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5 Ways to Escape Your Victim Mentality

The victim mentality usually ends up destroying your life. Here's the definition of victim mentality and 5 ways to escape it.

A victim mentality is one in which someone blames others for what happens or has happened in their world. A victim mentality probably also affects a person who thinks the future only holds bad things for them or they are unlucky. Victim mentality is buying into and believing that circumstances are beyond your control.

Sometimes, we all fall into the victim mindset when things don’t go our way. After a distressing event, or due to childhood woes, you may come to believe that you are destined to struggle, have bad luck, or be held captive by your own limiting beliefs. For example, from the time John was a little boy, he learned that bad luck ran in his family. His father was always having difficulty with the supervisors at his job, never got promotions; nothing was ever fair in his eyes.

When John became a young man, he too began to take on this persona. Bad grades were due to him not being smart enough or it was the teacher’s fault for not teaching properly. When money problems became an issue, it was that John was “unlucky” or that his parents should have taught him how to save money, not that he was frivolously spending. John was always the victim of circumstances, and told himself so. He gave up on changing his perception, and thus became his way of interacting with the world around him, leading to relationship problems and issues with co-workers.

Victim Mentality and Being Always the Victim

What is the victim mentality plus 5 ways to escape your victim mentalityThe victim mentality affects those around us, as well as our relationship with ourselves; it is not productive, nor positive. This way of thinking did not just happen overnight, rather it served a purpose for you at one time. There is real value in believing this is who you are, as it keeps you safe from expecting more from others or getting hurt (you can’t be hurt if you are expecting to be hurt). People tend to help you more when you have learned to be helpless to some degree.

With a victim mindset, you feel less control over yourself. It takes personal responsibility off of you. However, the reason it is ineffective is that over time, it keeps you from living a life worth living, or your best life. You are always the victim; you are less likely to take chances, change your circumstances, and continue living in toxic patterns that are not conducive to building a happy life, a fulfilling life.

“How would your life be different if . . . You stopped validating your victim mentality? Let today be the day . . . You shake off yourself defeating drama and embrace your innate ability to recover and achieve.”~ Steve Maraboli

5 Ways to Change Your Victim Mentality

1. Take Inventory

Are there situations and circumstances that you have been blaming others for? Ones that you can honestly say you had a part in? Even if you had the slightest part of this experience, taking note that you were part of it, can give you the freedom to learn from this and move forward. It may be difficult to do, but is very valuable in building a new lens on life.

2. Acknowledge Need for Greater Personal Responsibility

Many of the reasons for playing the role of victim are due it being reinforced by others. Receiving pity from others may not seem like a positive experience, but in essence that’s what we are doing when we don’t take personal responsibility. Instead, we try to get others to feel pain for us or with us. Make a list of some of the areas in your life you would like to take more control over, then problem-solve.

3. Validate Your Feelings, Accept What Happened and Move Forward

Chances are you are holding on to negative feelings towards someone or something that put you in this role. Give yourself some validation. Yes, people did hurt you. Now, with this, also accept that this is not happening now. Rather, it happened in the past. When you can learn to forgive and move forward, the less of a burden this is for you. If needed, seek out support for this with the help of a therapist or coach.

4. Create a New Story

Focusing on the old story isn’t serving you. It may in the short term, but telling yourself a new story where you are actively problem solving and taking on more personal responsibility will help you to get past the victim shadow.

5. Show Gratitude

Rather than focusing on what you don’t have or what happened that has kept you locked into this role, look at everything you do have. Take a moment to see what you have learned about yourself from these experiences. Ask yourself what beautiful outcomes have been created by past situations that may not have appeared to be in your best interest, but have created the you that you are today.

Be the Healthy New You

Although these negative thinking patterns are hard to break, just taking a small step towards a new path can really help to increase your mood and your positive energy. The victim mentality can be felt by others. Try to take control and gain power. You often attract the same situations and people in your life because it’s too hard to change within yourself. It doesn’t have to be this way. Just by reading this article and accepting that there areas in your life that need improvement is one step in the right direction.

