Why Some People Need Villains In Their Life

By Paul Joiner

Some people need villains in their life.


They thrive on them.


And if there really isn’t a villain out to get them, they will create one.




Some people thrive on emotional opposition. And even though they may say otherwise, they enjoy a fight.


Villains provide them with energy for the day they might not be able to muster otherwise. A day without a battle is a day without much to claim, conquer, or talk about.


Quiet, productive, and uncomplicated days demand no hero in the story, so adding a villain is a great plot twist. Now the day’s story becomes dramatic and requires they stand up to the villain and address the battle . . . even if there was not one brewing.


So why would anyone create drama in their life when there is not any?


I believe many people are addicted to the rush it gives them emotionally. I call it the Victim, Martyr, Hero Cycle, and it’s quite addictive. They look to find a villain--one who says or does something that sets the drama in motion. Once in motion, now a  lackluster day becomes one they can turn into something more melodramatic where they are the star, or hero. They cycle through this emotional three-stage pattern throughout the day: As a Victim, they receive sympathy from others. As a Martyr, they solicit praise from others. And as a Hero, they gain respect from others.


Or so they think.


Though some are addicted to this cycle, all of us can use this emotional control system if we are not careful.


A perfectly peaceful day can be thwarted by the Victim, Martyr, Hero Cycle when we need personal attention. It is a great way to insert ourselves into a day, process, event, or win that hasn’t much to do with us.


So when we look to vilify someone, whom do we choose? Here is a list of the usual suspects:

  • People we view as our competition.
  • People we can’t easily impress.
  • People who voice a different opinion.
  • People with an opposing view on an issue.
  • People who don’t acknowledge our agenda.
  • People we cannot control.
  • People who speak truth when we don’t want to hear it.


Any, and all, of these people provide a villain for our day, even if their “crime” was not directly meant to hurt us. Sometimes the perpetrators we choose are just doing their job, speaking honestly, asking for clarification, expressing their personality, or, in most cases, oblivious that we would even take offense to the degree we have.


Here’s the challenge before you.


You don’t need villains in your life so you can save the day.


A trumped up hero is not impressive at all. So watch out for the Victim, Martyr, Hero Cycle that might control your day.


Let your accomplishments and the integrity of your character carry you gloriously through each day and make you a star. Each day is not all about you, but you can be all about each day, sharing it with others, receiving accolades when merited, listening to the input of those you respect, and focusing on others and the happiness of all!


And in the case a hero is needed, be the hero.

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