By: Suzanne Mousallem
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.
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.
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.