The Strangely Satisfying Feeling of Self-Victimization

It doesn’t happen every time you’re upset, but when it does, it’s odd. A feeling that things are as they should be…sneaking in there in the midst of an emotional episode. We’re not talking about true emotional pain, like when you experience genuine loss; but self-inflicted, immature suffering. This is probably the most common kind of suffering.

It is for me, anyway. You may be more mature than I am or just cut from a different mold.

We’re talking about most forms of anger, outrage, irrational fears, worry, resentment, grudges, and all manner of self-pity. They might not be conscious choices, as in: I am going to self-inflict a fit of anger to ruin my day. They are unconsciously derived, but self-inflicted nevertheless. Basically, anytime we say: You make me so….! We’re self-inflicting. That makes me so…! Self-torture. The external cause isn’t actually causing anything. It’s your mindset; your interpretation.

Is most emotional suffering self-inflicted and unnecessary?


Anyway, during these fits of fire and fury, sometimes a strange thought occurs. Something like: Yep, this is how it is. Or: I guess I deserve it. Or: This is just how the world works, obviously. One client of mine even confessed this one: You’re doing to yourself this on purpose because you deserve to suffer. Have you been there? Thoughts like these are sometimes accompanied by a settling feeling, a feeling of mild submission. This is my lot in life. It’s usually an old, familiar frame of mind. Here we go again. Do you know what I mean? The submission, for whatever reason, brings a certain “calm” with it, sort of like a sense of completion. Not peaceful calm, not happiness, but a Murphy’s Law kind of calm, which is more like futility. Murphy’s Law, by the way, states: If things can go wrong, they will. 

Have you experienced this Murphy’s Law kind of calm or futility?


I say yes, of course, there is. That’s self-righteousness at work, one of the more powerful psychological forces within us. Our need to be right. It’s more powerful is confirmation bias. And it can lead you straight into the deadly jaws of self-sabotage. In those moments, you are believing that life is treating you differently than others. Life is unfair is really: Life is more unfair to me than to others. 

When you unconsciously seek to confirm that you are a victim, confirmation bias can kill you. Click to Tweet

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