My Inner Wellness Journey

Victim Mentality- What Causes This Mindset And How Do We Respond

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*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:

Past Trauma

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.

Setting Boundaries

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

*blame themselves

*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:


*Relationship problems

*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.

Final Thoughts

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








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  1. Michel says:

    Great article and most helpful in helping us to understand what people who feel victimized are going through. I had little understanding about this, but now reading about the other side of the coin, I can better understand where they are coming from and what they are going through.

    I think people need to take responsibility for their own actions in life, but unfortunately, it is always easier said than done.

    1. Brendaliz says:

      Unfortunately, it is easier said then done, but if you aren’t willing to work for it then nothing would happen, right? Especially when you place the blame away, how can you learn from it? 

      Understanding is the first steps in learning how to prooperly assess and react when comfronted with this behavior. It sure is easier to deal with too.

      Thank you for expanding your awareness on victim mentality and leaving a conment!

  2. Jolly says:

    What make it more tragedy is, the people who are suffering in victim mentality didn’t know they are having victim mentality. Some of them just simply think they may have some kind of depression but they notice that it is the victim mentality brings them to depression. I had came across a few people who have the problem that I just stated. But luckily, I noticed that and I encourage them to seek for a professional therapist. When they are in the process of walking out from their victim mentality, they truly need people to accompany them and show them support.

    Thanks for sharing such informative article. Hope this article will help more people overcome the mental illness and raise the public awareness to have more concern and show some love to these people.

    1. Brendaliz says:

      Thank you for sharing your experiences you have encountered concerning victims mentality. Yes I also believe some people do not realize they operating and reacting through a victims mentality mindset. 

      I am so happy that you were able to help them seek the help they needed and hopefully carry out through out their lives.

      Thank you for your insights!

  3. Antonio says:


    I think this is  very important topic as to a certain degree we all like to play the victim card to get out of difficult situations. Instead of behaving responsible as we try to protect ourselves as much as possible. I think if you do not deal with the problem, the pain will eventually  get worse, as we become unable to face the problem. We all want to avoid blame but then we cannot shirk our responsibilities.  If a person is to get over the victim mentality, we must be able to accept criticism and to act upon them. Words without action will be meaningless. With time you can accept things but it will take a lot of time.



    1. Brendaliz says:

      As I was reading your comment, all I was doing was nodding my head in agreement! The fact that everyone at one point or another has exhibited this trait, does not mean necessarily mean you have a victims mentality. We are not perfect lol no one is.

      It is the build up of many such occurrences and without taking accountability for your action; you cheat yourself and it will show.

      Admitting to whatever action you may have had, accepting the criticism, and acting on it, has to be by choice.

      Thank you for your insightful comment!

  4. Castle says:

    Victim mentality is a complex position to be in. It is something that can be part of a natural process, it can become a problem if it continues and becomes a normal way of coping. Another problem is peoples perception of victim mentality, some people see it as a weakness and a way of getting sympathy or attention. This could be the case for some people but for most, it is a negative way to be treated. Thanks for a necessary and interesting article.

    1. Brendaliz says:

      Hello! I agree with you! Unfortunately, many people with this perception tend to not realize or want to realize they are suffering from this mindset. Even though it is mostly a condition developed through struggles in their past. The end result is the hurt and the hurting of others and that to me is the bottom line. The cycle is being created. So let’s start doing something about it!

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  5. Candy Benn says:

    Thank you very much for this very enlightening post on the victim mentality. It definitely is thought-provoking and caused me to ask that question: Is that me? Do I fall into any of these brackets? I’m an enabler for sure. I find your coping tips quite helpful too. Time to make a change.

    Candy Benn

    1. Brendaliz says:

      Sometimes we are blinded to this type of behavior because lets face it, it is easier to try to get along than to confront and/or try to help heal someone else. If you are the person suffering, it is especially difficult to view yourself in that role. 

      In my many lessons I have survived, I can tell you that it was always difficult to try to help those that suffer because “its not my fault” becomes a state of mind. How can you really try to change if you can not see the damage this Mentality causes.

      I  am extremely excited that you want to make changes and remove that title of enabler. YOU can do it!!

  6. Diane says:

    You have definitely touched on a pet peeve of mine. I am always reminding my own kids of “personal responsibility.” We all make mistakes, but we need to take responsibility for them and move forward. The victim mentality instead tries to shift the blame. It was because of…another person, a situation, or even the day of the week. I’ve heard so many of these blame games from others over the years. 

    But in reality, regardless of the reason a person takes on the victim mentality, I think it’s important that they find a way to overcome that thought line and rise above it. We have more self-worth and can manage our own lives better when we refuse to be a victim.

    1. Brendaliz says:

      I completely agree with you! Taking responsibility for your actions instead of playing the blame game can be beneficial in the long run! The lessons you have to learn or the victories you should have won will be done, etc. For how can you grow, if
      you are ignoring the situation by handling it over to any person, place ,thing, day or event.

      The thing is, everything is about choice. But how can you choose to do better if your view is screwed? Thats is why I would seek the help of a trained professional or a life coach if it is a strong habit.  

      Keep teaching your kids personal responsibility! That is a GREAT way to ensure your kids to not develop a mindset such as this one!

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