The President’s Martyr Complex

martyrWhile President Obama is adept at portraying himself in a way to give the appearance of a victim and has been suggested by Dr. Keith Ablow ((Is Obama locked in a victim mentality?, to have a victim mentality, his behavior points to something deeper than that. President Obama seeks martyrdom status. Victims and martyrs have different characteristics and these need to be explored to find some answers which would explain the actions of a president who some believe is just making poor choices or is incapable of leading. It is much deeper than that and it could very well be that he is following his plan of action exactly to achieve not what the great majority of Americans want to see happen, but what his martyr mindset compels him to seek.

People who are victimized typically try to remove themselves from the presence of those whom they perceive as being their enemies, but martyrs choose to remain in their situation to achieve a goal they have set for themselves, or that was set for them by someone else. Martyrs use obstinate behavior to belittle their enemies and constantly report about how they are being treated rather than seeking to focus on their own actions which contribute to the problems of which they complain. This is in contrast to victims who do not want to stay in their situation, but try to leave it while not wanting to continually dwell on their past circumstances. Martyrs use their circumstances that they enable to remain the same, or even worsen, so that they can build up supporters for their cause; they will create a crisis and then have a self-fulfilling prophecy that they were meant to suffer persecution at the hands of those whom they want to portray as their enemy. When more people are in disagreement with them, it doesn’t affect them as much because they are convinced of their own righteousness and that they know what is best in spite of any evidence to the contrary. Actually, with more and more people in opposition, instead of questioning their own behavior, they resort to thinking that they are just in a smaller minority of people who fully understand what is needed to be done—it will reinforce them rather than destabilize them.

Through examination of the person with a martyr complex, many times it will found that there were too many responsibilities placed upon them when very young, such as with one absent parent and the other parent over-burdened. With the child being placed in a position to have to sacrifice their own childhood, they usually start acting like a responsible adult – on the surface. It is reinforced to them that they exist to cater to the needs of others and repress their own needs. Because of love and attention being given for suffering, they feel that they can receive love only through suffering in some way while trying to be a savior to others. Love was not provided to them in a manner that was best for them to learn what it really is so they are actually seeking to feel loved through their behavior and cannot understand when their efforts repel others because they feel they know best what others need. Interestingly, for those who do behave as adults with them and are able to see past the exterior facade, the person with this martyr complex will actually become like a child and seek to receive love and guidance from them.

A martyr complex is commonly associated with those who practice asceticism which is common to many different religions, including Christianity. However, in the case of President Obama, there is no evidence of a life of abstinence from worldly pleasures for gaining spiritual benefit. The seeking of suffering and persecution by those who have a martyr complex apart from religious reasons is not for the benefit of others, but to fulfill a psychological need for it themselves with the result being the emotional manipulation of others they seek to control. When they cannot achieve the result they desire, it is never understood other than as being someone’s fault with their own behavior being beyond criticism to themselves. When others are not impressed with their victim-seeking role, they resort to passive-aggressive strategies such as nagging, complaining, whining, and behind the scenes sabotage to achieve their goals and then appear as the savior to others. When that doesn’t work, actively aggressive tactics will then emerge. For their suffering, they seek a reward for it. Providing it to them only enables them to stay like they are and reinforces that pattern of behavior.

The current border crisis has provided yet another opportunity for President Obama to attempt to strike out on his own while not allowing solutions for this manufactured crisis. Consistent with his martyr complex, he will predictably not allow for any solutions other than ones he devises and implements, in spite of warnings not to do so, to intentionally provoke more calls for his impeachment. If his actions do not result in him being able to appear to his faithful followers as being persecuted so that they would rally to his support, then his actions are going to get even more bold and provocative in nature. These are not the actions of a victim mentality, but of someone with martyr complex. Understanding this is a key to other leaders being able to understand how to be able to more effectively govern in conjunction with someone of this mindset, which will be fraught with difficulties even in the best circumstances.


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