Our expert says:
Yes, some people become wholly absorbed in a lifetime career of being a Victim, to an extent that makes it hard to help them ( to become anything other than a victim would need them to change the habits of a lifetime !) and hard to bear them at times. It is very difficult to handle this. Some skilled shrinks care able, eg by using CBT methods, to move such a person towards a more positive approach to life, but even with skill and training, this is hard to do, especially as the person is likely to resist progress.
One may have to try to set limits on one's exposure to such practised misery --- ask them, as you're leaving to slect one of the many things they're miserable about, about which they could do something to improve it --- and ask them to call you when they have managed to change that, or any other of their grievances, for the better. Then one would visit with praise and support for the changes made ; and look much less interested and more unenthusiastic, when she returns to harp on her unchanged grievances.
And explore whether she can't get much more involved in activities of various sorts, including, if possible, getting her involved in helping others, which is both useful in itself, and can serve as a valuable reminder that she hasn't the worst problems in the world, and isn't the only person with problems.
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