“If it’s never our fault, we can’t take responsibility for it. If we can’t take responsibility for it, we’ll always be its victim.” – Eckhart Tolle, Author, The Power Of Now
How many of us have blamed our situations or family members for what is happening in our lives? Or even come across people in our own lives who feel that everything that has happened to them is because of an unfair event? Many people are not even aware that they are in such situations and limiting themselves by blaming themselves or someone else.
Just as easy it is to criticise those mired in a victim mindset, it’s easier than you think to sink into one yourself! In life, everyone is a victim of something, but not everyone chooses to behave with a victim mentality! Those who do choose to be victims, end up being angrier, more selfish and don’t have much resilience. These people tend to vent more and have more energy which they believe is empowerment. These people who just refuse to take responsibility for the outcome of anything in their life often face a lot of setbacks, thrive on drama and can never move on (mentally!)
This victim mentality basically means blaming any person or situation for the unhappiness that ‘they’ are feeling. Every situation is an example of a potential wet blanket (someone who ruins other people’s fun) where there is a constant expectation of sympathy, attention and validation. In addition to this, they are continuously in a self-pitying mode, trying to garner compassion. Having a negative outlook is one of the characteristics, and they refuse to improve or even analyse their actions leading to passive-aggressive tendencies in dealing with other people.
Being emotionally, physically or even psychologically traumatised to varying degrees can leave behind different a lot of scars on a person’s life. It is so common to point fingers and blame them for your misfortunes. Early life conditioning and coping mechanisms are some of the main reasons for developing victim mentality early on in childhood. Its so easy to slip into this disguise of the victim mindset, where all we really do is filter our existence to a narrow mental lens. This is how we adapt to perceiving the world.
A string full of excuses it will only feed the victim mentality – a mindset which justifies just about anything that seeks endless amounts of self-pity, undue entitlement and the defeatist thinking where the world just owes you an explanation for everything. Snapping out of the victim role and is something that we all need to do at some point in our lives.
It is not the easiest thing to do, but as an adult, it is our responsibility to reclaim the responsibility for our own happiness.
BREAKING OUT OF THE VICTIM MENTALITY
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” — Gautama Buddha
1. Practice Gratitude – Have you ever wondered how fortunate you were or ever asked yourself the question ‘Can someone really have it worse off than me?’ At such stages, you may get some insight that you are not the only one having a rough deal in life and that there are other people who are also suffering.
You have so much to be grateful for and by practising ‘gratitude’, you can redeem the victim mentality. As Rumi once said, “Wear gratitude like a cloak, and it will feed every corner of your life.” You have to let go of the victim mentality which allowed you to spent hours and months and perhaps years thinking and talking about each and every wrong thing that has happened in your life. You also have to let go of any chances of revenge or triumph over people who have wronged you in the past.
2. Take Responsibility – This involves a serious amount of hard work. Whether it is ambitions, relationships, achievements, decisions – everything that encompasses your life.
3. Build Confidence – Sometimes when we feel like we are the victims of situations and we are rock bottom in confidence or esteem, building our confidence is very important. Some people may naturally be confident, but that doesn’t stop you from learning the skills needed to be a confident person. All you have to do is emulate a confident person’s attitude – dress well, speak clearly, hold an upright posture, always maintain eye contact and exercise. This will automatically reflect on your inner mental state.
4. Shift Mentality: In order to break out of the victim mentality it is extremely important to do a lot of introspection and make some key shifts in thinking.
5. Practice Forgiveness – Holding onto a grudge towards a past resentment (condition or person) only leads to a build-up of bitterness. Forgiving means letting go of that feeling and moving past what you believe could possibly harm you. Once you can forgive, you also set yourself free from all agonies.
6. Intention-building – Being a victim means having no clear intentions. Now, you need to tell yourself that you are going to be in charge of your life and use every bit of energy in different areas mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally and financially. It will be one small step at a time so that you can move forward and make your life better.