How To Break The Victim Mentality

In my last post I discussed the issue of taking the victim road and where such road can lead us if we decide to take it.  In this post I wanted to talk about the choices that we can make to avoid being a victim by breaking the victim mentality.

When you learn how to break free from a victim mentality, wonderful things can and will happen to you.  No victim is successful and not successful person is a victim.  Remember this the next time you feel like a victim and want to complain about your lot in life.  What YOU make you to be is what you will be.

“Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the nonpharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.”
John W. Gardner

Don’t you love that quote? Very powerful indeed! Yes, self pity can be compared to a bad drug. Something you feel like you need and makes you believe you feel better with.  However, like drugs it is destructive.

Why do some People Like to be Victims?

That’s a good question, isn’t it? Why do some people like to be victims?  Many people who like to be victims are looking for attention and comfort.  By being or playing victims they are looking desperately for people’s pity, attention, care and even praise. In other words, they are trying to fill a personal void by someone else’s validation.  Needless to say, it’s not healthy.

When you have a victim mentality you tend to not take any important action, feel sorry for yourself, and not feeling responsible for what’s happening to you.  If you feel that you have felt like a victim for a long time or maybe all throughout your life, it’s not too late to get out of the victim road and break free.  But as anything else in life, it will take determination and action on your part.

Breaking out from the Victim Mentality

Breaking out a habit is never easy, and I am not about to lie to you and tell you that it’s all going to be fun, and easy and that you will feel just fine over night. No, but it’s worth it to breaking out from being a victim.

When you start thinking less like a victim and more like a victor it’s really a mind metamorphose.  It’s like making a 180° turn, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be sudden, it can happen gradually as it is easier and less painful that way.

Do you remember when you were a baby? You didn’t start running over night, did you? No,  you first started crawling until you could start walking slowly.  After that, before you knew it, you were able to run all over the place.  It wasn’t painful; it was just a step by step from sitting on your butt to be able to run around the kitchen table.

So, what step could you be taking to move forward from a victim mentality to a victor mentality? Here are the four most important ones.

1 – Take Responsibility

I know it might be a hard one, but in order to break the vicious cycle of a victim mentality is to start taking responsibility.  The most common pattern that people who feel that they are victims show is that they are not taking responsibilities for anything, and tend to blame others for their situation. They blame their parents, their spouse, their job, the economy,etc.  The list goes on and on.

When you start taking responsibilities, however, you stop blaming anything or anyone else, but you.  Even though this might be a little difficult at first, you will notice rapidly that it also feels empowering.

When you start feeling and BEING responsible for whatever is happening in your life, you also start feeling that you are taking control.  When you start taking control, you do not need any more validation from other people.  You do not need them to feel sorry for you or praise you.  When you start being responsible for what is, you start finding an inner peace and stability that gives you the punch to move forward.

2 – Cultivate Gratitude

If you have a hard time finding things to be grateful for, it’s probably because you have not search very far.  Ask yourself the question; are there people in worse situation than me?

Look around and see what you have.  Are you healthy? Are you able to walk? Are you able to see, hear, feel, or touch? Do you have to think about where your next meal is coming from?  Are you driving a car to get where you need to go? Do you have a family caring about you? Most people reading this will probably answer yes to each of these questions.  However, remember that many people who might answer no, are not any less grateful than you are.  There is always a way to be grateful even amid challenges.

How do I know that? It’s when I started losing some of the things that I was taking for granted that I started to become aware and be more grateful for what I did have.  Don’t be like me, start being grateful now!

3 – Forgive Others

Maybe a great deal of the reasons why you feel like a victim is because you feel that someone has done you wrong.  Unfortunately, the feeling that someone has done us wrong is the perfect recipe for feeling sorry for ourselves and making us feel victims.  We keep playing the movie of “poor me” in our head which maintains that victim mentality life and well.

Besides, lack of forgiveness brings about resentment.  The problem with resentment is that it affects only the person who is resentful.  When you feel resentful toward someone else, they are not affected at all, in some cases they may not even know it at all.  However, you are the one who suffers, you are the one getting victimized and you are the one stuck with your negative feelings.  When you forgive someone, you do not free the person you feel resentment for, you are freeing yourself.

Break the bonds of resentfulness with forgiveness, and break free from that person. Get off the victim road.

4 – Focus on Giving More and Less on Receiving

When you focus on giving you have the upper hand.  When you feel that people should give you that puts you in a victim place right away, and almost by default.  Victims are given to while victors are givers.

