Victim was my mentality. Along with co-dependency, because one cannot be a victim without depending on someone to blame.
The victim mentality is usually born in childhood. Looking back, mine certainly was. But my problem was that I carried it into adulthood & allowed it to unconsciously influence my every thought, decision, action, & relationship. It wasn’t until well into sobriety that I was able to shake it. It took the help of an experienced A.A. sponsor & an excellent psychotherapist.
Qualities of a Victim Mentality
Victims feel powerless & this keeps them from taking action in their own lives. This powerlessness is usually acquired in childhood when basic emotional & physiological needs are not met. Victims depend on others to take care of & fulfill them, they’ve never learned to look within. Unconsciously, victims have negative-self images.
Victims feel as though bad things always happen to them. Rather than realizing the active role they play in their own lives. They blame others for their problems, rarely taking responsibility for their own circumstances. Victims frequently resort to passive-aggressive behavior.
Shaking the Victim Mentality
As adults, we’re the ones responsible for our lives & our circumstances. We’re also the only ones who have the power to change them, no matter what did or did not happen in our childhoods.
Everyone’s childhoods include painful events. They’re all relative and should not be compared. But we’re all the same in that, it’s our choice whether or not we allow those events to influence our adult lives.
If someone mistreated us in childhood they legitimately had power over us because we were children. But we’re only powerless today, as adults, if we choose to be. They only have power if we give it to them. Do they deserve that power?
Believe me, I know. Easy to say, hard to do. But we CAN do!
Throughout my addiction & into sobriety I gave away my power. I’d blame others for my problems. “If they would have done this, then that wouldn’t have happened.” Or, “because they did this, that happened.”
Never did it occur to me to look within myself for the solution to my pain & suffering.
But once I did, my world opened-up. It was difficult, don’t get me wrong. I had to get honest with myself & I didn’t like many of the things I uncovered. But the rewards were worth it. That’s when I fell in love with self-growth.
I became so busy working on myself that I no longer had time to focus on what someone did or didn’t do for me 25-30 years ago. But more importantly, I found that I no longer wanted or felt the need to. I got focused on making myself the best I could possibly be, rather than staying in negativity.
Do you or someone you know struggle with a victim mentality? Share your tips for overcoming the victim mentality in the comments.