The BAWLS Model: Victim Behavior

Victim Behaviors—What NOT to do—The BAWLS Model


What are the characteristic harmful, destructive ways people tend to behave when under the stress and pain of values violations?


Victim behaviors are those behaviors that are almost always destructive and harmful. BAWLS stands for Blaming, Avoiding, Whining, Labeling negatively and Sarcasm. Victims are those people who are harmed by these behaviors. While aggressive blaming behavior harms those to whom it is directed in the short term, the reactions to such behaviors eventually harm the aggressors too, who become victims of others' reactions as well as the aggressive act itself. That's why blaming is called a victim behavior.

What NOT to do:

What victim behaviors have in common:

All the victim behaviors have a number of elements present and conditions in common. When we or others engage in victim behaviors:

What to do: