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By: Scott Barry Kaufman
Published: Jun 29, 2020
Quick: Rate how much you agree with each of these items on a scale of 1 (“not me at all”) to 5 (“this is so me”):
It is important to me that people who hurt me acknowledge that an injustice has been done to me.
I think I am much more conscientious and moral in my relations with other people compared to their treatment of me.
When people who are close to me feel hurt by my actions, it is very important for me to clarify that justice is on my side.
It is very hard for me to stop thinking about the injustice others have done to me.
If you scored high (4 or 5) on all of these items, you may have what psychologists have identified as a “tendency for interpersonal victimhood.”
Social Ambiguity
Social life is full of ambiguity. Dates don’t always respond to your text messages, friends don’t always smile back at you when you smile at them, and strangers sometimes have upset looks on their faces. The question is: How do you interpret these situations? Do you take everything personally or do you consider that it’s more likely that your friend is just having a bad day, your new date is still interested but wants to play it cool, and that the stranger on the street was angry about something and didn’t even notice you were there?
While most people tend to overcome socially ambiguous situations with relative ease—regulating their emotions and acknowledging that social ambiguity is an unavoidable part of social life—some people tend to see themselves as perpetual victims. Rahav Gabay and her colleagues define this tendency for interpersonal victimhood as “an ongoing feeling that the self is a victim, which is generalized across many kinds of relationships. As a result, victimization becomes a central part of the individual’s identity.” Those who have a perpetual victimhood mindset tend to have an “external locus of control”; they believe that one’s life is entirely under the control of forces outside one’s self, such as fate, luck or the mercy of other people.
Based on clinical observations and research, the researchers found that the tendency for interpersonal victimhood consists of four main dimensions: (a) constantly seeking recognition for one’s victimhood, (b) moral elitism, (c) lack of empathy for the pain and suffering of others, and (d) frequently ruminating about past victimization.
It’s important to point out that the researchers do not equate experiencing trauma and victimization with possessing the victimhood mindset. They point out that a victimhood mindset can develop without experiencing severe trauma or victimization. Vice versa, experiencing severe trauma or victimization doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is going to develop a victimhood mindset. Nevertheless, the victimhood mindset and victimization do share certain psychological processes and consequences.
Also, while the four characteristics of the victimhood mindset they identified was conducted at the individual level (on a sample of Jewish Israelis) and don’t necessarily apply to the level of groups, a literature review suggests that there are some striking parallels to the collective level (which I’ll point out below).
With these caveats out of the way, let’s go a bit deeper into the main characteristics of the perpetual victimhood mindset.
The Victimhood Mindset
Constantly seeking recognition of one’s victimhood. Those who score high on this dimension have a perpetual need to have their suffering acknowledged. In general, this is a normal psychological response to trauma. Experiencing trauma tends to “shatter our assumptions” about the world as a just and moral place. Recognition of one’s victimhood is a normal response to trauma and can help reestablish a person’s confidence in their perception of the world as a fair and just place to live.
Also, it is normal for victims to want the perpetrators to take responsibility for their wrongdoing and to express feelings of guilt. Studies conducted on testimonies of patients and therapists have found that validation of the trauma is important for therapeutic recovery from trauma and victimization (see here and here).
A sense of moral elitism. Those who score high on this dimension perceive themselves as having an immaculate morality and view everyone else as being immoral. Moral elitism can be used to control others by accusing others of being immoral, unfair or selfish, while seeing oneself as supremely moral and ethical.
Moral elitism often develops as a defense mechanism against deeply painful emotions and as a way to maintain a positive self-image. As a result, those under distress tend to deny their own aggressiveness and destructive impulses and project them onto others. The “other” is perceived as threatening whereas the self is perceived as persecuted, vulnerable and morally superior.
While splitting the world into those who are “saints” versus those who are “pure evil” may protect oneself from pain and damage to their self-image, it ultimately stunts growth and development and ignores the ability to see the self and the world in all of its complexities.
Lack of empathy for the pain and suffering of others. People scoring high on this dimension are so preoccupied with their own victimhood that they are oblivious to the pain and suffering of others. Research shows that people who have just been wronged or who are reminded of a time when they were wronged feel entitled to behave aggressively and selfishly, ignoring the suffering of others and taking more for themselves while leaving less to others. Emily Zitek and her colleagues suggest that such individuals may feel as though they have suffered enough so they no longer feel obligated to care about the pain and suffering of others. As a result, they pass up opportunities to help those perceived to be in their outgroup.
