How to Stop The Victim Mentality and Set Yourself Free
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How to Stop The Victim Mentality and Set Yourself Free
Let's talk about a toxic trait that has the ability to tear apart relationships of all kinds. Let's talk about victim mentality. The victim mentality is a personality trait where a person considers themselves a victim of the negative actions of others. They do not own that they had any part in the conflict at hand; they deem themselves an angel or completely unaware of what was happening. They do not take the blame at all; the finger is pointed at the person they believe to be the attacker or aggressor. When we have a victim mentality, we tend to demonize the aggressor and think of them as a "bad" person or that they did a terrible thing that ruined our lives in some form or fashion. We place ourselves in helpless child mode and do not own our power.
Some signs that you may be experiencing a victim mentality are if you find yourself heavily blaming others, have a negative outlook on life, if you feel powerless, resentful, enraged, or bogged down with deep sadness.
Children raised by parents who had suffered from addiction, mental illness, abuse, or neglect often learned the victim mentality as a way to cope with abuse and protect themselves. If you think about a child who was repeatedly hit or talked down to, it wouldn't be that far of a jump to envision an adult that immediately drops into helpless child mode and victim mode in a conflict. It's possible that they never came out of helpless child mode, and their go-to instinct is to drop into that and give away their power.
With a victim mentality, it's hard to get rid of negative energy. Because we are pointing the finger at the other person and we are avoiding looking at ourselves and how we contributed. Of course, this excludes situations where we were actual victims of things that were out of control, like a robbery, accident, or things that happened when we were helpless children. Either way, we cannot allow ourselves to get stuck in the "why me" role. We have to find a way to come back to balance and discover peace and forgiveness within, to reclaim or power that we gave away. Something that's helped me out of the "why me" role is looking at everything in life as a lesson or a curriculum.
Most of what happens to us, whether deemed good or bad, is done to provoke healing. If you can find a way to scope out and look at your life on a broader scale, you may find that some of your toughest situations and challenges are what have catapulted you forward the most and made you who you are today. If you take a pessimistic view of what happened to you and choose to look at it or another person who has harmed you as an evil bully, who has all power over you, of course, you're going to feel dismembered, hopeless, angry, enraged. There's no going back to change what has happened to you. The only way is forwards. We cannot dwell and ruminate on why this person has harmed you and how much they hurt you, and poor me, why me, my life is so terrible. Sitting in a room alone feeling sorry for yourself on repeat isn't going to get you moving forwards. We have to be honest with ourselves and ask some tough questions. In what ways did you contribute to the conflict at hand? Let's say, for example, we have an empath in a relationship with a narcissist. We cannot blame the narcissist fully for the abuse that's being done to the empath. The empath has weak boundaries, and their toxic trait is people pleasing. It's an easy way out to think that the narcissist is the bad one, and of course, they have the ability to manipulate. However, the empath needs to work on their self-worth, not using what they give to others as a persuasion technique to obtain love.
Victimhood often exists when it comes to betrayals in relationships. It's an easy way out to blame the person who has betrayed the other, cheated, and lied. A more complex and uncomfortable way to look at a betrayal is the person who has been betrayed to ask how they played into it. Did they ignore their partner's requests for intimacy? Were they working too much? Did they ignore the signs of the relationship failing? Or maybe they didn't listen to their intuition and refused to acknowledge the red flags starting the relationship.
We are not victims of the circumstances that we voluntarily participate in. We live in an abundant world full of choices, billions of people, and opportunities. If you find yourself in a situation where you are playing the victim and you feel helpless, remember that you are choosing this situation. You can walk away at any point and time or get creative and find a way to protect your peace. You may come to the realization that you don't want to leave this negative situation, and that's where you get to the real meat of your shadow work. In some form or fashion, that negative situation is serving you, and you are choosing it, so why complain?
Those in a victim mindset have self-pity, self-sabotage, negative outlook on life. They have learned to complain about their life rather than take action steps to change the situations that they are in. If you find yourself complaining a lot about a specific situation, you may be in a victim mindset. Those with a victim mindset dwell on the negative. Many things can be going well in their life, but they choose to place energy on the one thing that isn't going well, and this pulls all of their energy down to a lower vibration.
