*Writer’s Note: I have previously written an article called Victim Mentality- Identifying and understanding the stigma, a PERFECT ‘Part 1’ to this article! Please feel free to read that article as well.. perhaps drop a little comment as well. 🙂
Thank you for being AWESOME!*
What Causes A Victim Mentality
Victim Mentality is often rooted in a few things. After researching, I have yet to find a record of someone who willingly adapted the victim mentality with no reason. Please let me know, in the comments, if you happen to know one such like this!
Here are 4 main reasons victim mentality can develop:
As someone from the outside looking in, a person suffering from victim mentality may seem overly dramatic. Unfortunately, this kind of mindset often develops from a true victimization. Abuse or trauma can emerge as a coping mechanism. Facing one negative situation after another can increase the chances of this happening too.
Everyone reacts to situations differently, so not every one who experiences traumatic situations develops this type of mentality.
A trust broken, can make anyone wary to trust again. Having to experience being at the whipping end of repeated betrayals, can make people feel like victims’. This can trigger a mistrust with every one around them.
If your guardian, for example, rarely ever followed through with any commitment given to you as a child, your trust in others may be crippled down the line.
This type of mindset can develop alongside codependency. A person who is co-dependendent may sacrifice their own goals to support their partner.
This can result in a feeling of frustration and resentfulness about not ever getting what they need. They do this without acknowledging the role they had played in the situation.
Some people, who play the role of victim, might seem to enjoy blaming others for problems they had caused. They would lash out and make others feel guilty, or manipulate others for their sympathy and attention.
This can also be associated with narcissistic personality disorder.
Responding To A Persons Victim Mentality
It can be extremely difficult to interact with someone who constantly sees themselves as a victim. They tend to refuse to take responsibilities for their mistakes and blames everyone or every situation, when things go wrong. They also seem to always be down on themselves.
Please remember, many people that live with this mindset, have faced many difficult or painful life events. However, this does NOT mean that other people have to take responsibility for them or accept accusations and blame.
But let’s try to let empathy guide our path when dealing with a persons’ victim mentality.
Avoid The Labeling
Having labels are not helpful. Especially using a word such as “Victim”, being that it is such a charged label. It is better to avoid referring to someone as a victim or say they are acting like a victim.
Avoiding labels and instead try to compassionately bring up any specific behaviors or feelings you noticed, such as:
*shifting the blame
*Not accepting responsibility
*the feeling of being trapped and/or powerless
*feeling as if nothing they do makes a difference
It is possible to get a conversation started,d so that they can have a chance to express their feelings in a PRODUCTIVE way.
It’s possible that starting a conversation can give them a chance to express their feelings in a productive way.
Some stigma surrounding a victim mentality can relate to the way people sometimes blames others for their problems or guilt- tripping people about things that have not worked out.
“You might feel constantly accused, as of you’re walking on eggshells, or have to apologize for situations where you feel you’re both responsible,” Botnick says.
It is often tough to want to help or support someone who perceptive most times, seem to differ greatly from reality.
If they seem to become judgmental or accusatory toward you or other, drawing boundaries can help, Botnick suggests: “Detach as much as you can from their negativity, and hand responsibility back to them.”
You can still care and have compassion for someone even though you need to give yourself space from them.
Offer Help: Let’s Find Solutions!
You may feel as if you want to PROTECT your loved one from situations where they might feel further victimized. This can, of course, drain your emotional resources and could make the situation worse.
A better option (done without FIXING anything FOR them), can be done in three steps and they are ad followed:
1. Acknowledge their belief that they can not do anything about a situation.
2. Ask them what they would do if they had the power to do something.
3. Help them; brainstorm possible ways of achieving their goal.
Rather than giving direct advice or making specific suggestions, help them realize that they have the tools to solve it on their own.
Offer Encouragement And Validation
Being empathic and giving encouragement may not lead to any immediate change, but it can sure make a difference.
How about trying to:
*pointing out the things they are good at
*highlighting their achievements
*Remind them of your affection
*validating their feelings
People dealing with trauma may have a harder time overcoming feelings of victimization if they lacked strong support networks and resources to help them deal with it. So, encourage your loved one to talk to a therapist as it can also help.
Consider this: Where Are They Coming From
People suffering from Victim Mentality can:
*feeling of hopelessness
*believe they have little to no support
*having a lack of self-confidence
*Tend to have a low self-esteem
*struggle with depression and/or PTSD
These deep and complex feelings and experiences can increase emotional distress, which can make a victims’ mentality even tougher to overcome.
*Having a victim mentality DOES NOT excuse bad behavior and that is why it is so important to set boundaries for yourself. But also keep with you the understanding that there may be a lot more going on than simply someone wanting attention.*
What Do I Do If I Suffer From Victim Mentality?
A great indicator of self-worth is feeling wounded and hurt from time to time.
However, if you believe you are always a victim of circumstances, the world has and is treating you unfairly or possibly, believe nothing that goes wrong is your fault, than speaking to a therapist could acknowledge other possibilities.
It is a great idea to talk to a trained professional, if you have faced abuse or any other trauma. Untreated trauma could not only contribute to constantly feeling victimized, it can also contribute to:
*different types of physical and emotional symptoms
A therapist can help you with:
*assist in exploring underlying causes of victim mentality
*working on self-compassion
*help identify your needs and goals
*creating a plan to achieve your goals
*exploring the reasons behind your feelings of feeling powerless
Another form of guidance is picking up some self-help books or look at some videos from life coaches on YouTube. This can definitely improve your life in one way or another in conjunction with therapy.
A victims’ mentality can cause great distress and many challenges, especially for those who suffer from it and also to their family and friends. Each and every one suffers one way or another and the only thing that can help will be therapy with a healthy dose of compassion and self-kindness.
*Thank you for your interest in examining the mind of a person suffering from a victims’ mentality. This is not a way to self-diagnose OR a way to heal. This is purely for information and a way to see what you are doing or maybe have suffered before. If you have, please drop a comment sharing your experience. If you have questions are want to add anything to the conversation please leave a comment! I look forward to hearing from you all!*
With Much Love