To be clear, when i say emo, i’m not necessarily talking about moody teens following a musical fashion, with long fringes and too small tshirts. That’s pretty normal teen behaviour, wanting to be different by dressing exactly the same and writing very bad poetry.
My emos are those who exist to milk your pity, otherwise known as the professional victims.
I am NOT talking about the genuinely depressed.
Here’s a therapist’s account of dealing with professional victims. As she says, “The victim posture is the ultimate self-fulfilling prophecy. By wallowing in the passivity and supposed powerlessness of the victim, one becomes blind to all opportunities and outlooks that do not conform to the supine posture of the victim.
One might call it “self-victimization,” but the point is that it is voluntary.”
I quite often (just by law of averages, not intentionally) read emo blogs or Twitter profiles written by professional victims. I’ve found that emos come in all ages, and that men are just as happy to use misery to manipulate as women are.
There’s a fair number looking for money for nothing, others pretend to sell you something. A pity purchase. Others are hoping for a pity fuck, or even a pity relationship. Many are hoping you will take pity action and donate to them or their cause, or write to the government on their behalf. I even had one saying “buy my book, help me help myself, instead of just handing your money straight to me like i was a charity case.” Um, yeah. But your book is crap.
They may be partnered, or not, the pro victim doesn’t stop whining because they find a partner, (especially if the old partner starts to realise they’ve been suckered, or the new partner is actually an emo too), and they’re happy to move on to a new sucker any time they find one.
Some of them whine on behalf of others “the poor [insert disadvantaged group/animal here] – feel sorry for them!!!!” and some run charities – some even do so without taking a wage and when they’re in need of charity themselves. Even when helping others, they have to be victims. It’s how they get off. It’s what gets those emo juices flowing. Mmmm…. suffering. Woo hoo!
Oops, did emo just lose their home because they weren’t paying attention to real life? No problem, they can write a blog about it, and garner lots of attention. Of course, using their (poor homeless) kids to manipulate your emotions is part of the deal. Münchhausen’s Syndrome, where people deliberately make themselves ill for medical attention, is classic professional victim. Münchhausen’s by Proxy, where they harm their children to get attention, is too.
Emos are addicted to trying to manipulate emotions by exposing their suffering. However, you are not getting the whole story. That they made themselves homeless, ill, or poor, is never mentioned, except to show you how it’s never their fault. A lot of people stay a little wary, thinking there’s something not quite right, but others fall in head-first to the emo trap.
Once someone is sucked in by the pro victim, it’s like the sucker is in love. There is nothing you can do to make them see the truth. Even if you provide documentary evidence that their emo is actually a manipulative piece of pond-life, you will often be accused of lying to discredit the poor victim. Victim is the operative word – they must always be the victim, even when bravely speaking out on behalf of other people suffering in similar ways.
Ever told someone that the person they love is cheating on them? That their self-help guru stole all his/her ideas from Norman Vincent Peale (one of the first ‘self help gurus’)? If you haven’t, let’s just say that hell may have no fury like a woman scorned, but burst someone’s sucker bubble and you’ll find out what real hell is. The suckered may come to hate the one who suckered them, but they’ll hate you more. You will earn the enmity of both people. I know this from real life experience, more than once. It never works out well. For anyone.
I think that secretly, like the cuckolded do, suckers know when they’re being played – the signs are there. However, the suckers deliberately blind themselves to what the pro victim is doing – milking their pity and manipulating their emotions. Eventually, the sucker should come to their senses, usually when they notice something about the pro victim. Emos don’t want healing or practical help. If you leave a sympathetic note on their site, saying how they can get real help in their area, they will delete your post. If they followed your advice, they would have to pull their head out of their arse and stop whining.
The more they whinge, the more people pay attention. Pro victims have their metaphorical (and sometimes actual) hands down their pants over this – it’s better than sex or kink play, because they don’t have to give anything, they just whine and bitch and moan, and everyone pays attention! It’s something for nothing, which is exactly what they’re looking for. If you offer real help, especially the kind where they have to do something for themselves, you’re trying to stop their performance, and that makes you something to be destroyed.
Even if someone physically rescues them, the pro victim will be back in their chosen forum (Twitter, their blog, a chat room, MSN, the cafeteria), inside a week, complaining about how the place they’re in now has weird-coloured walls and they have to clean their own room. Not only that, their rescuer is being mean, because they say the pro victim should stop wallowing in self-pity.
So the emo complains and whinges some more, about how awful their current circumstances are. It’s so good, they may even cut themselves. Someone comes along, says, “Oh, how dreadful, don’t you have anywhere else to go?” And emo has hooked another sucker.
I have this to say to emos…
You want to play the victim? Don’t come to me. I don’t tolerate you in real life, and I won’t online. I’m not interested in being a sucker for you. I’ve been there, done that, and consequently have a low threshold for bullshit. You want to cut yourself? Go ahead, sweetie, and can i help you find the vein so you do it properly? Emos are experts at not harming themselves when they cut – it’s not to kill themselves, it’s purely to get attention and to look tragic.
I knew one (in his 40’s, true emos are all ages), who would drive to the Emergency Department at his local hospital, and park within sight of it – so there would be no risk of him bleeding to death if he slipped with his sterile scalpels. He had dressings too. His mobile phone was right there, charged up, emergency services on speed dial, in case he couldn’t walk the 20m (20 yds) to the door. After a couple of hours in the A&E, getting all the attention he craved, he would come online, asking people if they wanted to see his cuts on webcam. Hysterically, (laugh or cry, your choice), he was on a kink dating site, advertising himself as a dominant male.
The best thing to do with emos – like all attention whores – is deny them the oxygen of attention. Yep, just ignore them. Occasionally remind others that if someone wants to stay miserable, it’s best to leave them that way. You see emos a lot on Twitter – people saying, “So and so was mean to me, everybody hate them on my behalf. i can has mai victimhood nao? kthxbai”
Some people even attract emos. If you feel you should help the helpless, watch out, you might just be on a hiding to nothing, trying to help someone whose idea of heaven is whining about all the reasons no one can help them. It’s very tempting to be mean when they turn on you for daring to say, “Well, happiness is a choice.” It’s not a choice to them, one doesn’t get attention for being happy. What are you, nuts?
That scent in the air is the scent of burning martyr, so a person being mean (or someone an emo can represent to others as being mean), is fodder for the pyre of their victimhood.
Still, sometimes, I just can’t help myself. I snap back.