What is the victim mentality?

What is the victim mentality?

Chances are, you have shared your office with someone who as soon as arrives to work starts complaining about everything. Maybe the bus was late. Maybe the coffee stained a new shirt. A series of dramas that never end. What is the victim mentality? Moreover, and more importantly, what perks does a person having a victim mentality have?

1. Victim mentality – Blaming game

The victim blames everything except herself or himself. The whole world is to blame. The politicians, the government, the weather, even the virus – all outside circumstances that you can think of. A person having a victim mentality loves to come up with new excuses why things are bad. It’s a self-indulgence state of “pleasure”, which has some masochistic traits. Trouble follows a person with the victim mentality wherever they go. They believe they have no control over their lives. The world is a hostile place where everybody can hurt them. The blaming game never ends. A victim says that things happen to him or her. 

They have no consciousness that we, humans, create our response to the external circumstances. That it is up to us how we create our world. If you see only bad images in your head promoted additionally by the TV, no wonder that your life corresponds to your inner picture. Victim mentality is relational – “I am miserable, therefore I am”. 

2. Benefits 

victim mentality benefits

What benefits does a victim have? 

There’s nothing cozier than sitting back, relaxing, and expecting everyone else to take care of your life and your stuff. A person with a victim mentality has some perks. Secondary gains are the “benefits” a victim gets from not overcoming a problem. We are talking about an advantageous impact of attention, pity, gifts, and help. The “benefits” of a victim mentality are like a drug.

  • It feels so good when someone is taking care of me”. 
  • It’s nice to feel noticed and validated”.
  • It feels good when others pay me attention

A victim, even subconsciously, has constant expectations that their environment will satisfy their needs and console their worries. They didn’t learn how to consciously control their thoughts and choose the ones that work well for them. A sense of personal responsibility is lacking. 

Naturally, they experience a sense of relief that comes with shifting the responsibility of their misery to someone or something else. A possible script that may run in their head goes:

Do you see how much I am suffering? You must love me. You must help me.”

It’s a pathological and manipulative way of covering their fear of abandonment.

3. How to step out of the victim’s mentality? 

victim mentality how to step out

You need to realize that your life is your responsibility. Ask yourself the following questions: “Why isn’t this working for me?” “Why do I keep repeating the same patterns?” “What does the victim mentality give me?”. “What steps can I take to help myself deal with my life and my problems?”.

Nothing will change unless you change it. External circumstances come up to show you what exactly you need to change in your life.  It’s a lesson you need to learn. 

Let me finish this article with a quote by Erica Jong:

“Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame”.

Therapist. Observer of reality. Lover of life. Living in Zurich, Switzerland. She teaches others how to change their life for better. Aleksandra is a certified family constellations therapist and art therapist.

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