Down The Pit Of Victim Mentality |

How often have we thought to ourselves, “Why is this happening to me?”. Do we ever feel stuck in life and wish someone or something would magically save us from all our troubles? How many times have you blamed other people for your woes? It would be human to feel this way sometimes. But if you begin to see this occur repeatedly in yourself or someone else, that there is a big red flag.

Note: Victim mentality is something commonly experienced by those who have mental illnesses. It is best to understand that people who suffer from mental disorders are not deliberately victimizing themselves and those who do have victim mentalities are not necessarily suffering from mental illnesses.

There exists a stigma around the word victim mentality’ which itself has several negative connotations. The topic of victim mentality here focuses on how almost all of us have developed an ambiguous but personal sense of victimization that suits and comforts our own self-centered agenda.

To recognize this, here are some common features of victim mentality:

  1. A sense of entitlement

  2. Need for external validation

  3. Avoidance of responsibility to our actions

We believe the world owes us something. We are constantly under the impression that our actions, opinions, and feelings must be supported and validated by all. We want people to sympathize with what we feel. If others fail to do so, we are entitled to an apology for feeling offended. This is closely followed by a self-centered mindset that disregards how other people feel and reinforces personal narratives.

What is most easily recognizable is an abandonment of responsibility.

It is tempting and comfortable to be the victim because you no longer have to assume responsibility for your actions. Everyone else is to blame for your shortcomings or sufferings.

Victim mentality is not the same as being an actual victim.

Not to mention it’s also accompanied by excessive negativity. The kind that makes you think everything that happens to us will be for the worse, and that the world conspires against you.

We love to dwell in our miseries and incessantly loom over them. We feel attacked when given constructive criticism or the reality of our circumstances. But the biggest catch of all; victim mentality is easy. What makes it such a dangerous thing is the sheer ease at which one could instantly assume the role of a victim in life. It is far easier to brood over the bad things and accuse the world of being unfair, than to carry on with our own struggles and give meaning to them.

The easy choices are not always the right choices. If we were to introspect on our actions and thoughts, perhaps we could explain why we couldn’t crack a particular job interview, or why we didn’t fulfill a task before the deadline. Maybe we could even explain why you feel that those around you don’t appreciate you enough. Maybe the problem isn’t life, but how you interpret it. It’s easy to make excuses but how far are our choices relevant in dictating the quality of our lives?

The point is not whether life is fair or unfair. Neither is it if we never had enough chances and opportunities.

The desired conditions that we yearn for are illusionary.

There has never been a situation in human history when things were perfectly okay and everyone was content and everyone was happy.

How do we wriggle out of the victim mentality? The solution is far from simple and different people deal with it differently. But we can still find some shared strategies to battle the victimization.

1. Take responsibility

This includes not only refraining from blaming things or people, but understanding that what you do is your responsibility. Often, it is our response to circumstances that badly affect us. Take the time to assess if you need to reply to that text message, or if thinking/saying something in a situation will help you. Put the excuses aside and speculate if the problems you complain about are manageable. Maybe you put them there yourself.

2. Gratitude

I know we’ve heard of this too many times, but do we really practice gratitude for the little things? There will be people who have it worse than you and people who are better off than you. Comparisons cannot aid you in feeling more valuable. Start by appreciating the little things like being able to read this article, and work your way up from there.

3. Get rid of your need to control

We must come to terms with the fact that things happen that we cannot control. Often, we are afraid of what happens when we don’t have control. Learn that bad things and good things occur regardless.

4. What we think is real isn’t always correct

Consider this: Someone just rammed past you at a store, and without apologizing, glares at you and walks away. Minutes later the same person drops their groceries on the way out. Would each of us choose to help? Normally anyone would feel negatively towards that person. But then again, everyone thinks they have a reason. The stranger could recently have been fired from their job. Maybe they’ve been dumped by their significant other. We might reason that they wronged us first. Very similarly, we choose to act this way in multiple scenarios. Taking the time to rid our minds of such tendencies could prove helpful.

5. Forgiveness

Someone may have done horrible things to you, which could be the reason you developed this mentality. Or it could be a sense of personal failure that pulls you down. We might feel bitterness and resentment towards the past. If you feel that way, feel it. Feel it all you can and let go. Choosing to accept what we feel as something human and natural, then allowing ourselves to grow out of our resentment is essential to freedom from victimhood.

We may be products of our pasts, but we must refuse to let that become our limitations.

For every terrible experience, we have the choice to decide what we do next.

Things don’t get better, we do.

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