Jul 092013
justify bad habits

Looking for an excuse to continue your bad habits? Photo by sippakorn/freedigitalphotos.net


Playing the victim isn’t always for seeking attention as many people believe. While it is common with certain mental health issues, there are other individuals who play the victim to avoid an internal conflict.

They will allow or even encourage unfortunate circumstances to happen to justify or excuse the resuming of their bad habits.

Examples of bad habits:

Smoking cigarettes – reason to light one up

Inactivity – worked hard all week, play games all weekend

Eating – chocolate (or snacks) to regulate moodiness

Drug use – too much pressure, relapses

These individuals are unknowingly self destructive; they manipulate situations to set themselves up in a victim role. This can be a subconscious behavior to justify resorting to addictive or unhealthy bad habits. The victim role excuses the relapse by an internal (and external) reason.

In other words, these people look to play the victim so they can continue their bad habits without realizing what they are doing. They will let situations happen or promote a bad outcome so they can use it as an excuse to pamper themselves with the bad habit. This intention is not always cognizant to them but they look forward to being a victim.

The internal justification (not my fault, I deserve special treatment) is satisfied along with the external justification (not my fault, people will feel sorry for me).

The ‘victim’ can blame the relapse on conditions outside of his/her control. The victim role alleviates a cognitive dissonance, which means they are not in conflict with their inner morals/values.

Therefore, they are at peace with themselves while others will believe they are ‘pushed too far.’

Finding an excuse to resort to bad habits can be a subconscious, ‘sneaky’ way of feeling okay about it. This relieves them of their responsibility.

So the next time you start an argument with your partner or get snippy with your boss, you may just be finding an excuse to resume a bad habit and be the victim at the same time.

How to Stop Playing the Victim Game