When I say give, I don’t necessarily mean to give material things.  There are many different ways to give.  You can give some of your time, energy, knowledge or skills to name a few.

Giving has the wonderful effect of taking the focus away from yourself, and towards someone else.  The brain cannot be concentrating on two things at the same time.  When you concentrate on other people, you can’t be focusing on you and feel sorry for yourself.  This takes you one step further away from a victim mentality.

Look for ways to give what you can, and you will automatically feel more of a victor and much less of a victim.

Now, it’s your turn.  Do you have a tip or tips to get rid of a victim mentality?  Do you feel like a victim or a victor? Please, do tell…



17 thoughts on “How To Break The Victim Mentality”

  1. Hi Sylviane,

    wow, this is a very powerful post about the victim mentality and how to get rid of it. The first step is certainly to become aware of it. Chances are people who are prone to feel like a victim only start realizing when they are really at rock bottom, like an alcoholic. It’s difficult to accept responsibility for anything because they might have denied responsibility for anything formerly, as you note.

    And how we can we forgive others if we feel that they should apologize ?

    Tricky issue, this victim trap.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    Be blessed


    1. Hi Oliver,

      It certainly not ease to realize that we are on the victim road or that we have a victim mentality. It takes looking at ourselves in the mirror and see that something is wrong.

      I had to do that myself and I know some people who have never been able to do this to this day, even though they are now quite advanced in age.

      It is worth it, however, to get a grip, admit it, and change.

      Thanks for coming by, Oliver and giving your thoughts 🙂

  2. It can be such a challenge to stop being victimized, but you have shared steps that are meaningful and that will actually help people. Thank you for that!! Many people don’t write on this topic, but I am so glad that you have the courage to do what’s right. Being a victim in life will never help us long-term!

    1. Hi Christi and welcome to my blog 🙂

      The purpose of this blog is to write about themes like these and trying to help the ones who are actually search for help.

      I hope you will come again, and thank for your feedbacks.

  3. I love the quote ….It says it all!
    When you ask Do some people like to be victims? I would say yes because they benefit in an unhealthy way. They will gain pity, some will gain money from family members, etc. I have seen this pattern and often wonder to myself if they are doing this pity game to gain money, it is easier to put that energy into a job! Oh well, thank God I don’t really “get it” he he

    The points you made of getting out of the victim mentality are absolutely on target. The first step IS taking responsibility. Once you have done that, it is half the battle. The analogy that comes to my mind is the alcoholic that takes that first step, goes to AA and says “Hi my name is xyz and I’m an alcoholic” Big step!

    Gratitude, Forgiveness, and Giving more than Receiving are the pathway to a healthy lifestyle of turning Victim into Victor.

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    1. Hi Donna,

      You’re right there is no-can-do if one doesn’t take responsibility FIRST and see what’s happening and how we can change that.

      Once we do, however, it is liberating.

      Thanks for your feedbacks, Donna. Always appreciated 🙂

  4. I agree with Oliver Sylviane, wow.. Powerful post and great points of how to brake this vicious cycle. Now, if only I could get my aunt to understand this.

    I think luckily for me, I only know one person who still claims to play the victim role and everyone else realized it and actually broke that mold. I guess I can see how people can fall into that trap. I think it’s those who really want to improve their lives are the ones who will actually take the necessary measures to implement some of what you’ve shared here.

    If I definitely bump into anyone else I’m going to politely send them this post. They may not like me afterwards but if they wake up and see the light then it was worth it.

    Great post Sylviane and thanks for breaking this down for us.

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    1. Hi Adrienne,

      I know that reading this you had to think about your aunt again. It’s funny my aunt is just like that as well. She spent a life in denial and she is now 80 years old, that’s why I was telling Olivier in my reply to his comment that some people spend their whole life not taking responsibilities.

      However, only one can do it if their are ready and willing. We can’t do it for them.

  5. Hi Sylviane,

    Once a guy left me a comment on my blog and he was needing support from me. But due to comment moderation error, I didn’t get it. I didn’t even know. Later on, after about two weeks I’ve got it and then I replied. No voice from his end and I thought everything is OK. But I just went on his blog but problem was still there. So I contacted him via possible ways and at last I’ve got him at Twitter. But he said he doesn’t need my help. I asked “Why?”. He said I didn’t respond ASAP. He was angry but a false reason. But I told him what was happened and I’m glad he understood. He admit he never visit my blog to check that his comment was there or not. He was just awaiting for notification reply. Then I helped him out and problem solved. I didn’t even know he was angry with me. I think it’s related here. isn’t it?

