Everybody has had to go against his/her will at some point in life. In some way, everybody has suffered from hard times when he/she felt betrayed or condescended. Also, many of us have lost a loved one or underwent some life-threatening health condition. Some of us have also been victimized by violence at some point in life, in school or at home.
However, while some people manage to deal with self-pity, guilt, anger, and pain, others start perceiving themselves as victims. Not only its condescendence or sustained violence which gives rise to a victim mentality but the environment also plays its role in it. More importantly, individuals often do not identify and develop the realization that they are behaving like a victim.
Do you enjoy taking credit for all that’s good and pure yet avoid being responsible if something bad takes place? Is it always somebody else who is at fault and not you? Do you often feel yourself a victim of situations? In case you think you are abandoned and always find yourself in any of those scenarios, you possibly have a victim mentality.
So, what is victim mentality in reality? In fact, victim mentality refers to a kind of dysfunctional mindset. Adding to it, people with victim mentality follow a perspective that they are unable to control their lives, feelings as well as behaviors. In addition to this, they also think that the outer world has control over them and is always against them.
Remember, it may give you a better feeling momentarily to blame others, however, it can cost you hugely in terms of health and personal growth. In this article, we are going to tell you how victim mentality negatively affects your personal development, the realization of which is crucial for resolving this life-worsening mindset. The good news is that similar to most behavioral patterns since a victim mentality is a behavior that you learn, there are strategies to cope with it as well.
1. Continuous Blame Game Barricades Against Making You a Responsible Person:
Bear in mind that if it is never your fault, you cannot take its responsibility. If you cannot take its responsibility, you will always be its victim. (Richard Bach)
Noticeably, a person with a victim mentality keeps on blaming others even when they are not at fault. By doing so, he gets the feeling that whatever bad is happening to him is either because of other people or life in general. Whereas, in reality, he is only doing what his own mindset or actions are leading him to.
By adopting this approach, the victim never accepts any responsibility, thus, will not be able to become a responsible person in later life.
How to Cope With it? Take Charge and Be Responsible
Remember that blaming others is always easy. Your entire life can be just about playing the blame game; however, you are entirely responsible for your failures and successes (Paulo Coelho).
Being accountable for your own life is what does the trick here. Get to realize that you have to play a great role in your life. Although you cannot control certain things, the way you deal with them and with yourself is what matters the most. Start taking control of the way you live and how you react under certain circumstances. It’s vital for eradicating negativity while helps you in improving your thoughts positively.
2. Constant Self-pitying Makes the Victim a Pessimist:
Of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics, the most destructive is easily self-pity. It provides momentary pleasure, splits the victim up from reality as well as is addictive (John W. Gardner).
A person with a victim mentality constantly feels bad for himself. For instance, how poor am I! I can’t do this, I am weak, happiness never finds me, life is always harsh with me, nobody loves me, and people are always unjust with me and blah blah.
It’s important to know that such kind of thoughts are powerless and do nothing except for making the victim an even more negative person. In other words, a victim turns outs to be a pessimist.
Furthermore, pessimistic individuals are likely to get mental and physical problems, e.g., depression, stress, obesity, which is why their health suffers. What’s even staggering is such individuals are prone to develop chronic conditions i.e., illnesses and pains as per studies.
On one hand, pessimism deteriorates the physical and mental health. On the other hand, individuals become incapable to make better choices about life in the long run.
How to Cope With it? Believe in Yourself and Allow Optimism
You need to start believing in yourself that starts with quitting self-pity. Moreover, instead of asking “Why me”, think of why not me? or “Try me”.
Aside from this, another fruit of being optimistic is that you feel more confident about yourself. You start seeing life in a positive way by eliminating those negative thoughts from your life that were holding you back to live happily.
Bonus Tip: With this regard, engaging in regular physical activity can also work by releasing stress and producing happy hormones. It’s actually a healthy approach to not only kill those negative thoughts and victim mentality but to be in the best of health as well.
3. Not Forgiving Others Keep You Connected with that Negativity:
A victim finds it hard or doesn’t realize the importance of forgiving others. As a matter of fact, a central part of self-empowerment is forgiveness. While holding a grudge and always blaming others is what keeps you stick with a victim mentality.
The failure to forgive others for their mistakes can have a lasting impact on your personal and professional lives. Remember that it is forgiveness that enables you to cultivate your personal and professional relationships. People are just people. It is hardwired into our DNAs to make mistakes from time to time. By putting an effort into understanding their stance and forgiving them for what they did enables you to build long-term relationships. The victim mentality, however, disables you from practicing forgiveness that is a recipe for loneliness.
