when your mother plays the victim

When your mother plays the victim it can be incredibly frustrating to deal with because we expect our parents to act like adults, and it can be surprising to see such an immature response from the person who raised us. 

It may feel like a role reversal when your mom acts like the child in the relationship and you are the parent in the situation. Mothers, like anyone else, can have their flaws and struggles.

Grace’s mother would show up at her house unannounced and expect to spend time with her, even though she was busy with a full time job and a family. Her mother  didn’t have many friends of her own, and relied on Grace for emotional support.

Finally, Grace had enough of the unexpected visits and interruptions when she was relaxing with her family or visiting with friends. She asked her mother to let her know in advance before she stopped by, which is a perfectly reasonable request.

All of a sudden, her mother started making daily cryptic posts on Facebook about how people should have more gratitude, and how much mothers do for their kids. Grace could read between the lines that the Facebook posts were about her.


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Basically, her mother was trying to manipulate the situation and control the narrative. And instead of respecting Grace’s boundaries, she was just being immature and trying to get her own way and trying to make Grace feel guilty for setting reasonable limits.

Grace was in her forties, and had seen her mother’s pattern before when she stood up for herself, tried to set limits or confronted her mother about her behavior.  Whenever her mother didn’t get her way, she would resort to playing the victim.

Why do mother’s play the victim role?

Why do mother’s play the victim role

Playing the victim is a behavior that is demonstrated by women all over the world from a variety backgrounds. Your mother may act like the victim as a way to emotionally manipulate you. If she acts like a victim, your  friends and family might offer up emotional support .

This behavior can be an attempt to control or manipulate the people around them, including their children, partners, or friends. Emotional manipulation is  a common playbook by narcissistic mothers who use it to control their children by gaslighting, triangulation in your  relationship, so they can maintain power and control.

Seven things to say when your mother plays the victim

Seven things to say when your mother plays the victim.

You can say something and let your mother know that you are aware of her behavior. Be warned, it may fall on deaf ears, because she may only hear what she wants to hear.

1. You have the power to change your life. All you have to do is decide.

2. Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.

3. Be the heroine of your own life, not the victim.

4. If you can’t change it change your attitude about it

5. We are only victims if we allow ourselves to be.

6. Don’t be ashamed of your story, it will inspire others.

7. Today you have the power to change your story.

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You have a choice how to respond when your parent plays the victim card

You have a choice how to respond when your parent plays the victim card.

You can’t control how your mother behaves but you can decide how to respond to her and  how you engage. If you know that she has a pattern of negative behavior, decide in advance what you will say and how you will respond the next time that she plays the victim role.

Set boundaries and enforce them. She won’t like it when you set limits,  and she may throw a tantrum or sulk if you don’t back down and let her get her way. Stand your ground and don’t  back down. We teach people how to treat us, and if she knows that she can wear you down and get away with it,  she will continue to do so.

Seven things to say when your mother plays the victim

The Role of counselling and self care

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Better Help is a great resource where you can talk to a counselor from the comfort of your own home. 

Taking care of your own needs isn’t selfish, and you will feel better in the long run.

Do you have any suggestions of what to say when your mother plays the victim? Leave it in the comments below.

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