At the group level, research suggests that increased attention to an in-group’s victimization reduces empathy toward the adversary as well as toward unrelated adversaries. Even just the priming of victimhood has been shown to increase ongoing conflicts, with the priming leading to reduced levels of empathy toward the adversary and people being more willing to accept less collective guilt for current harm. In fact, research on “competitive victimhood” shows that members of groups involved in violent conflicts tend to see their victimization as exclusive and are prone to minimize, belittle or outright deny their adversary’s suffering and pain (see here and here).
A group that is completely preoccupied with its own suffering can develop what psychologists refer to as an “egoism of victimhood,” whereby members are unable to see things from the perspective of the rival group’s perspective, are unable or unwilling to empathize with the suffering of the rival group, and are unwilling to accept any responsibility for harm inflicted by their own group (see here and here).
Frequently ruminating about past victimization. Those scoring high on this dimension constantly ruminate and talk about their interpersonal offenses and their causes and consequences rather than think about or discuss possible solutions. This may consist of expected future offenses of past offenses. Research shows that victims tend to ruminate over their interpersonal offenses and that such rumination decreases the motivation for forgiveness by increasing the drive to seek revenge.
At the group level of analysis, victimized groups tend to frequently ruminate over their traumatic events. For instance, the widespread existence of Holocaust material in Jewish Israeli school curricula, cultural products and political discourse has increased over the years. Although modern-day Jewish Israelis are generally not direct victims of the Holocaust, Israelis are increasingly preoccupied with the Holocaust, dwelling on it and fearing that it could happen again.
Consequences of the Mindset
In an interpersonal conflict, all parties are motivated to maintain a positive moral self-image. As a result, the different parties are likely to create two very different subjective realities. Offenders tend to downplay the severity of the transgression, while victims tend to perceive the offenders’ motivations as arbitrary, senseless, immoral and more severe.
Therefore, the mindset one develops—as a victim or as a perpetrator—has a fundamental effect on the way the situation is perceived and remembered. Gabay and her colleagues identified three main cognitive biases that characterize the tendency for interpersonal victimhood: interpretation, attribution and memory biases. All three of these biases contribute to a lack of a willingness to forgive others for their perceived transgressions.
[..]
Forgiveness
The researchers also found that people with a high tendency for interpersonal victimhood were less willing to forgive others after an offense, expressed an increased desire for revenge rather than mere avoidance, and actually were more likely to behave in a revengeful manner. The researchers argue that one possible explanation for the low avoidant tendencies may be the higher need for recognition among those scoring high in a tendency for interpersonal victimhood. Importantly, this effect was mediated by perspective taking, which was negatively correlated with the tendency for interpersonal victimhood.
[Continued...]
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187days · 59 minutes ago
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Day One Hundred Fifty-Eight
Today was awesome.
It’s the end of Teacher Appreciation Week, so the school was decorated with lots of signs, balloons, and the traditional “walk of fame,” which transforms one of the hallways in the school into a walkway with all our names and notes from our students. There were surprises throughout the day, too: fresh donuts from the local bakery in all the prep rooms, snacks and coffee during prep time, and coupons for a free beverage at one of the local breweries. And, of course, “teacher superlatives” were announced.
I did, in fact, win “most likely to win a rap battle.”
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Heh.
I spent most of the day outside with my APUSGOV students because it was nice weather and we’ve got the outdoor classrooms to utilize, so why not. And we had a state rep from a few towns over join us for a Q&A. He fielded questions about his experiences campaigning and in office, and about issues like gun rights, climate change, jobs, affordable housing, mental health, party polarization, and more. My Block 1 class was the chattier of the two, which is usually the case, but it was a good experience for both classes. The students told me it was interesting to talk to someone who’s in office and also close to their age, and they were happy to do it in-person as opposed to on a screen! 
So that was great. During flex block, I helped one of my ninth graders with a paper, which was also great (the number who didn’t come see me for extra help and didn’t turn the paper in... not great... but I’ll deal with that next week when I see them in class again). And I ended the day on the track in the sun, and nothing is better than that.
Actually, strike that, the fact that I’m writing this entry from my dad’s house because this is full immunity weekend and I’m seeing my family for the first time in months? This is the best thing about today.
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azurite · an hour ago
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im gonna be so sad next semester when i cant get my dirty little hands all over some human kidney cells anymore... im gonna have to do Boring labs for the rest of my undergrad unless i Beg to do individual studies. lemme pls just do some more silly little science.
