent however, people give consent in different ways without having to use words.

  8. It’s a very complex book! Brilliant execution at explaining a key premise. Idiosyncrasies belonging to “The Victim” have evolved into a digital hybrid… Cancel Culture, is only the beginning. Fortunately, it’s entities like this that expedite the growth of virtuous leaders, that someday, will mitigate the disparity in wealth and mental acuteness 💛 Love it!

  9. My mom plays the victim all the time.

    “I took care of you and that’s why your successful you need to pay for me to fly out on a nice vacation with all the money you make now”

    “Mom if I pay for your vacation then I’m not saving up money for my own children to have an education down the line and I’ll be put in a situation you were in and I don’t want that for me or my family. I love you and appreciate all you’ve done for me but I can’t do that.”

    “You are so selfish!”

    It’s sad.

    1. I’m so sorry your mom talks to you that way. I’m really glad my parents don’t treat me like that.

    2. Manipulative people do have a pattern, do they cause trouble? Do they have inner grudge against you for “wronging” them despite it being counterproductive? Do they also think they deserve everything others give them? And do they ally with other manipulators?

      If all of these signs are indeed correct, you have a red flagged manipulative person on your hands. The best advice I could give you is, stand your ground, be honest and never give them a chance. Ever. Starve them of all attentions because that’s what they RELISH in.

  10. I feel I’m under the spotlight here.
    Where do I go from here? After the realization, it’s a journey I suppose. Guilt being a significant part of it.

    The deductive method of explaining is perfect for me.

    My respect to you.

  11. After the situation I’ve had in a video game with another player, I’ve realized they were in fact looking for trouble while masquerading as a “helpless” person who preys on people, which is why they took advantage of my offerings and squander it, and even took it as far as use others against me by posting false evidence. Much to the disbelief on both parties and me wanting no part of it but the “victim”

    If I was being a deceiver masquerading as the helper, I would never do it to a person who needs help, considering I’ve initially thought it was a nice community, but clearly, there was more malevolent people than I’ve thought that planted false evidence of a literal delivery request from the “victim” themselves.

    In fact, I’ve never felt bad, I only felt bad because they manipulated me for helping them with offers, that’s a classic, red flagged manipulative sign. Never give into any of these people, in fact, they are the absolute best at manipulating the crowds against a lone, helpful individual like I am, and I HATE the crowds. Absolutely despises them, which is why I knew it was a trap.

    In the end, who would really cause the trouble and the problem? Just think about it. It comes down to how strong your common sense are, neither party in the “community” is right except for the fact that I got screwed, and for what?

  12. There’s also the case where someone is suffering some unpleasant circumstance and claim that the circumstance is caused by a certain person or group of people which actually did not cause it. The person’s unpleasant circumstances might be caused by others’ decisions that were made generations ago, or themselves. But by framing their unpleasant circumstance as the result of present-day victimization, they create the impression that a certain person or group is obligated to rescue them, and if that person or group says they do not have that obligation, then that person or group is now seen as despicable and a plague to society.

    This is classic narcissism, but on societal level.

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