Some suggestions on how to deal with complainers and keep them from draining us of our energy

by Shirley Marie Bradby

December 19, 2018

Some suggestions on how to deal with complainers and keep them from draining us of our energy

All of us have certainly met people who like to play the role of perennial victims.

Perhaps, this has also happened to us on more than one occasion, but there is a big difference between those who do it in a non-habitual way and those who, on the other hand, demonstrate a constant victim mentality.

The latter category of people is used to constantly complaining and putting the blame and responsibility for any negative outcomes on others. Living next to them is exhausting from a mental health point of view.

However, understanding how they behave and operate can help us to manage them differently and more effectively.

via Psychology Today


People who feel like they are victims, in a chronic way, of course, are all united by some common features. They distort reality, find consolation in complaining, tend to blame others for their mistakes, and are unable to self-criticize. 

These individuals, whatever happens to them, positive or negative, are not driven by their own will but by someone else's. As a consequence, reality is perceived differently from what it actually is, in fact, the negative aspects of any situation are exasperated and the positive aspects are ignored

Usually, a person with this kind of character inclination develops a pessimistic view of life. Since this is the framework of their existence, they believe themselves to be victims of events and of other people. Consequently, they give vent to constant complaints in order to draw attention to themselves, seeking the compassion of others, and not the solution to their problems.

Moreover, their role as eternal victims tends to make them wary and distrustful of everyone and they constantly seek out all the little things that give them the opportunity to persist in interpreting their role as a victim. So, for them, it is always other people, with their shortcomings who are the only ones responsible for what happens around them.


When people with a victim mentality interact with someone they have their own tactics. The first is to delegitimize the arguments of the other person so as to affirm their condition as a victim and to place the responsibility unfairly on someone else. The second tactic, instead, consists in emotionally manipulating one's interlocutor, knowing very well which buttons to push. 

To learn how to handle people like this effectively, first of all, it is imperative to recognize that they are not victims and then try to be very careful not to fall into their emotional traps. However, the main thing to make clear to them is that we are no longer willing to listen to their meaningless complaints, but that we are willing to help them if they do not waste our time and energy. 

It is important to always remember that each of us develops a different character based on the social and family context in which we live a large part of our existence. We all have our weaknesses and we all need each other. Listening to those who need help is a good practice, but never forget about yourself. Only if you maintain a firm and very strong sense of self-esteem will you be able to avoid succumbing to the emotional "traps" of these kinds of people ... and remember that by not giving in to their victim mentality, you will actually help them, too!