6 thoughts on “The Martyr Complex: How to Stop Feeling Like a Victim and Create Healthy Relationships

  • October 16, 2016 at 7:18 am

    Your use of the word “choose” to describe the state of the victim is problematic, especially since a few paragraphs later you write that Sam “learned” his response from his mother’s manipulations. People are conditioned to these responses, and choice about them only comes after much work and increased self awareness.

  • October 17, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    I love your writing the most!

      • February 11, 2020 at 11:04 am

        What issue does Sam’s Mother struggle with?
        What complex/ personality issue causes her to make it about herself?
        I behave similarly and I want to learn more about why


  • July 14, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    I was 12 years old when my 5 year old sister was hit by a car and killed right in front of me. My parents sent me away, did not listen to what happened (I tried to reach for her, endangering myself, it was not my fault. We lived on “killer peak” where many people had been killed at that crossing on the 4 lane highway. I did not know this then). My parents sent me away. I have martyr complex now, is there hope for me.

    • October 15, 2019 at 12:46 pm

      Hi Martha,

      I’m not sure if you will receive this reply now, as it was July when you wrote on here. I discovered your response as I was looking into Martyrdom, as I feel it is something I have been experiencing due to my own life experiences, which is compounded by the fact that I’m empathetic. I can empathise with the trauma you will have endured and I feel what would have felt like a double trauma. Not only PTSD, but also the responsibility you will have felt, brought on by the response of your parents, it was never ever your fault. Have you managed to rebuild your relationship with your parents?

      Our early life experiences shape who we become, but it doesn’t mean we are powerless, and we can’t educate our minds to undo the damage. I feel I handed over my power in my experiences, and you take on that role of ‘Martyr’ not because you want to deep down, but because it was learned/was an immediate response to the traumatic event.

      I hope to hear from you.


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