It's not fun to take responsibility for our actions; no, it's quite challenging, really. Especially if you grew up in a household where words like "I'm sorry" were not said. I've seen those in older generations not talk to each other for decades or tear apart really beautiful family relationships and friendships just because nobody wanted to apologize and own responsibility. It's sad, and it's exhausting. Being in a relationship with a lover who refuses to apologize and consistently points blame at the other person has to be so frustrating. So let's take a look at some signs that you are dating someone or are someone who is trapped in a victim mentality.
Those with a victim mentality tend to talk about people in the past as if they were awful, crazy, evil bad, etc.
Is it possible that all of their exes and friends ended up being the villain of the story? Or are they failing to mention the things that they did wrong in the relationship? The way we talk about past people that were important to us at one time is telling about how we view the world. If everyone in their past was horrific, and there's not a balanced view or nuggets of lessons learned, then it's possible you or the person you're inquiring about could be trapped in a victim mindset.
Those trapped in a victim mentality rarely talk about what they did wrong in conflicts.
I know at the beginning you're triggered, so it's not instinct to look in the mirror and ask how you contributed. But, after you calm down and take some time to process if a conflict happened, there should be some thought and acknowledgment about how you may have contributed to the conflict.
Those trapped in a victim mentality are stuck in the past rather than taking those lessons and improving themselves.
Instead of using an obstacle to improve, they'll make sweeping judgments like "I can't trust people" or "Getting close to people is a waste of time." They will look at the past as a reason to fall further into negativity rather than reframing and using it as a lesson to get better.
Those trapped in a victim mentality take most things personally.
In a way, they think the world revolves around them. The world would have to revolve around them because they think that everyone is out to get them. For example, if someone cuts them off on the road, they did it on purpose to hurt them specifically. They didn't get a job because the person interviewing them specifically didn't like them for so and so reasons. If someone makes an insensitive comment, it's because that person was trying to find a way to hurt the victim specifically. Most people are thinking about you. They're not at home trying to plot a way to screw you over or ruin your day. Most people are thinking about themselves. Whatever they do or say doesn't have to be taken so personally because they're probably caught up in their own story, and you're simply a character in it. I'm not saying there aren't predators out there because there are. But most people are pretty much focused on their own life and drama. It's better to lean into not taking everything personally and just giving others the benefit of the doubt.
Those stuck in a victim mentality hold one hell of a grudge.
They don't forgive easily, and why would they if they think they've been directly targeted and abused? Forgiveness is so much easier when one takes responsibility in a conflict. Think of how much energy is wasted in holding a grudge. That energy could be used elsewhere for love and manifesting, but no. The grudge holds energy in place, and it begins to fester and rot. You may think you're punishing the other person, but you're really only punishing yourself. Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies for it.
If you're around someone who makes you feel like you're walking on eggshells, like you have to watch every single word you say, then you may be around someone with a victim mentality. Again, they look for ways to take things personally, and you know that. So it's making you feel like you have to dance around topics or be really careful not to trigger them.
Those with a victim mentality are drama-heavy. There's a lot of drama that follows them wherever they go because they tend to make a big deal out of things that weren't meant to harm or hurt them at all, like miscommunications. They also don't know how to apologize, so they'll demonize the other person.
Those with a victim mentality tend to just cut people out of their lives rather than work through the issue. Why? In order to work a conflict out, the victim would have to step out of victim mode and accept some sort of responsibility, which is extremely hard for them.
If you find yourself angry, irritable, resentful, or depressed. You have to ask yourself, are you playing the victim in certain scenarios of your life? Then ask yourself how you contributed to this conflict. Or ask yourself how this conflict has helped build you into the person you are today. Stop giving your power away to another person who probably isn't thinking about you. Reclaim your power back. The easiest way to do this is to start by owning your part. I know your ego doesn't want you to do this. But you've got to lead with your mature higher self. Write the issue down on a piece of paper. Write down what they did to you in one column, and in the other column, write down how you contributed to the conflict as well. Find the balance. This is one of the only ways to truly free yourself.
If you find yourself in a relationship with a person suffering from a victim mentality, awareness is everything. If they can first admit that they have this issue, that's huge. Most likely, you need a lot of patience as it takes time to make new changes. Then they can begin doing shadow work, coaching, and therapy to break this victim habit and set themselves free.
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