Victim Mentality: Does it Serve Your Life Well?
There are some people who have been victimized in life and they hold the victim mentality because of it, and there are some people who just have a victim mentality even though nothing major has ever happened to them. I want to talk about the second people; the people who think that life sucks and complain more than not.
I think we all have been there. Many times it is how people relate to each other. For example, your coworker may complain about how unfair your boss is, so you join in and complain as well. You are making yourself a victim by complaining, but it feels good to be able to relate to your coworker.
Even though we all have been there, some people choose to leave that mentality and start viewing things in a different way.
In fact, we all have the choice to become non-victims in life. It is just a matter of making that choice.
What is a Victim Mentality?
When you believe that you have been victimized, and you let it take over your emotions, actions, and life in a negative way - then you are carrying around a victim mentality.
Someone with a victim mentality may blame, accuse, and carry resentment around with them everywhere they go. Not much is their fault, if anything, and instead of standing up for themselves, they take it - because they either feel that it's what they deserve or that life doesn't get much better than this.
Yes, sometimes you ARE a victim and are abused in some way, but that doesn't mean you have to feel bad, sad, and horrible about yourself and others for the rest of your life. Everyone can rise above a victim status if they want too, but that is the key - you have to want to.
Being a victim in life can serve you in many ways.
- You may have people pity you because your life is so horrible, and that pity can make you feel valued or good.
- You may receive attention from others for your victim behavior (even negative attention) and feel that it is the only way you can receive attention.
- It is much easier to blame, feel bad, and point the finger than it is to take responsibility for your own happiness and try to feel good.
However, even though it can be easier to carry around a victim mentality, it is much more rewarding to get rid of it and start taking positive action towards the life you want.
Are You In A Relationship With A Victim?
Victim Mentality Examples: Too Few Nails...Too Many Nails
My mother-in-law is a victim. She has had a great life, and she has two loving kids that would do anything for her; yet, I have never seen her not complain about her life or her kids. In fact, her voice has gone into a permanent whine.
Last weekend, we insulated her garage and put up Gibrock. After 16 hours of hard work (by my husband, me, and my parents) we had seen enough of her victim mentality. She complained, sulked, whined, nagged, and poo-pooed the whole way through. (Not to mention got in the way.)
In the end, she decided that there were not enough nails in her ceiling and that it was going to fall down. The fact that my husband put too many nails in the ceiling by our account did not phase her.
She also decided that we took too long doing the work. In short, she needed to feel like a victim, so she founds things to complain about.
If she has nothing to complain about then she creates something. For example, we all told her that we only wanted a small lunch, so she made pasta and sauce, roast and vegetables, green beans, and bread (yes, she is Italian). When we didn't eat all of her food, she complained, even though we had told her we only wanted a small lunch.
In the end, she didn't thank my parents for their help, and she went on with her life just as unhappy as before.
The point is, a victim mentality will always find things to feel victimized about. And trying to make that victim feel happy, can be a reward you may never get.
Why Change From a Victim Mentality?
Life as a non-victim is SO MUCH BETTER!
Whatever you gain as a victim is nothing compared to being someone who takes their own lives into their hands and see's the positive sides of situations.
For example, my mother-in-law would have a much more fulfilling life if she would just lose the victim mentality. She would realize that she has many great things in her life (and people) and she is surrounded by love every day. She would wake up happier, feel better throughout the day, and most importantly - she would make the most of her life instead of wasting it away in sorrow.
That is one of the best reasons to change: Your life will lived more fully, with more happiness, if you change your mentality to a more positive one.
Plus, you can contribute to the world in a positive way instead of a negative one. And yes, if you have a victim mentality then you are contributing in a negative way - somehow.
Our world does better with more positive, action orientated people. It's just a fact.
Overcoming Victim Mentality
It's not impossible, even though it may seem like that when you feel like a victim and have made it a habit to complain, poo-poo, and feel negative about everything and everyone (including yourself).
All it takes is a shift of mind-set. In fact, you could be feeling completely different about your life at the end of the day if you wanted to.
All you have to do is change the way you:
- React to situations and people - Instead of seeing them as a bother, see them as a blessing. Learn important lessons from them instead of complaining about them.
- Talk to yourself - Stop talking to yourself in a negative or depressing tone. Start saying "Yes!" and "I can!" and "Life is great!" You will find that changing your negative self-talk to positive self-talk will do wonders for your mentality, very quickly.
- Listen to people - If someone is telling you things that could contribute to your victim mentality, then choose to either stop the conversation or listen to them in a different way. This could include viewing them as a victim and speaking from that truth instead of the actual truth of the situation.
- Believe - Your beliefs are what hold you in your victim mentality. You believe that you are not good enough or do not deserve happiness. You believe that your life is supposed to be full of sadness, hardships, and negativity. Once you start believing that life is meant to be lived in a happy and action-orientated way, then you will start to notice a shift in your mind-set.
Do this by choosing moment by moment to do, react, and see things differently.
- Instead of saying what you want to say when something negative happens, such as "I can't believe that this happened!", say "How can this work to my advantage?"
- Instead of complaining about how long a garage took to be built, be thankful that someone helped you.
- Instead of looking for ways to make people pity you, look for ways to make people respect you.
- Instead of complaining about the rain, talk about how much it is needed.
- Instead of worrying about this or that, take action towards producing a result you want.
Start reading and listening to positive and encouraging things. These types of uplifting and positive products will help you change your belief system and habits.
A great place to start is Hayhouse Radio - It's free and it is full of inspiring radio shows.
Also, if you have a negative friend, or are surrounded by negative, victim mentality people, then you may want to limit your interaction around them. The people you surround yourself with directly influence the way you think and act.