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Loser-Victims And Their Helpers

click here for free introductory reading at PsychicAccess.comIf you grow up receiving a lot of ‘negative attention’ you are taught that love feels and sounds like being told (or shown) that you are always wrong, slow, stupid, annoying, useless, not worth the time and energy, not lovable, and never, ever, good enough. This means that as a child, you would only receive attention when you were told that you were doing things wrong, or that you were a ‘loser.’ This early patterning gets imprinted in the still developing neural pathways of a child.

If you grew up receiving a lot of negative attention, as an adult your way of ‘winning’ in life, and your way of feeling accepted and loved, is to seek negative attention… and turn yourself into a loser and victim.

Someone who has been raised in this manner, tend to insert themselves into the lives of people they think matter to them. They target people who seem important to them and whose opinions matter. They will then consistently create situations where they can be the loser. They will always be the one that is ‘slow,’ the one that ‘can’t be helped,’ or the one with poor social skills.

There are advantages to being labeled the victim. You are listened to, paid attention to. Sympathy is bestowed upon you ~ Jessa Crispin

In this manner they also become the center of attention, as the people they have chosen will try to make them feel better with compliments and encouragement. As a kind of perverse side effect, they also ‘win’ because they will prove to their chosen ‘helpers’ or targets, that they are the one, the ‘special one’ who cannot be helped.

Then, by making their chosen targets or helper people into losers too, because they failed at helping them to get out of their depression, or to not be slow, or stupid, they get to be both ‘better than them,’ as well as to be ‘right.’ Now they are definitely a loser and cannot be helped, and they also get to ‘punish’ others by showing them that they too are losers, because they could not help ‘the loser.’

This convoluted psychological malignant twister is hard to catch and identify, and typically is impossible to discuss, because there is no real way to prove this is really going on. And people who live like this don’t see it as a twisted, perverse form of attention seeking and punishment behavior. After all, they think, “I am the wounded one, not the mean one.” But believe me, like a cornered, wounded animal will do anything to hurt you if it feels threatened, the walking wounded humans are as bad or worse than a wounded animal when it comes to their ability to dish out retaliatory punishments in the name of ‘I am a victim.’

When you are targeted by someone who needs to ‘win’ by being the world’s greatest loser, and proving they are the most hopeless case, you will find yourself being written into their story as the perpetrator, because you are letting them down….again…just like everyone else has done before you. However, the story that will be told is that you really tried to help them, but they are just too much of a hopeless case.

You as the ‘helper’ will not be able to point out this dysfunctional behavior, because if you do, you will be seen as sufficiently mean, uncaring, or victim-shaming. If you are the helper person, caught unawares, you may find yourself chasing after this self-proclaimed ‘loser-victim’….desperately handing out encouragement, motivational talks, sometimes free services. And you will mostly do this because you don’t want to be added to their list of people who “couldn’t help” them.

In the meantime the person who targets you is getting showered with attention, by you the helper person, as you have been seduced into believing their story that no one can help them…. because they are too stupid, slow, old, damaged, and so on. The loser-victims thrive, because they create a maelstrom of attention for themselves, while the helper person runs out of gas. It can, and often does, become a parasitic relationship.

Victims declare,“The world is responsible for me,” and never do anything to better their quality of life” ~ Henry Cloud

This pattern also has the added benefit for the loser-victim that, as the chosen helper person starts to work harder and harder, the loser needs to work less and less, because all their efforts are focused on proving that they are (once again) a failure. If the loser person does any work at all, with careful questioning, you will discover that they do the work given to them the wrong way, thus not getting any results – proving they are right and that you too, as a helper, are also a loser, because you cannot help them.

If you question the loser-victim about their choices and actions in how they did the work you gave them to do, to help them, you will be told, “Well, I am slow and I guess I failed….again.” Loser-victims will refuse to ask you questions, in order to succeed with the work they are doing with you. Instead they will find a way, usually a clever way, which actually reveals they are indeed quite smart and not ‘slow’ at all, to do the work assigned in a way that will bring about the results of them ‘failing.’ This will typically win them another round of attention from the helper, who will usually try again to help this poor, slow loser-victim learn how to follow simple instructions, for them to be able to do the work on themselves in order to heal. The loser-victim thus gets their reward by gaining more hours, sometimes weeks or months of additional attention.

