Fiverr Forum

Playing the victim


This is a general sharing of a topic probably not well suited to fiverr, although for some sellers it might be good to know. I will leave it to the moderators if they want to delete this topic. It is actually better suited to those in the customer support team, to be aware of this.

Have you ever noticed someone you know who is always putting little things into their chat about how something in their life is making them unhappy? Or they need your help, not just once but all the time with something?

Some people always are seeking help from others with things they can’t do for themselves or won’t do for themselves. Or they always have someone who is doing something they don’t like, something where they feel like a victim of someone else’s abuse or negativity in some way.

You may find you are always giving a friend a ride somewhere or loaning them money or helping them in various ways. Or you just might realize there is an element of pity in how you think of someone. Did they deliberately plant this pity feeling in you? Ask yourself this.

These people go through life and every relationship, every interaction, by playing on other’s sympathy, often in very subtle ways. They can even manipulate sellers sometimes in this way.

When these people talk there will be a statement that means they are a good person, followed by a statement calculated to make you feel sorry for them, with a strategic transition from positive to negative, that is subtle and calculated.

Some of us are more open to getting this kind of manipulation than others so if you are someone who is of a very sympathetic nature, it’s something to be aware of. This can be extremely subtle.

That’s why one of my red flags with new potential buyers is when they start by telling me how much they have been scammed. Any time you meet a new person who starts off by telling you how they have been victimized or treated badly by someone should put you on alert.

Watch out with potential love interests also who quickly talk badly about previous relationships


I got a buyer like this last month. 4 paragraphs about how fiverr has been terrible to them so far, full of traumatic experiences and opportunists and scammers and so on. All that after placing the order with me, mind you.

I told them I wasn’t responsible for their past experiences and that contacting a seller PRIOR to placing the order to make sure they were a right fit for the project would be a proper, productive way to go about it.

It ended up being a 5* project but I’d decline to engage immediately if I was contacted before the order was placed. Extra drama and prior unrelated negative experiences with sellers that are not my responsibility and I fail to see how it’s supposed to interest or motivate me.


I’m glad it turned out ok for you. I find it strange when this happens, and feel this person is out for sympathy, and also is very angry. I’m always thinking that somehow this will be transferred to me.


Have you read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? In one of the later books there are these creatures that are enveloped by a “SEP field,” also known as “Somebody Else’s Problem field.” So you couldn’t see these creatures because… well, to you, they were somebody else’s problem.

In business, I’ve had the SEP philosophy for more than a decade, and it’s always worked great. Especially since I used to work in an industry that was teeming with crooks and phonies. Other people’s problems are other people’s problems, and business is business. If something doesn’t benefit me from a business standpoint (in the present, down the line, in the form of reputation or word of mouth), it is invisible to me, and the answer will be “no.” A very empathetic ‘no’ - even an apologetic ‘no’ -, but still a ‘no’.

This does not carry to personal relationships though, and I’m not really one to be giving advice on that particular field.


It sounds like another way of saying having boundaries for what you will allow.
What I was describing is only a problem for some people who are prone to being sympathetic.

Playing the victim is used regularly by some who are routinely manipulative.


Not only in real life but greatly here too. Probably 95% of the topics here are “Need help. You assist me!” Some people even go the way to add not only one but a couple of exclamation points like “I need to make sales, tell how now!!!” While the askers do know that we’re not getting paid and we’re not Fiverr Staff. We’re not getting paid here to post advice. We do it at our own convenience.

I mean, maybe it’s only me but I post threads about serious issues. To post a topic about “Help me with sales” is underneath my dignity. I don’t understand it.

No one is obligated to help strangers. The sellers themselves have to help themselves. Seller asking for help from another seller, ‘kay. And who will help the seller, who gives advice to other sellers? Will other sellers help him with advice, when they can not even help themselves?

I expect a lot of triggered people to flag your post, and mine, and similar posts to my own.


I’ve realized recently, because I’ve never really thought about it before and have been watching videos on youtube about narcissists, that some people go through life making it a habit with almost everyone they meet to manipulate them in usually very subtle ways to get help from them.

