Victim mentality is perhaps the most defective of all because it stops you from reaching your goals and keeps you in a state of powerlessness, of learned helplessness. The beliefs that you have formed over time and which you continue to strengthen through your actions are often counterproductive and, without noticing, guide you to a repeated self-sabotage.
A victim can’t, is powerless, and even when they have accomplishments, it’s difficult to sustain them in the long term because everything must be difficult, complicated, unfair and even impossible. They have no control over their life, but on the contrary, life is against them, and the remembrance of past injustices or suffering makes them feel helpless and have regrets. We all had problems or faced less pleasant situations, but that doesn’t mean that our past was just an endless drama. As we had positive moments, we also had negative moments.
The victim focuses mainly on the negative ones to reconfirm their dysfunctional beliefs. People who embrace their inner power live much more in the present being oriented towards the future, and victims live much more in the past, having the perception of a shortened or limited future.
The victim believes that other people are to blame for the way they feel and the way their life is - they feel persecuted, mistreated, unappreciated. In fact, not taking responsibility is the main feature of this mentality.
People with such thinking consider that they can’t do anything to change their life and that they depend entirely on circumstances, luck, fate or other people, factors that they blame when things don’t go the way they want. They have a dark vision of life, they exaggerate the gravity of the problems, and even when positive things happen, they find new reasons to complain or be dissatisfied.
The victim feels they can’t deal with problematic situations or life in general. The world is a scary place, full of dangers, and people who seek to harm them. Criticism, be it constructive, is interpreted as a personal attack, a terrible devaluation.
And what does the victim like to do most? To victimize, to feel sorry for themselves, to devalue themselves, to complain to others how hard it is for them and how many problems they have, to be pitied, listened to, comforted. But they don’t want to look for solutions or at least think about them. If you bring this option into discussion or refuse to pity them (thus reinforcing their helplessness), they will most likely get upset, they will reproach you that you don’t care, you don’t understand them, they will make you feel guilty or ashamed.
The victim’s pleasure is to be pitied, helped and others to feel sorry for them. This is in fact the main secondary benefit of this role. Those around you handle you with kid gloves, they are more reserved to criticize you, and they even please you to not get upset, and you feel that you should get a preferential treatment just because you "suffer" "it is hard for you", "you can’t ". You seek to be helped, others to solve your problems, to take responsibility for yourself and your life.
Often this pattern of thinking and acting is an unconscious one that has been functioning for years and years, around the same central point: not assuming your inner power. The person really thinks they can’t do anything, that their own life is not their responsibility or that other people are responsible. The problem is that when you think the way you live doesn’t depend on you, you can’t do anything to change what bothers you. You are a victim of circumstances, a leaf in the wind. The events must change, people must change for you to be happy. You don’t see solutions or you don’t act because you have the impression that you couldn’t change anything anyway, that it doesn’t depend on you. You would like others to take care of you. You delegate others with your own well-being. You are passive and it’s difficult to "get up" when you "fall" or simply to make things happen.
Victims manipulate to make others please them, most often playing "the poor of me" card, inducing others feelings of guilt and shame. If you have a close relationship with such a person you most likely feel often used. This feeling comes from the fact that the victim feels that they’re entitled to have their needs and desires met by you.
What is interesting is that the victim doesn’t find anything problematic in embracing this role. The victim who realizes that there are different, better, functional ways to live your life, other than those based on self-pity and helplessness, who realizes that they might have a problem, also realizes that the solution for transforming their life is in their hands - changing your own beliefs. In fact, your beliefs make you a victim, the way you relate to yourself and your life. Nobody has any problem with you. Change your beliefs and you will change your life.
Imagine a person who everyday contemplates their life in a passive way, who is displeased with their relationship, their job, the way they look or their financial standing. Who feels more and more burdened, trapped in their own life or in their own body. Who feels sorry for themselves and complains to anyone who is willing to listen to them. Who blames others and refuses to find solutions or implement them. Who repeats every time that they can’t, they have no luck, that fate is against them, and who knows what other problems will have.
And now imagine a person in the same situation who has the same kind of problems but refuses to believe that nothing can be done. Who repeats every time that, no matter how difficult it may be to fight life’s hardships or their own limitations, nothing will stop them from transforming their life, from making the changes they want. Who visualizes themselves in their ideal version and who does whatever it takes to get there. A person who feeds the thoughts that give them power and refuses to accept toxicity in their mind and around them.
What do you think is the outcome in each of these two cases? Every journey begins with the first step, and any change requires, first of all, the confidence that you will be able to handle any obstacles that could appear in your path. It’s not easy to make changes, but the satisfaction that you have succeeded in achieving what you wished for will make you feel more and more confident in your own strengths and more and more powerful.
Everything starts with a "simple" thought. More thoughts of the same kind form a cognitive pattern which creates your beliefs toward yourself, the world, or life. Your beliefs dictate your choices, and your choices, decisions and actions build your life.
Be aware of what you think, question your beliefs, ask yourself if they are true or not, if they are good for you or not. Change what you no longer use and have faith that you can change your life! Take responsibility for every thought, experience and action and take control over your life!
I trust you will succeed! Choose wisely! Choose to be a winner and not a victim!
Dr. Ursula Sandner