5 Ways to Escape Your Victim Mentality
A victim mentality is one in which someone blames others for what happens or has happened in their world. A victim mentality probably also affects a person who thinks the future only holds bad things for them or they are unlucky. Victim mentality is buying into and believing that circumstances are beyond your control.
Sometimes, we all fall into the victim mindset when things don’t go our way. After a distressing event, or due to childhood woes, you may come to believe that you are destined to struggle, have bad luck, or be held captive by your own limiting beliefs. For example, from the time John was a little boy, he learned that bad luck ran in his family. His father was always having difficulty with the supervisors at his job, never got promotions; nothing was ever fair in his eyes.
When John became a young man, he too began to take on this persona. Bad grades were due to him not being smart enough or it was the teacher's fault for not teaching properly. When money problems became an issue, it was that John was “unlucky” or that his parents should have taught him how to save money, not that he was frivolously spending. John was always the victim of circumstances, and told himself so. He gave up on changing his perception, and thus became his way of interacting with the world around him, leading to relationship problems and issues with co-workers.
Victim Mentality and Being Always the Victim
The victim mentality affects those around us, as well as our relationship with ourselves; it is not productive, nor positive. This way of thinking did not just happen overnight, rather it served a purpose for you at one time. There is real value in believing this is who you are, as it keeps you safe from expecting more from others or getting hurt (you can't be hurt if you are expecting to be hurt). People tend to help you more when you have learned to be helpless to some degree.
With a victim mindset, you feel less control over yourself. It takes personal responsibility off of you. However, the reason it is ineffective is that over time, it keeps you from living a life worth living, or your best life. You are always the victim; you are less likely to take chances, change your circumstances, and continue living in toxic patterns that are not conducive to building a happy life, a fulfilling life.
“How would your life be different if . . . You stopped validating your victim mentality? Let today be the day . . . You shake off yourself defeating drama and embrace your innate ability to recover and achieve.”~ Steve Maraboli
5 Ways to Change Your Victim Mentality
1. Take Inventory
Are there situations and circumstances that you have been blaming others for? Ones that you can honestly say you had a part in? Even if you had the slightest part of this experience, taking note that you were part of it, can give you the freedom to learn from this and move forward. It may be difficult to do, but is very valuable in building a new lens on life.
2. Acknowledge Need for Greater Personal Responsibility
Many of the reasons for playing the role of victim are due it being reinforced by others. Receiving pity from others may not seem like a positive experience, but in essence that’s what we are doing when we don’t take personal responsibility. Instead, we try to get others to feel pain for us or with us. Make a list of some of the areas in your life you would like to take more control over, then problem-solve.
3. Validate Your Feelings, Accept What Happened and Move Forward
Chances are you are holding on to negative feelings towards someone or something that put you in this role. Give yourself some validation. Yes, people did hurt you. Now, with this, also accept that this is not happening now. Rather, it happened in the past. When you can learn to forgive and move forward, the less of a burden this is for you. If needed, seek out support for this with the help of a therapist or coach.
4. Create a New Story
Focusing on the old story isn’t serving you. It may in the short term, but telling yourself a new story where you are actively problem solving and taking on more personal responsibility will help you to get past the victim shadow.
5. Show Gratitude
Rather than focusing on what you don’t have or what happened that has kept you locked into this role, look at everything you do have. Take a moment to see what you have learned about yourself from these experiences. Ask yourself what beautiful outcomes have been created by past situations that may not have appeared to be in your best interest, but have created the you that you are today.
Be the Healthy New You
Although these negative thinking patterns are hard to break, just taking a small step towards a new path can really help to increase your mood and your positive energy. The victim mentality can be felt by others. Try to take control and gain power. You often attract the same situations and people in your life because it’s too hard to change within yourself. It doesn’t have to be this way. Just by reading this article and accepting that there areas in your life that need improvement is one step in the right direction.
Emily is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are.You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.
LPC, E. (2012, October 31). 5 Ways to Escape Your Victim Mentality, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2012/11/5-ways-to-escape-your-victim-mentality
Author: Emily Roberts MA, LPC
A guy raped me... It was my fault
My partner cheated on me and then left me.. It is ok.. she has the right to do what she thinks is right for her
I want to date someone while she is dating someone else... that's wrong
People insult me... that is my fault
I insult people ... that's my fault too
It seems that when people mistreat me it is my fault, it is their right, but if I want to do the exact same thing to someone else, it is also my fault
It seems to me that I'm not only responsible for my actions but for other people actions too???