Some people, probably most, have boundaries that immediately block these people from being able to manipulate them, while others are overly sympathetic and become targets.

I give credit for this revelation to my work with so many different people and noticing a certain pattern that has happened with a few people. I’m not saying this is common at all, but when you come across someone like this it can have a bad effect in ways you never anticipated. If someone is practiced at always playing the victim, and you aren’t aware of what’s going on, you can actually be victimized in some ways.

It’s different from just being naive. It’s not knowing to have a boundary and an alert system when someone is always complaining in a way that stands out.

Yes I agree it’s strange to me too when some ask for help with getting sales in a demanding way. I’m not sure what’s going on there aside from being lost on a site like this about what to do.


The interesting thing is, some psychology I learnt, most of them don’t even realize it. It’s their subconscious taking over their conscious behavior – taught from their parents from the early age on. Arrogant parents make children arrogant – an extension of themselves. From the little things like throwing your trash from a moving vehicle, to people cutting in front of other people in the queue.

So they keep going, knowing that’s the normal way to do. To be “in front” of people in order to make it in life. While this is not necessarily untrue, it doesn’t work everywhere. It’s not an universal law.


Yes there is a very competitive mindset to this where envy can be heavily involved, contempt, feeling insecure in a very deep way, a range of negative emotions to be able to do this. And it’s from a very early age, not something someone decides one day to do.


“Give me a child for the first seven years and I shall give ye a man.”


Brilliant post. I learned long ago that sympathy doesn’t get sales. Nobody buys to help you out, they buy to help themselves.

If you go to a job interview begging for the job, you won’t get it. That’s also the same reason it’s easier to find another job when you’re employed than when you’re unemployed. Same reason a lot of people will say they’re freelancing, which sounds better than “I’m unemployed.”

Helping people is OK when it benefits you in some way. Loaning money is fine if they pay you back, and you must insist that they do, otherwise you’re being abused and that’s a friendship that needs to end.

The important thing is not being tricked. Some people pretend they’re helpless, they want you to pay for everything because they’re too lazy or too stingy to pay for their own things.

Either way, every human relationship is a trade, and ever trader has to know when the trade is good or rotten. You wouldn’t pay for spoiled food, so why pay for someone that never gives anything in return?


There can be any kind of relationship where it evolves into one person doing the giving and one always doing the taking, while contributing little.


I’ve always joked that a good gold digger has to respect the mine, take care of the mine, care for the mine, or the mine will run dry or worst, fall in top of them. If a relationship doesn’t make me stronger, better, happier, then I’m better off alone.


It can be a hard thing to leave someone you love even if it’s making you unhappy or you know something is wrong. There are lots of fantastic youtube videos on narcissists which is a very common thing. I’ve learned a lot from them lately, that explain bad behavior I’ve noticed before. Some people have very strong barriers that quickly block someone when something is wrong, and others get curious about them. In this case curiosity can be a dangerous thing.


It can be a hard thing to leave someone you love even if it’s making you unhappy or you know something is wrong. There are lots of fantastic youtube videos on narcissists which is a very common thing. I’ve learned a lot from them lately, that explain bad behavior I’ve noticed before. Some people have very strong barriers that quickly block someone when something is wrong, and others get curious about them. In this case curiosity can be a dangerous thing.

My father is a classic narcissist, so having 28 years of experience with one has really put me on high alert when it comes to new relationships (social and working alike). For the sake of my time and my sanity, I’m quick to flag things and do my best to keep that kind of negativity out of my life. I can’t say I’m 100% accurate all the time, but I feel it’s better to be safe than sorry.

That’s not to say I am suspicious of every person I speak with, but I’m familiar with most tell-tale signs. I feel like I have a good filter.


When someone you just met has a long-winded running monologue about themselves, and ignores you if you make the mistake of thinking it’s a mutual conversation, that’s a red flag. :smile: The victim role is another. It’s a manipulative ploy. That one can be hard to recognize sometimes.


We’re not paid enough here to be people’s personal counsellor/psychologist/psychiatrist, that’s for sure!