THE VICTIMHOOD MINDSET
A sense of moral elitism: 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. 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.
Lack of empathy: 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. A group that is completely preoccupied with its own suffering can develop what psychologists refer to as an “egoism of victimhood,” whereby members...
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