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shinybrandon · an hour ago
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Red flags someone you know may belong to tcol:
Is in the server
Listens to tk/brandon flowers
Boba lover/caffeine addict
Goblin sleep schedule
Terrible opinions that are also the best
American or European (but not canadian)
Has a pet
Double red flag if the pet is black
Banger selfie game
The War on Units
Insanely talented artists
Gaymers
Feel free to add more
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Tumblr Glitch: So much for your exquisite essay on the presence of archetypes in cartoons about closely knit friends who flow in balance. You'll never see it again.
Me: I should be mad... but it could be better if I try again. Like editing your book to keep it tight.
Tumblr Glitch: Damn you dedicated fandom writers, you have bested me once again with your creativity! Perhaps I will not delete or refuse to post your next hyperfocused infodumping.
(also I am uhh medicated. yellow diamond. I might be weird when I ramble.)
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I promised I would only communicate via gifs in my first post but...
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This is an exception because - you know, we’re in the middle of an apocalypse. Would you like me to use GIFs from any particular movie/show in the future? I will do my best to oblige. 
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I saw a Native (dark?) Academia post and I'm sorry but thats funny to me tchcvcxv Native Academia is this image
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sebyth · 4 hours ago
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Six more face studies from "Word of Honor".
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soldez · 5 hours ago
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yesterday i took adderall and got sidetracked and spent 15 hours drawing without eating or getting up once and i was like wow i finally have a grasp on anatomy i can draw anything i want now but it's just 40 naked sanemis
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dailytechnologynews · 5 hours ago
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AI Makes Near-Perfect DeepFakes in 40 Seconds! And a warning to society about how easy to utilize, this technology has become. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXqLTJFTUGc
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hvvrtfulloflove · 6 hours ago
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So what people in bapo wants is to be seen as who they are, baring their soul and being understood. That is why everyone goes "and you think you know me?", that is why Ivy says "stripped bare beneath all the layers, would you recognize me?", that is why Peter insists on "not hiding anymore," and that is something Jason struggles with because Jason is insecure in who he really is.
This is obviously another catholic theme. At the very beginning, Adam and Eve (aka man and woman) could see each other naked, were free of societal complexities (because society didnt exist and they did not know sin and shame). But when they ate from the tree of knowledge they committed that original sin which resulted in the fall from eden, which in return resulted in the introduction of the notions of pain, labour, shame, an organized social orders where people are prohibited from being themselves freely and openly. fyi that knowledge is very often understood to have a sexual connotation (the tree of knowledge = the knowledge of sex and sexuality). We therefore have to redeem ourselves from that original sin, which would allow us to go back to Eden aka Heaven and once again be free of sin and of being ourselves openly, aka being bare again. the subtitle of the french production was "naked in front of you" which sums it all up p well
In bare a pop opera, there are references to that past where they were free to be who they were and to where they can't go back, before they were aware of sex and sexuality: 1) during Auditions, "remember back when all we needed was beer, when we were freshman and everything was clear" 2) during All grown up, "remember back in 7th grade, endless games of truth or dare" (I think "truth" and "dare" indicates they were able to be more honest and daring in 7th grade than they are now), 3) during Once Upon a time, "I first held your hand and love was not a crime" (there was no crime because there was no sin / they were not aware of sin). They struggle during the entire show to be themselves because they dont know how to deal with society around them.
But in particular the Fall is witnessed in the show, during One, when Jason and Ivy have sex. The first part of the show portrays the fragile balance of Peter and Jason's relationship. It is dysfunctional but it is still working. But then Jason has sex with Ivy and that is the triggering event that puts Peter to his breaking point when he says, "we are irredeemably done now". Their argument during You and I and BKS, Jason physically and emotionally hurting Peter during Ever After did not result in their real break up, but Jason having sex with Ivy, followed up by his lie ("I did not sleep with her"), aka another sin. This is what made Peter act the way he did during Promise. And after Jason's sin, there is an unreachable distance separating him from Peter ("and now you're lost above me" -> he has literally fallen). So the last quarter of the show is Jason engaging in a redemption process (being put through trial with the climatic song "cross" reminiscing of Jesus' trial) and being redempted
Because at the end Jason and Peter end up actually bare in front of each other, "each other standing bare". This sounds obvious but consider this:
By baring their soul to one another they have finally been able to find Heaven once again, they are free of all sin. "Bare" the song is therefore an act of sublimation of both Peter and Jason, aka a moment of purification (purification being one of the definitions of sublimation), this song is the moment they both find Heaven. Which leads to Absolution: "our love was pure and nothing else brought me closer to God".