    I hate self-pity dear. I don’t know, but some people thinks that God has to do something with what he has done wrong. I’m not superstitious either. I love that quote 🙂 Taking responsibility is the hardest one I think. I was not responsible much earlier, and afraid to get challenged. I used to blame with my mind. That’s a really really good point you are addressing.

    Forgiving and giving more are things I didn’t practice myself. I mean I have it. Don’t know how. Sometimes I feel I forgive too much. My anger is for few minutes or at most a day. Then it vanishes away. May be that’s why I don’t get into much stress. I’m trynna help people mostly offline with computer related stuff, but my parents not happy about it. They say I’m not selfish enough 😀 I get it, cause they don’t wanna see I’m ruining myself. But I manage to do my work and help them too. I’m really love it.

    I don’t think I’m a person with no victim mentality. It can occur if I lost hope sometimes. Didn’t happen yet, but think so. But still I have things under control and moving on 🙂

    BUT one thing. You and me and others who read this article may follow this tips. I have no doubt about it. But some people are not getting enough exposure to such advices in their life. It may their lifestyle or beliefs and negativity may runs through their blood. Isn’t it the main reason they become a victim and prevent from following above tips you’ve mentioned? 🙂

    Really nice article with valuable tips Sylviane 🙂

    Have a fantastic weekend ahead dear…

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    1. Hi Mayura,

      I am glad that this misunderstanding with that fellow marketer got fixed. Things like these happen when people jump to conclusions and such conclusions are usually WRONG!

      I really try not to make those mistakes because they lead nowhere.

      I am glad you are not someone with a victim mentality, especially someone young like you. Make sure you are building a victor mentality, instead 🙂

  6. All fantastic advice and I wish I could pound it into the heads of a few people I know. In fact I’m going to send your post over to at least one person I can think of.

    It’s quite easy to slip into victim mode because being a victim is easy. We don’t have to take responsibility or try to fix it, we can just blame someone and get mad. I think it also happens because sometimes we don’t see a good reason for something going wrong or for our failures so we want to make up a reason so we can feel like we’re in control of the situation. I know it sounds like a paradox – how can we be in control if we’re blaming someone else? But ultimately we’re in control of the “answers” even if it’s someone else’s fault.

    Here’s a challenging question: this is great advice for helping ourselves, but what if you know a person who is stuck in this mindset and you want to help them break out? I find that so frustrating because I know a few people who are dear to me who are SO stuck here and it drives me crazy. I don’t know what to do to help, or even if there is anything that cane be done until they do it themselves.

    Good stuff, I’m enjoying this topic.
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    1. Hi Carol,

      It seems that you master that subject pretty well yourself. You are so right, the human brain works in very strange ways sometimes, and sometimes we feel that we “control” the situation by “not controlling it”. It certainly does exist and it’s even very common.

      As far as helping people, I think it’s like alcoholism or other dependence, unless you want to help yourself, very little can be done.

      You are the second person who wants to share this post with someone else, I think I’ve got a winner 🙂 Thanks for coming, Carol.

  7. Wonderful post!

    I guess most of us have experienced victim mentality at some point or the other and have learnt to come out of it as well- I hope so. Just as the advice you beautifully mentioned.

    But yes, giving yourself that push to get going and remove all those negative thoughts from your mind isn’t easy, unless you make up your mind to take action and proceed further. The best way is to stop pitying yourself and take responsibility for your actions, after which you need to realize that whatever you have done is done, and take lessons from it and move on.

    You are absolutely right when you talk about forgiving and focusing more on giving than receiving, which are things that help us in the long run and make us feel better within.

    Thanks for sharing about telling all of us about how to fight the victim mentality. 🙂
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    1. Hi Harleena,

      Thanks for coming by. Yes, I do think that most people have been dealing with the victim mentality at one point or another. The importance is not to stay there, wake up and acknowledge what we’ve been doing and move on.

      Thank you for your feedbacks, Harleena 🙂

  8. Hi Sylviane,
    I agree with you, especially on the part about cultivating gratitude. Many people always think they are so bombarded with problems in life, that they forget to realize themselves that they are actually far luckier than other people. They have friends and family that care for them while others have broken families or don’t have any true friends at all. They are healthy and have no disabilities but they take their health for granted. They have money but they seem to want more. We should be grateful for everything we have, no matter how small or how constantly present they are in our lives.
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    1. Hi Felicia,

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, you’ve really summed it all up here. Thanks for your feedbacks.

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