I recently had an encounter with someone who plays the victim. I've met a lot of those in life. It occurred to me that people do this because no one expects anything of a victim.
"You poor dear - lie down and rest."
Initially after a traumatic event, being numb and working to recover from the event robs us of our normal productivity. That's normal.
Carrying it beyond that point and refusing to get back into the swing of life is incomprehensible to me.
Think about a person you know who, when you see him, immediately utters how life burdens him. Down in the mouth about people and life and circumstances... we drop our expectations of that person right away. Don't want to burden them further.
It's laziness, and I call bullshit on it.
It used to be that we looked down on the person who required welfare from others because they couldn't hold themselves up. Self-sustaining was a requirement. "Productive member of society" - a phrase you seldom hear any more.
Playing the victim is a form of social welfare.
If there is an unsigned "social contract," it's not to give what we have away to others who are less fortunate. Everyone in life, at some point, suffers poor fortune. Life has twists and turns. Lord, I've had my share. But no matter how often you wind up in the dirt, you get back up, dust off, and smile forward.
The unspoken social contract, if it exists, is to hold ourselves up to the best of our ability. It's not the job of others to hold me up, or for me to hold up others.
We owe it to others to be our best. We owe it to ourselves. The more we operate that way, the less likely we are to ever be a victim, or give ourselves the opportunity to play one.