Three Steps to Overcoming a Victim Mentality
One of the most destructive and life-sucking negative attitudes that people can fall into is having a “victim” mentality. It is an emotional trap that does far more harm than most people realize. It isolates the individual and drives other people away, who could potentially come alongside as allies to help them through a set of challenging circumstances.
Helen Keller, the amazing inspirational writer and teacher who overcame the monumental challenges of being blind, deaf and mute, called self-pity “our worst enemy” and warned her readers and students against the pitfalls of yielding to it.
A victim mentality keeps circling back around on itself and drags the person holding on to this venomous attitude into a swirling emotional vortex that saps their energy, isolates their family and friends and blinds them from being able to see much of anything beyond themselves and their own circumstances.
The sad thing is that many people get “stuck” in this emotional swamp and without even realizing it.
Step 1: Recognize the benefits of the victim mentality.
Step 2: Ask yourself what the long-term consequences of this will be.
Step 3: Replace the victim thinking with something more helpful.
At first I was surprised by the first step of recognizing the “benefits” of a victim mentality. It seemed a little odd to be listing the rewards that people receive from adopting this kind of attitude. But after reading the article, the steps listed there make perfect sense.
The reality is that there ARE some benefits—albeit misguided benefits—that come with adopting a victim mentality.
For example, some of the benefits include the attention and validation you can receive, along with not needing to accept any personal responsibility for your circumstances.
Once you are able to recognize and acknowledge how playing the victim has served you in an odd sort of way, you’re able to take the next step of asking yourself if these “benefits” are worth the cost of admission.
When you take a realistic look at the long-term consequences of this type of mindset, most people begin to understand that the life that this path eventually leads to is not one they want to live.
This ultimately leads to the third step—replacing your victim thinking with something that has more “long-term” benefits. This step takes a lot of courage and honesty. We have to overcome our pain and feelings that it’s “not fair” and move on to thoughts that are going to help us rather than hinder us.
It’s not always easy. But it is definitely worth it. It’s the only path that will ever lead us to true happiness and emotional freedom.