How to Cope With it? Let Go of Hatred and Learn to Forgive
Holding bitterness toward another binds you to that condition or individual strongly by an emotional connection. The only way of dissolving that connection and getting free is forgiveness (Catherine Ponder).
Therefore, the key here is forgiveness. You need to learn how to forgive others and yourself. Subsequent to forgiving, understand that for your mindset, inner healing, and your actions, you are responsible for all of them.
As a whole, it takes letting go of hatred, resentment as well as anger to make your life a peaceful one.
4.The Idea of Being Unlucky or Cursed Limits the Possibilities:
The problem with having a victim mentality is that we miss seeing the blessings of the day. Which is why our spirit becomes poisoned than becoming nourished (Steve Maraboli).
A victim feels that life always opposes him/her because of the perception that he/she is unlucky or cursed. As a matter of fact, this type of mindset about oneself is very disempowering. It stops you from achieving something bigger in life. Moreover, a person with this type of mindset often becomes unable to seize the opportunities even when he can easily take them.
Also, he does not acknowledge what blessings life has bestowed on him. Often, we take the very things for granted most of which deserve our gratitude (Cynthia Ozick)
How to Cope With it? Try to Always Seek the Best and Be Grateful
Epictetus said that not grieving for the things you do not have while rejoicing what you have indicates that you are a wise person.
So, instead of developing feelings of being unlucky, try seeking the best in every moment and feel grateful for the things you have. This is where life starts nourishing you.
Count your blessings and you will be amazed. It can be anything such as being able to see, hear, walk, write, read, earn, above all, breathe.
Being grateful helps you in re-framing your perception with regard to things. In case you had a bad day or things are not going the way as per your desire, observe what is going right around you. Try to acknowledge what is beautiful, positive and good in your life for shifting your focus. What you pay heed to will influence your mood as well as your ability to altering your perspective. What’s even better? This will lead you to a mental space that positively impacts yourself as well as people around you.
5. Constantly Needing Other’s Permission and Opinion Stops You from Pursuing Your Goals and Achieving Something Bigger:
Do you want to start your own business by quitting your job? Or move to South Africa or purchase a new vehicle? Do you want to start schooling once again or get out of a relationship? Or join a fitness center? But it’s unfortunate that you feel the need to get permission by other people before you pursue these goals. Maybe it’s from a friend, family members, or perhaps your fiancé that you need the permission from.
In reality, the only permission you require for fulfilling all your desires is of your own self.
Constantly, being dependent on other’s opinions and approvals is like burning the wings you have. In simple words, it simply kills your growth by making you feel powerless unless you have some else’s approval.
How to Cope With it? Rely Only on Your Permission
Do whatever your heart wishes by cutting the need for getting permission from others. Believe it, you do not actually require their permission, not at all. It’s your life and you have the right to live it to the fullest without feeling guilty or giving justifications to others.
Like any other change of habit, it will surely take a bit of time before you can sensitize yourself into believing that you don’t need to get permission from anybody but yourself. Perhaps you’d be nervous with sweating the first time you try to do something for yourself without relying on others approval to make you special or powerful. But the way it’ll make you strong personality will be totally worth the effort in the long run.
On the whole, the victim mentality is an acquired and learned behavior which is why you won’t find its basis in any genetic or biological workings. An individual has caused it himself because of non-stop agitating and revolving of negative thoughts.
Alarmingly, victim mentality kills personal growth by making that individual feel negative, unforgiving and unlucky. It portrays life as acrimonious and the entire world as a tyrant. Putting it all together, always depending on others, blaming others and not taking responsibility when the odds are against you leads to an unsuccessful life. Adding to it, the person becomes unable to make good choices, which is why his life remains a sheer misery.
In fact, an individual with a victim mentality is responsible for demeaning his/her life’s quality. For that reason, understanding that he/she has adapted to this mode of self-abasing is important for him. What’s more, he/she should learn to cope with this kind of poor mentality appropriately. Doing so will aid in making improvement in his life as well as provide him with a better personal outlook. In addition to this, he/she will also be able to improve his/her relationship with the people around.
Keep remembering that you have the right to choose what you want for you. You are free to think the way you want to. Furthermore, you can live your life in the way you desire without relying on other’s approval. The sky is the only limit so do not allow victim mentality to stop you from flying higher. Just believe in yourself and take a leap of faith to live your life to the fullest.