Part 5 of 5: What Victim Mentality Is and How to Overcome It
Issue 46. October 27, 2023 ✨ Higher Power Coaching & Consulting ✨
photo credit: Marten Newhall
The mentality I’m speaking of is referred to as victim mentality. There are a lot of misconceptions about what this is, which means so many people don’t even realize they have it.
Just because you have victim mentality doesn’t mean you…
- are a pessimist
- think the world is against you
- have a “woe is me” attitude all the time
- think things will never work out for you
- were taken hostage or some other egregious form of victimization
Truth be told, when you have victim mentality some or all of those things may be true for you. But they weren’t for me. This mentality can be very hard to see in yourself, and that’s especially so when you don’t present as the typical “victim.”
The biggest problem with victim mentality is that there is no impetus to action. If you believe you’re the victim of circumstances, you’re not going to take any action to change the situation. You’ll just accept it as “the way things are.” If we truly believe we’re not at fault, or cause, we are not going to DO anything to change things.
There’s a difference between being an actual victim and having victim mentality. Your inner life is not subject to the whims of other people. You have a choice about how to see things, how to deal with your life, what to focus on, etc.
Victor Frankl was in concentration camps in WWII, which is one of the most victimized situations a human could be in. He said, “Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation” (emphasis mine). He could still choose to help others, and he did.
Even if you have a reason like Frankl did, you don’t have to feel like a victim. Feeling like a victim relegates you to the position of non-action. Nothing will ever change if you think you’re just a victim.
If you’ve ever asked yourself “Why does this always happen to me?” or “Why won’t he ever…or why doesn’t she ever…” these are indicators of this mentality. Some people go through life asking questions like this, wondering why all these bad things keep happening to them. Instead, you might want to ask yourself:
“Am I allowing situations in life or events to manage me or am I determined to manage them as best I can?”
You’re obviously not in control of everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react. If you react as a victim (i.e., thinking you have nothing to do with the situation) you’re doomed to be stuck in that position because you see no reason for action. If you truly want a life that is happy, joyous, and free, then you’ll need to take action!
As we say in recovery, “act as if.” That is, act as if you have the ability to change a situation – even if you think you don’t! You’ll be surprised at how things change when you make that one little step toward action.
Find this helpful? Share with a friend:
Like what you've read and heard?
Try subscribing to my monthly newsletter, "Happy, Joyous and Free."
It will help you change your dysfunctional patterns of behavior.
Want to chat with me about your boundaries? Hop onto my calendar here for a free 30-minute Better Boundaries call.