Helpful Ways To Escape Victim Mentality!
Are you living in Victim Mentality?
I recently listened to an early episode of the Life Coach School podcast about this subject.
In this episode, Brooke Castillo said that “victim mentality is not a sign of weakness. It’s a belief pattern that we’ve established in our brain that affects our life, but it does not mean that we aren’t intelligent, capable, amazing people, and it certainly doesn’t mean that we’re not strong. It just means that we have this mentality, the looping in our brain”.
Examples of Victim Mentality!
- You have no control over situations that upset you
- You think people are out to get you
- You struggle with self-esteem
- You feel like bad things will happen no matter what you do
- You believe no one cares about you
- You resent successful and happy people
- You approach things with a negative attitude
- You feel powerless to change your circumstances
- You complain frequently or blame people or circumstances
Will Bowen has said “When you’re focusing your attention on what’s wrong or complaining, you’re going to get more of what you’re complaining about.”
To hear more of Will Bowen’s wisdom, check out the Focus Your Time podcast #13.
I think it’s interesting that after being with someone who constantly complains, showing up as a victim, we complain about them, thus becoming the victim!
Byron Katie says that “As long as you think that the cause of your problem is “out there”—as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering—the situation is hopeless. It means that you are forever in the role of victim, and that you’re suffering in paradise”.
We carry stories from the past and collect evidence of how we’ve been wronged and each time the story is repeated, it keeps us worried and stuck.
Helpful Ways to Escape Victim Mentality!
- Practice gratitude and keep a daily gratitude journal to reflect back on.
- Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do.
- Be kind to others, and genuinely interested in their lives instead of complaining about yours. You may gain new perspectives!
- Decide what you want to accomplish in life, and create a plan to achieve some goals. Check out Focus Your Time podcast #39 for some prompts to help you.
- Meet your own needs instead of depending on others.
- Stop feeling entitled and that the world owes you something.
- Find a way to eat healthier, start exercising, and hydrate with water. Take responsibility of your own health.
- Avoid using the words fair, right, wrong, and should or shouldn’t. It keeps you stuck.
- Refrain from blaming others! If you constantly complain about being mistreated, and place blame others, why not look at what you’re allowing? Raptitude.com says that “When you detect blame in your mind, you know you are refusing to take responsibility for your life at this moment”.
- Do something on the regular that creates daily joy and comfort! What might that be? Seeing friends, joining a book club, hiking, cooking or maybe crafting.
- Quit complaining about your messy house and focus on cleaning it! Remove the clutter, it’s good for the mind! Do one small area each day. Just think how clean and uncluttered your home will be in a year…365 days!
- Don’t rely on external sources or praise to feel good about yourself. You can create that for yourself!
Healthline.com says that “People who come from a place of victimization may show little interest in trying to make changes. They may reject offers of help, and it may seem like they’re only interested in feeling sorry for themselves”.
In other words, when you identify as victim, it effects the way you live, and you give your power away.
If you show up as a victim, look at the stories you tell yourself and notice your thoughts.
Do these thoughts serve you or keep you stuck?
Unwilling vs Unable!
I reached out to my good friend Stacy, a long time therapist and mental health expert, about victimhood and people who are unwilling to make changes verses people who are unable to make changes, and how to distinguish between the two.
There’s a difference between someone “playing the victim” who seeks sympathy to get attention or someone who is “legitimately victimized“!
Stacy said that people who can’t help it generally try to keep it to a minimum, and if they display victim behavior like avoidance or anxiety it’s real.
If a person is malingering for attention, it’s exaggerated and obvious.
Playing the victim usually involves some level of amplification, fabrication, or manipulation.
She went on to say that people get very attached to their dysfunction.
So much so, that even if they’re willing to change, their logic wants to, but their subconscious refuses.
So, even when they’re willing to show up differently, they simply cannot due to deep patterns of discomfort and anxiety.
Even Positive Change Can Be Terrifying!
This keeps them in the “box”, because change, even positive change, is terrifying.
Stacy stated that moving from victim to survivor is a long journey unless you have someone to walk with you through it.
If you suffer from clinical depression, unhealed past trauma, or have an anxiety disorder, please reach out to a therapist who may be able to help you.
Create Boundaries and Practice Self-Care!
Many clients have mentioned difficult relationships with their Moms, and suffer Mama Drama because their Moms appear as victims.
Their mothers complain non-stop, and offer no solutions…ever!
Healthline.com suggests we offer support, by pointing out things they’re good at, highlighting their achievements, reminding them of your affection, or validating their feelings. You might even suggest therapy!
Of course, we’d like to be supportive and help our troubled moms and other individuals, but doing so can affect us negatively.
It’s best to set boundaries, practice self-care, and avoid getting sucked into the drama.
You can attempt to change the subject, or create time / distance boundaries, like some of my clients have done. You may think it’s best to remove yourself from the situation entirely, especially if it’s ongoing.
Look at the stories you tell yourself and notice your thoughts.
Are they serving you, or keeping you stuck?
TOPIC: Helpful Ways To Escape Victim Mentality!
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