Updated: Jul 7, 2020
Sometimes playing the victim is easier than having to look within ourselves and taking accountability for how we got in the mess in the first place. Taking accountability is a way to take our power back.
When things feel out of control and everything seems to go wrong, it’s easy to think the world is out to get you. Blaming others when things go wrong is what seems to make the most sense. It’s an easy way to protect yourself but that’s the victim mentality.
Being a victim of the victim syndrome is a learned behaviour and it can be overcome.
Signs and Causes
These feelings of learned helplessness: anger and resentment towards the world, lack of confidence, negative self-talk and self-sabotage can lead to angry outbursts, loneliness and even depression. Very few times do people adopt a victim mentality just because they can, it’s often rooted in a few things like untreated trauma, repeated betrayals and co-dependency.
Sometimes the victim’s behaviour will swap from being the ‘victim’ to being the ‘victimizer’ when they seem to enjoy blaming others for problems they cause, lashing out and making others feel guilty, or manipulating others for sympathy and attention. This kind of toxic behaviour may be more often associated with narcissistic personality disorder.
Overcoming the Victim Mentality
Self-victimization can be your downfall. The inability to take responsibility for our actions can keep us in denial of the truths and feelings that may help us build a better life. Quitting the victim mentality is the key to personal growth.
Stop Blaming Others
Blaming others may provide temporary relief from pain, but in the long run, it will lead to feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness. Instead of blaming others and allowing excuses to hide your mistakes, accept that you made a bad decision and prevent those problems from happening in the future.
It is practically impossible to feel like a victim when you’re feeling grateful. Every tradition teaches us that even in the most difficult circumstances, we can find things to be grateful for. Indeed, the difficulty itself can be the source of our gratitude for the invaluable lessons we can learn. The lessons, when truly taken to heart, can be life-changing. Be grateful of the lessons that life teaches us, even the hard ones.
Be compassionate to yourself. Avoid getting caught up in negative self-talk and self-sabotage. Resist the feelings that you don’t deserve, joy, success or love. Stop thinking about what could go wrong. Instead, enjoy all the blessings before you and practice positive affirmations to motivate yourself, encourage positive changes and boost your self-esteem. This will help you get a clearer perspective of life.
When you’re feeling like a victim, you’re likely hyper-focused on yourself, your feelings, your concerns, and your powerlessness. Performing random acts of kinds towards others will help self-empowerment. Your power to positively impact others will help you realize your ability to positively influence your own life.
Learn to Let Go
Victims often hold onto feelings of hurt and bitterness due to past grievances. Carrying them around like weapons causes them to negatively misinterpret even well meaning gestures from others. Letting go of grudges has been shown to improve overall well being. Practicing forgiveness will help you gain the inner strength to move beyond the pain in order to find inner peace and freedom.
Become the ‘Survivor’ not the ‘Victim’
Calling yourself a victim is tempting, it happens to the best of us. It is easy. But you’re not powerless, you don’t look for excuses or blame others if there’s a problem, instead you face the situation head on. If you have hope, you’re not a victim, you’re a survivor. If you know that change is possible, you’re not a victim, you’re a survivor. Give yourself the fortune to believe that things can change. Look at each day with different glasses. You live the tale of a survivor.
Blaming everyone else instead of taking responsibility means you will push everyone away. Then eventually, you won’t have anyone else to blame but yourself. The victim mentality is a vicious cycle that never stops unless you put an end to it.
At some point, you’ll have to take responsibility for things that happen in your life and the decisions you make. That way you’ll know how to get through tough times without feeling like the world is out to get you and solve the problems life throws at you instead of trying so hard to avoid them.
You have to practice seeing the good in things, even if it’s really hard. You yourself have the power to keep the relationships around you strong, improve your performance, well being and confidence. You hold the key to your happiness.