If you are in a helping profession and become a target of someone who thrives only on negative attention, how can you recognize this dance? It is difficult. First off, listen carefully to the stories. You will notice how so very carefully details of victim-hood, of being stupid, slow or damaged beyond repair, are missing. The stories will be generic and sparse, and this works well for our professional loser-victim, because most over-givers and helper type people will quickly fill in the details with their own imagination in their willingness to be helpful.

Press them for information on what is working in their life, and you will get the same generic answers where nothing is great, and only some things are okay or good, “I guess.” This is usually followed with a big sigh. When you ask questions to get details, or specifics, you will not get information, which is another sure sign, or a red flag. Instead, you will get deflection, or an attack, or some kind of dramatic emotional display. What you will not get, is details. Because details, specifics, are real and if the person is a professional loser, they have learned to spin each encounter, each story, to make themselves the star player as the loser-victim.

If you as the helper do manage to discover details of the loser’s current life, you will discover the loser’s life is actually not so terrible. In fact, you typically discover they have a great deal going for them. The loser will hide these details, or try to shade them, to accent and emphasize the ‘terrible’ in order to not lose the intensity of the attention they are seeking to get out of you.

As I’d seen over and again, people who see themselves as victims sometimes don’t notice when they become oppressors ~ Souad Mekhennet

If you are recognizing yourself in this article as the professional loser-victim, and you wish to break out of this cycle, what do you do? First off, I have never seen someone give up this system of attention seeking willingly – it works too well and there is a never-ending supply of people to manipulate to get your negative attention. If one person doesn’t help you, or gets burned out, there are literally thousands more available ‘helpers’ you can turn to for your next dose of negative attention. And people typically don’t willingly give up a reward system that is working well for them in getting attention, or whatever else they want from others.

However if you are one of the rare ones who wants to not only heal yourself, but also wants to take on the responsibility of undoing what you handed down to your children (the dysfunctional, professional loser-victim lifestyle) you can try to make some changes. Start with giving details and specifics, not only to helper people, but also to yourself in your inner conversations. Force yourself to write out the exact details of something that you think proves you are a loser or victim. You will then be able to start training yourself and create new neural pathways to learn to see both sides of what is going on, instead of just the side of the story that you habitually promote – your story that you are the sad-sack, slow, untalented, hopeless loser.

Another thing you can do is ask directly for attention and help, instead of manufacturing stories and situations where you appear as the professional loser in order to indirectly manipulate people into giving you attention and help. If you do this, you will suffer some loss. You will have to give up your story that you are such a sad-sack loser.

I am, however, being optimistic when I make these suggestions. More realistically, people who live with functional dysfunction (such as functional alcoholics) do not give up their dysfunction until they hit rock bottom, and the depth of everyone’s bottom is different. It is hard to hit rock bottom, when instead you can just move on and hit up another new helper with your stories of being a woeful loser.

Thankfully, I have seen this stereotype even among the students who study with my own teacher, and over 35 years the only changes I observed happening was that they (finally) accepted that no matter how good things are for them, their life will simply remain a disappointment and is never going to make them truly happy. I say thankfully, because if I had not been exposed to this personality type I might have exhausted myself trying to help them too. It taught me to accept that if all my own teacher could bring to this personality type was some peace and acceptance of their life, and the acceptance that some people can only be happy by being sad, being a loser (in their mind), that might be as good as it was going to get for them in this life.

Playing the victim is a toxic waste of time that not only repels other people, but also robs the victim of ever knowing true happiness ~ Bronnie Ware

The old saying comes to mind, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make her take a drink. You cannot force people to want to heal. Sometimes even dramatic life circumstances cannot break through such a barrier. We are here to do our own work as a soul living this human experience we have set up for ourselves. Perhaps some people come here to experience prolonged depression, discouragement, self-hatred, defeat, and so on. And although we can diagnose this via childhood experiences, it might be that the soul’s desire is to live a life filled with the emotions and experiences of hopelessness and helplessness. And all the healers and helpers will be challenged in their own work to let this choice be okay.

About The Author: Nonna

Nonna lives in Southern California, and is a professor of psychology and a teacher of psychic development, energy work and meditation, who has recently finished her PhD. She has been a counselor for both humans and animals for thirty years, removing energy blocks through her expertise in the spiritual arts. She also has numerous years of study and practice with classic psychological therapeutic models, family work, twelve-step processes, nutritional and body/mind/spirit healing, complementary, alternative, and quantum medicine. Nonna is brilliant at unearthing the gems in every client's soul and polishing them to a fine finish. To release your own soul's sparkle, contact Nonna at

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