When left unchecked, a person that suffers from victim mentality can become a huge deal. Although for them, it can be beneficial, there can also be challenges. Often people will find someone like this too demanding emotionally and/or needy. As peoples lives evolve that lack less capacity to support other to the same level. This often results in them being basically phased out with little to no communication from friends and even family sometimes. This can also reinforce the cycle and so it can become relatively difficult to break free. In this post I’ll share some easy steps to breaking the victim mentality trap.
“The victim mindset will have you dancing with the devil, then complaining that you’re in hell.”– Steve Maraboli
Here are some of the common indications of someone struggling with self victimisation:
- Frequently feels sorry for themselves
- Regularly feel mistreated or victimized
- Pretty much frozen in life due to victimisations
- Has frequent explosive arguments
- Tendency to blame others or circumstances
- Self described as permanently “damaged” in some way
- Thoughts are negative and resentment focussed
There are actually a number of reasons how someone can fall into a victim mentality. It is generally a learned behaviour as a result of some sort of need having not been met in childhood. However it’s brought on by themselves and not genetics. If you think you have fallen into a victim mentality or know someone then below are some suggestions.
Focussing on what you do have rather than what you are lacking is a great practice. Daily gratitude has an amazing impact on your mental outlook. It can also support your self confidence through the recognition of your successes.
Accepting that you have been hurt is important it is equally important to move on. Should you possibly be able to forgive those that have hurt you and move on then that’s even better. Not for them but for you as the burden will no longer be there.
3. Take Ownership
Every aspect of your life you took part in and you should recognise this. No matter what way it is looked at, an action taken by you has lead you to this point. You can also take action(s) to leave it. Sometimes in order to get on the path we need to be on, our situation is forced. This however is not the cause of everything prior and everything following. Once you can accept this, you can change things.
4. Help Others
Seeing and understanding other peoples struggles can sometimes break us free from our own. Being able to help someone can provide the confidence about personal abilities. This can provide the confidence to take on ones own struggles.
5. The Power of “NO”
Accepting that it is OK not to be a victim may be a challenge at first. This can sometimes be due to a lack of self confidence. Imagine knowing something negative is going to happen, there’s no intervention so it happens. Simply saying “no” may result in a huge shift in outcomes. It may not work every single time however enough to disprove everyone is out for the victim.
6. Acknowledge Benefits
Lets be real here, victim mentality comes with a load of perks. Not having to take responsibility for anything is certainly a biggie. Not to mention that people are so much more likely to try and help you out with less criticism. You can be the centre of attention and never have to listen to anyone because you are going through so much. Who needs to be lonely and angry when you can be miserable with company.
7. Self Compassion
Those trapped in victim mentality are often very hard on themselves. It is really important to forgive yourself and also treat yourself. Taking a break and disconnecting can be a really great way to help you recognise that it is not a permanent state you are in. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Disclaimer: A victim mentality is not to be confused with a mental illness. Should you or someone you know be struggling with a mental illness then seek advice from a professional.