The False Exaggeration of the Victim



We would struggle without those twin helpers of exaggeration and embellishment as we make our mediocre achievements impressive and our decent accomplishments spectacular. Good for all occasions, a healthy and liberal sprinkling of exaggeration makes us far more appealing and alluring. Embellishing what I have done ensures I look far better than you and means that I remain the superior individual. Like salt and pepper at meal times, exaggeration and embellishment are never far from our kind. We make everything bigger, better, bolder, brighter and more brilliant. We love to magnify and multiply in order to convey just how great we are, yet, generous souls that our kind are it would not be fair if we did not allow you an opportunity to be seen to exaggerate and embellish, to make a mountain out of a mole hill and blow things out of proportion. Of course, when we provide this opportunity to you, it has none of the self-aggrandizing effects of our behaviour for ourselves but it used as an opportunity to make you see hysterical, unreliable and someone who is trying to pin the blame on us unfairly. We use exaggeration to inflate what we are but also as a means of attacking you. Here are twenty examples of using exaggeration and embellishment to undermine you.

  1. You are hypersensitive
  2. You are over-thinking what has happened
  3. You read too much into what I say
  4. You are paranoid
  5. You are seeing things which are not there
  6. You are making that up
  7. You have to be melodramatic don’t you?
  8. You aren’t that ill really.
  9. You are over-reacting.
  10. You are making a fuss over nothing.
  11. You have lost your sense of perspective.
  12. You take things too far at times
  13. You are going over the top with this now
  14. You press the panic button too soon
  15. You are making something out of nothing
  16. You are responding in a disproportionate manner
  17. You are getting over excited about this
  18. You are losing your sense of proportion
  19. You are putting two and two together and making eight
  20. You are jumping to conclusions


When you hear these comments being made by us, you should become aware that we are using such a comment to deflect what you are saying by trying to trivialise it by suggesting you are exaggerating its effect or importance. The use of phrases such as these are stock tells by us that you have landed a blow against us and we need to reduce its impact promptly. The easiest way to do this is to not only diminish the import of what you have said but then to make you question your own behaviour by making the conversation about you, rather than us. This will also provoke you by frustrating you. You are being denied the opportunity to advance your agenda and this will increase your emotional response. This not only gives us fuel, it also means that you lose sight of your point as you are derailed by conducting the discussion in a logical fashion as you are pushed by us into the territory of emotion. Once emotion has taken hold of your thinking we are far abler to exploit this to our advantage. Recognise these comments and understand their significance when you are engaging with our kind so you are able to withdraw from or neutralise their effect.

9 thoughts on “The False Exaggeration of the Victim

  1. mollyb5 says:

    HG …that picture is of a man who is a fly fisherman. All the equipment he has on is for fly fishing. They brag about what fly they caught the trout on . Tee hee. I have fly fished and my father in law was a fly fisherman.

  2. wildviolet22 says:

    My lesser victim, during silent treatments, would sometimes throw out a crumb in the form of a vague, cryptic, suicidal sounding text. Then my emotional thinking would take hold, and I’d start to get concerned. Then when it became clear that he was fine (with zero concern for the worry he caused), I’d feel like an idiot for falling for it and letting my emotional thinking get the best of me. :/

  3. karmicoverload says:

    Two of my favourites spring to mind here;
    “You are too serious. Didn’t you realise I was joking?”
    “You assumed. Never assume.”

  4. Leigh says:

    I’ve heard so many of these. Here are some other doozies I’ve heard:

    “You’re making a mountain out of a molehill”

    “You always do this. You always think the worst. You’re you just projecting what you think, when it’s not the case at all”

    And my all time favorite (I thought this one was extremely telling):
    “Your reality doesn’t match my perspective.”

  5. Bibi says:

    The UMR at my job has make similar comments to me. He has been horrible at work as of late–even though he has not been present due to the virus. They implemented this new process that has made the job horrible–much more tedious and more work, causing multiple problems across multiple depts. Most everyone wants to quit.

    He is more concerned with his ego and not being wrong, so he is defending this process regardless of the fight back and evidence of all the problems, not to mention all the money and resources it is costing the company. Why he has been given this power? Some supervisors are now seeing the problem with him.

    He would dismiss our concerns, ‘They just don’t like change.’ He used to make remarks like that towards me, once when I insisted that his group perform a certain task due to logistical concerns, he then said to me, ‘You got your way. Your complaining paid off.’

    I reacted nonchalantly. ‘Oh, good to hear,’ I said.

    My other coworker, who had always been protective of me and disliked the UMR, got angry at me for not fighting back.

    ‘Why did you let him speak to you like that?’

    I informed other coworker that I did not want to fuel the UMR and nor fall prey to his provoking. I never know what to really do in this instance. On one hand, ‘fighting back’ gives fuel but then being nonchalant makes it seem like you’re ok with being put down.

    It also makes him think that I am not smart enough to know he he is trying to get a rise out of me.

    The UMR is resentful that his life ended up mediocre. He wants to be important and the guy you see on NOVA giving lectures with cameras all around him, but instead he is only working at a small company. For me, a job is just a job–I don’t let it define me, as I have many outside intellectual and creative pursuits.

    But he is defined by his job b/c he has no creative means outside his work, and nor does he have any means of ‘making a difference’ in the world on his own. Thus, he gets his ego too attached to something b/c he fears admitting failure, and then downplays our problems, etc.

    1. Violetta says:

      “They implemented this new process that has made the job horrible–much more tedious and more work, causing multiple problems across multiple depts”

      Sounds like FU’s IT dept.

    2. truthseeker6157 says:

      How about?

      “You got your way. Your complaining paid off.”
      “Oh I wouldn’t say that necessarily. Your boss just felt mine was the more intelligent approach.”
      Two pronged response. Your boss makes the decisions not you. You are less intelligent than me. To everyone else, a fair comment, to him, double punch.
      Can’t stand little Hitlers. Is his name Nigel? Most little Hitlers are called Nigel.

      Bad Truthseeker, bad bad.

    3. lisk says:

      “It also makes him think that I am not smart enough to know he he is trying to get a rise out of me.”

      That’s a perfect—let him think you’re not smart enough to be onto him. This actually makes it possible for him to fail and fall.

      When you’re stuck with a narc at work, the best thing to do is not let them know that you know—until either you get out or he gets out.

  6. Leela says:

    Oh yeah! Bring it on, the Gaslighting! “You are over-reacting” – my favorite! Heard that so many times and the “you´re too sensitive” and the “you´re reading too much into the situation” plus “You´re acting so irrationally”.

    Seriously, guys: NOBODY who respects their partner, would say such things to them! Loving and respecting partners bring good arguments, show empathy and respect your feelings. Somebody who says things like that gives a sh….. on your feelings and doesn´t respect you. 🙁

Vent Your Spleen! (Please see the Rules in Formal Info)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.