So sorry to hear about your experience. This blog isn't intended to take away or invalidate anyone's personal experience, there are several blogs on here that help for specific situations in which one feels powerless. It certainly isn't blaming you or anyone for experiences that occured, it's here to help you feel empowered in situations you find yourself stuck in a mindset that you can't quite break, say not speaking up for what you want with a friend or blaming others for not calling you back so now you have no one to hang out with. There are several other posts on this blog that offer ways to feel empowered and I hope that I can help you find one that resonates with you. Message me and I will be happy to help :) Thank you for your comment -Emily
So it may sound wierd for you but the things happened to you are because you were bullied, I suppose.
I would like to talk to you and tell you more in detail what maybe the cause and hoping that we can help each other out.
I would appreciate if you let me a reply.
I'm struggling with victim mentality and quitter mentality. When I think I have overcome, it always comes sneaking back without me noticing...
Think I'll hang this 5 ways on my wall to remind me to not blame others and take responsibility of my own life.
Take Good Care, Emily
Take Good Care,
I have stuggled for over forty years to get over the extreme bullying I was subjected to. I have tried all the teqniques.
I try to fight it but in the end it always wins.
The bible is right. The day of your death is better than your birth.
That is victim blaming. That is telling me I wasn't strong enough to endure their bullying and it's my fault I wasn't strong enough and I need to get out of that victim mentality so they don't have to pay for my treatment
Republicans This is where I have heard the term "victim mentality' in this context. It was when Republicans accused me of not taking personal responsibility for my mental illness and not moving on from the extreme bullying I went though when I already had a neurological disorder that made functioning very difficult, and this is why I was targeted.
As a result of the bullying I became schizophrenic and started hearing voices at 12. Yet I am looked down upon by bullying republican types who just don't want to pay for my treatment with their tax dollars and so they criticize me for having a victim mentality, want me to cut it out, lift myself up by my bootstraps and cure myself and also overcome the neurological disability I was born with.
Of course THEY feel like victims too. They think we are robbing and stealing from them and they think we are why they can't retire or we are why they have to work so hard or ...you know what I am saying. They blame us disabled people.
take tax money from them? I pay for insurance and my meds are through the roof. I also pay for them. Does "c" want to see those however many with mental illness not having good care ie meds. Mental illness crosses all lines age, rich, poor, creeds, beliefs, nationalities. Woman, men gay straight. Do you want to live in a world where these people don't get these meds. Do you have any idea how many drug addicts are self medicating. I know of one person 35 years a crack addict and is so happy to have her Thorazine for the last 5 years. No more drugs. Would you want to cut off support for people with cancer, heart disease. Well I want you to know mental illness is an orphan disease, just get the med cocktail right until it works a little, and that's it. It effects our entire lives, every word, every thought every second of every day. Forever.
Fast forward a year ... the very close friend who told me I had a victim mentality admitted that she had in fact destroyed an important professional opportunity for me, then lied about her actions and falsely claimed another friend of ours was at fault. She additionally told me the other friend had lied in order to falsely place the blame on her.
Jesus. What an evil bitch. Glad she's out of my life.
Anyway, I think about this whenever I hear someone being accused of having a victim mentality. Is the accuser in fact the victimizer?
Bully Mentality- I will never take personal responsibility for my hurtful actions to others. If they complain about what I and a hundred of my closest friends did to them, and the injury we deliberately and gleefully inflicted-- i will accuse them of having a "victim mentality" and urge them to "just get over it" and take "personal responsibility" for themselves. PS I resent having to pay for their hospital bills with my tax dollars
We need to accept responsibility for our own lives into the present and future. We have the power to change our attitudes and unless we do so, we'll be victims of our own minds forever. We can't change our past circumstances but we can change our mindset - this may be hard and some of us may need professional help to do so. But it is important for a fulfilling life.
I was reading the Facebook comments to this article and it is clear that some of the replies were written from a victim mentality. It is sad and I hope these people realise it, and seek professional help.