I am wrapping up this series today for the past two weeks I have been discussing martyr complex  if you missed out on any of the series you can click on the links below :

Why do you enjoy the pain of being used (Martyr Complex) part 1

Why do you enjoy the pain of being used (Martyr Complex) part 2


(1)Know when to say No: what I mean here is learn how to set healthy boundaries… if you do not feel like doing something… Let people down in a polite manner they will respect you for it because you stood up for yourself…. Stop people pleasing… people will only walk all over you and you end up being very resentful and bitter.


(2)Talk:  People with a martyr complex often expect – on some level – that others will recognize their so-called self-sacrificing and either return the favour or lavish them with praise. Martyrs seem to think they do everything for everyone else and get nothing in return. Speak up! It’s your responsibility to say what’s on your mind. If you have a request, make it; don’t just expect it.

Typical examples you have a friend each time you go out he or she never offers to pay…  you are the one always picking the tap and she/he never shows appreciation and you are not comfortable with it…

In your office you never take time off, always trying to be the martyr, hoping your boss or manager will appreciate and value you more but it does not seem to happen… working long hours, taking work home … you need to communicate with your supervisor or boss during appraisal time and let them know how you feel.  I will also implore you to take note of work life balance while trying to play the martyr at work……

(3)Accept responsibility: stop blaming others all the time on how they are taking advantage of your kindness or sacrifice, sit back and look at the big picture, ask yourself these questions, what part am I playing,  am I part of the problem all the solution, am I  the one always doing the giving?  Note relationships should be give and take (symbiotic).

Typical example: Being in an abusive relationship or dating the same toxic people …. Sometimes we recreate these situations because this is what we are familiar with, we are scared of change… we find it difficult to walk out of the situation. We see red flags and still continue to be with this person… we notice some behaviour that irritates us and we shove it under the carpet without addressing it. We also bail out our partners most time without given them the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions…  Being the giver all the time rids our partner of the opportunity of being a giver

Challenge your belief system: your belief system has a major contribution towards your outlook in life… when you see yourself being a martyr or trying to please everyone while it is hurting you… stop! Reflect! Ask yourself these questions … why am I doing this? Am I doing it with all my heart? Am I being resentful? Am I trying to be a perfectionist so I can enter paradise when I’m dead?  Am I trying to be a Good Samaritan to others while hurting myself… Most of your answers will probably sound like “Because I want…” or “Because I believe I should… because the holy book says, because my pastor says, because I do not want to change the status quo ….. Etc.

(5) Love yourself !!!!!!:  yes  I shout this from the rooftops most personality flaws stems from self-esteem issues …  Give yourself permission to do some self-care by making time for yourself every day, read a book, watch a movie, have a nice bubble bath, pedicure, a nice walk, hang out with people you love, exercise, eat healthy, buy yourself that lovely gadget shoe or dress you have been eyeing and do not feel guilty about it, meditate, write in a journal (self-reflection) These are ways of showing yourself some love because these activities serve to replenish you in one way or another. Making self-care a priority will recharge your batteries and help you to have more energy when dealing with others and in general.  Always remember you are your own best friend.

(6)Stop expecting reward for your sacrifice: this might be part of our culture or belief system that if we suffer for our partner, our kids, our work and so on there is some kind of reward that will come… So in other words we are living in the future or a past where a reward of some sort happened to us when we made a huge sacrifice and suffered so we should ask ourselves some hard questions …. Does it make us feel valued, irreplaceable or respected? Is it a feeling of nobility? Feeling a hero?  Analyse what we gain each time we act the martyr.

(7)Stop holding on to your sufferings:A feeling of unworthiness, fear of change, fear of conflict, inability to see options or alternatives, stubbornness, or a belief that life has to be difficult. These beliefs can then lead to resentment, anger or depression. Letting go of suffering is like going to the toilet to take a pee when your body feels like it… when you feel these feelings  always say this mantra “ I am not what I feel, I am bigger than this, this feeling will pass”

(8) Stop bad parenting: I mentioned last week or my previous article that one of the causes of Martyr Complex is where a parent sacrifices a lot in a marriage or relationship like abuse physical or verbal and as children we witnessed it… so we end up copying such behaviour subconsciously thinking it is the right reaction and hence continue the cycle of bad parenting…our kids seeing this are also not immuned from repeating the same behaviour so we should be aware of what messages we are sending out to our kids…

Mothers!  Fathers! stop making your kids feel guilty when they decide to assert their independence by playing the make them feel guilty card labelled: ”After all I have done for you”… They have their own lives to live…

Parents stop covering your children’s mistake by being a martyr, allow them to make their own mistakes and learn from them so they grow into responsible adults…

Food for thought

Stop trying to be the martyr all the time and take care of yourself …

Till next time