So two remarks:
1) The tragedic aspect of the show is questionable because it ends on a positive note (both Peter and Jason have reached a heavenly state and if you go into the religious aspect you could say jason ends up in Heaven). This is a drastic amelioration compared to the beginning of the show, where Peter is in Hell. This ambivalence (tragedy / somewhat positive ending) also fits the shakespearian theme because Shakespeare's plays can hardly be put in one genre only. This also fits the message of the show
2) When you ask yourself: who is the hero of bare a pop opera? who goes through a heroic journey of edification? The answer is Peter (who learns to be his own hero), who is also the pov character and also has the I Want song. Peter appears to be the main character of bapo. However, if you ask yourself: who is faced with dilemma? who is put through trials time and time again? who is the shakespearian hero (shakespearian heroes are characterized by their glorious yet flawed character which faces a life threatening dilemma when meeting a deceitful outer world)? The answer is obviously Jason. Peter is the hero of the story, and Jason is the religious, tragic and shakespearian hero.
Last note: you can see Jason struggling to bare his soul because he does not want to think about the future. Even though he pretends to be the rational one ("put away the fairytales"), Jason wants his temporality to be a repetitive, never ending present (flying to "wonderland where never never finds you" everytime he has a problem, saying "all this forever, can't you live for today?"), similar to Nadia who is stuck on that A Quiet Night at Home, Groundhog day-like (cf Spring) loop. Even though Peter seems to be irrealist, he is actually more grounded in reality than Jason because Peter actually cares for the future, for tomorrow ("forward is calling"). So if we see that: the past = Eden; the present = suffering on Earth where you have to be brave enough to let yourself be seen naked; the future = entering back to Eden; then Jason (and Nadia) are the ones who face the deepest personal crisis during the show, which prevents them from the possibility to enter Heaven (at least until Bare for Jason)
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three--rings · 6 hours ago
Is it ok for non-lgbtqa people to use the term Queer? I study literature and we have a whole section called queer studies and we use it in academic term a lot but since some people are offended by it, I never know if I can use it as an umbrella term on a daily basis or not, and I don't really know who to ask either
Yes, absolutely.  The approved academic term is Queer Studies and it’s been that way for decades.  The reason queer is the preferred term to use in an academic context is because it doesn’t impose more specific labels on people from the outside.  Especially when you’re talking interpretation of literature or history or people who often don’t have explicit self-provided labels, it’s presumptive to label someone, for example, gay or lesbian just because there’s some indication of same-sex romance.  They could just as easily be bisexual or pansexual or genderqueer in whatever way.  So queer is the least-imposing term to use that makes the least assumptions about people. 
There’s extensive commentary both on tumblr and on my blog about the problems with the anti-”queer” movement and how recent it is and how much it tends to align with TERF rhetoric and other exclusionists.  TERFs dislike the term specifically because it is so broad and inclusive.
Now I will assume that there are some well-meaning people who have some actual problems with the term queer because it was at some point turned against them (but what term for queer folks hasn’t been?).  If someone asks you not to use a word to refer to them, then absolutely don’t. 
But using the word queer is the result of decades of people, especially bisexual and trans folks, ASKING people to use the word queer so they are included.  Many tumblr people are too young to remember when I was young and everything was Gay and Lesbian this Gay and Lesbian that.  It took a lot of activism to create the term GLBT to specifically include others.  Then it was changed to LGBT because women complained men were being centered.  Then people complained because four identities is still too limiting. 
There’s a part of me who still says GLBT in my head and trips over LGBT every single time, not to mention forgetting to add Q or A or +, and you know, I’m freaking tired.  That’s why I use queer.  It’s a term I know includes me, and it’s fucking easier to say and type.  It’s also a word I’ve literally had yelled at me from passing cars as a slur (okay they probably were talking to my male companion with the long hair, but we were both bi so whatever).
But yunno, what has hurt me the most was never the word a bunch of drunk high school jocks yelled out a car window.  What hurt was being told I wasn’t “gay” enough to be part of the LGBT community.  That I wasn’t a “real” bisexual because I hadn’t dated enough women.  That unless I didn’t have any kind of preference or difference in attraction to men and women, that I couldn’t really call myself bi.  Those are things that were actually said to my face.  Or in my presence, if not directed at me. 
So yeah, unless someone is on the record as saying “this word here is my identity and it’s what you should call me” I ALWAYS default to saying queer because I don’t want my sexuality defined by other people’s criteria and I don’t want to do it to anyone else.  And I think that goes for straight people as well, ESPECIALLY in an academic context. 
You know the James Acaster bit about men saying “he OR SHE!” and how they don’t know the word “they?”  That’s how I feel about people trying to include “gay OR BISEXUAL!”  It’s always an afterthought, an attempt to be inclusive after the fact.  But those people don’t know the word queer, which is inclusive by its nature. 
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