Emily is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are.You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

Author: Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Emily is a psychotherapist, she is intensively trained in DBT, she the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are. You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

36 thoughts on “5 Ways to Escape Your Victim Mentality”

  1. Best way I know to stop being a victim is to remember that it is not wrong to want to live happy life and sometimes putting up with short term discomfort leads to long term happiness. Having a few quid squirreled away might help, or it might just keep you stuck in a bad relationship because it gives you the feeling that you could leave if you want to, therefore you don’t. Sounds illogical but it is true. Therefore do not deprive yourself of simple pleasures whilst plotting your escape. Live in the moment and learn to appreciate life.

  2. I hate the “stop being the victim! Take responsability!”
    A guy raped me… It was my fault
    My partner cheated on me and then left me.. It is ok.. she has the right to do what she thinks is right for her
    I want to date someone while she is dating someone else… that’s wrong
    People insult me… that is my fault
    I insult people … that’s my fault too
    It seems that when people mistreat me it is my fault, it is their right, but if I want to do the exact same thing to someone else, it is also my fault
    It seems to me that I’m not only responsible for my actions but for other people actions too???

    1. Hi Sara,
      So sorry to hear about your experience. This blog isn’t intended to take away or invalidate anyone’s personal experience, there are several blogs on here that help for specific situations in which one feels powerless. It certainly isn’t blaming you or anyone for experiences that occured, it’s here to help you feel empowered in situations you find yourself stuck in a mindset that you can’t quite break, say not speaking up for what you want with a friend or blaming others for not calling you back so now you have no one to hang out with. There are several other posts on this blog that offer ways to feel empowered and I hope that I can help you find one that resonates with you. Message me and I will be happy to help 🙂 Thank you for your comment -Emily

  3. My mother always says to me. I’m the victim and that everybody else is to blame. She told me today its always miserable to visit my home and has a habit of huffing whenever I mention anything that’s not possitive.It seems okay with her that I have to listen to her and everybody else’s problems in the family though . I don’t huff I just listen I have facts to back up my position not in all cases but many.

    1. Maybe you ought to tell her not to come then. It is your house and you do not need people putting you down in it. If she thinks it ok to use you as an emotional dumping ground, and you think it is not, it is your opinion that counts. Of course she will object, but so do kids when you take their sweets away. Don’t worry about proving you are right. Getting into an argument about it only gives your abuser a platform.

  4. Thanks for this article, it’s great advice.

    I’m struggling with victim mentality and quitter mentality. When I think I have overcome, it always comes sneaking back without me noticing…

    Think I’ll hang this 5 ways on my wall to remind me to not blame others and take responsibility of my own life.

  5. Iam of this mentality feeling unlucky and quarrelling vth frds parents for silly reasons becoming more emotional either on me or on them hepl meeee plzzzzzzzzzzz

  6. I was sexually abused by my father.my mother acted like I provoked it.it started at6.I told my mom when I was eight she said tell him your not that kind of girl.I finally told someone else when I was ten.from thatbpoint on I was blackballed.labeled a liar.but my older sister was with me the first time it happened.so the truth is the truth.am I truly the victim.does anyone understand the obsicles it created and how it could possably turn me into having a mentality victim attitude.

        1. Hi Kimberly, I’m sorry to hear people have called you names or hurt you. That is not fair and you are right you deserve to be treated better. I know the people who leave really are not the ones you deserve in your life. You deserve people who respect you and we can’t change people but we can decide if we are willing to put ourselves in situations with them. I hope you find some peace in knowing the right people will not leave you.
          Take Good Care, Emily

        2. Not all people will abandon you, just the ones who do not deserve you. Asking someone who colludes with your abuser to help you is not really likely to gte you the desired results. Find someone who is not involved and ask for their help. Eventually you will find support. Sending you best wishes and hugs.

  7. Not sure. I am not an expert. But you might want to google some info on it and read as much as possible. I am positive you are not alone. I know people that way. They never forgive and always blame. Good luck.

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