Is the Martyr at Your Office Driving Your Crazy?

Perhaps you haven’t pegged the problem yet, but martyrs are the people who love playing the selfless victim and who seek ways of dramatizing the extent of their selflessness. Charles Shahar describes the Martyr as follows:

“The martyr is one who employs self-sacrifice and victimization as a way of avoiding to take responsibility for their life. They are prepared, however, to take responsibility for everyone else’s life.

“They are invariably unhappy and unfulfilled because they deny their own needs for the sake of others. They view life as a struggle, and themselves as a bastion of righteousness in an ungrateful world.

“They consider themselves a light to the world, a shining example of how a good and selfless person should behave. They honestly believe they are a model of virtue. They also believe that their goodness will eventually “rub off” on others. If they are abused and mistreated, they will suffer such indignities, because eventually their tormenter will see the error of their ways, and recognize what a special human being they are hurting.” Read the entire article Here:

Characteristics of a Martyr Victim:

3. They display signs of low self-esteem, e.g. inability to receive love or affection, negative body image, excessive judgmentalism, moodiness, etc. . . .

7. They portray themselves as righteous, self-sacrificing, the “nice guy/girl,” the saint, the caretaker, or the hero.

8. They blame the selfishness and inhumanity of other people for their repression and oppression.

9. They seek to reassure themselves of their innocence and greatness.

10. They exaggerate their level of suffering, hardship and mistreatment.

11. They have a cynical, paranoid or even suspicious perception of other people’s intentions.

12. They have an obsessive need to be right. . . .

15. They emotionally manipulate or coerce people into doing what they want by portraying themselves as the noble sufferer.

16. They don’t take initiative to solve their problems or try to actively remedy them.

17. When the Martyr’s problems are solved, they find more “problems” to complain about.

18. They actively seek appreciation, recognition, and attention for their efforts by creating drama. See the entire article Here:

Just like every other type of acting out, martyrdom can be displayed in a number of ways, and it might affect some people more than others. Workaholics are often martyrs who wear their hearty work ethics as their badges of distinction. When martyrs do not get the attention that they seek or when they are criticized rather than loved for their martyrdoms, they become angry and they often declare a passive-aggressive war. After all, an open display of anger would not be saintly–a passive-aggressive slinging and slamming and skulking around would be more of the martyr’s weapon, and of course, the silent treatment would be part of the punishment.