The futile existence of victim mentality and how to go from victim to victor
Anyone who has done any amount of self-inquiry has come across the debilitating human tendency of victimhood. And if you haven’t noticed yourself playing the victim, you have surely noticed when others have.
There are the people who always have someone to blame for everything. Nothing is their fault and anything that isn’t desirable is the result of their circumstance or someone else. They never accept responsibility.
Then, there are those stuck in the cycle of victimhood in their lives. They are always getting out of some abusive relationship or recovering from some life-shattering thing that was so unfairly forced upon them. These are the people who have identified with being a victim and taken it on as a way of life. I have been one of these people.
Inevitably, we have all played the victim at some point — to some degree. Whether it be blaming the slow cashier for our lateness or blaming our ex for a failed relationship, we have all pointed the finger at someone else to vindicate ourselves. We have all, at some moment, shirked responsibility for our own lives. Some of us more than others.
Whether you find yourself playing the victim in small ways, like blaming others for your mistakes, or big ways, like creating a life of victimhood — your victim mentality does not serve you. And, you don’t have to keep it. You can move from victim to victor and improve your life.
Living a life of victimhood
When you live a life of victimhood, it is always something. There is always something happening that is supposedly beyond your control — something that negatively affects your life. And, everything is an emergency.
It may be an abusive partner, a toxic work relationship, an allegedly unforeseen circumstance, or anything that places you in the position of powerlessness — one of victimhood. But there is always something that seems to be tearing you or your life apart. And it never seems to be your fault.
Some of us have been through severe trauma, and some of those experiences were out of our control. But if the same type of situation continues to manifest in your life — repeatedly — you may have identified with the role of the victim. You may have taken victimhood on as a way of life. And you may unknowingly be keeping yourself in a debilitating cycle of victimhood — one that leads only to futility and discontentment.
You don’t have to continue creating this cycle over and over again in your life. There is a solution, and the solution is you.
Why we want to play the victim
Our need for approval and acceptance from other humans is innate. We learn at a young age that when we are the victim, we are not the villain. That is to say, not the ones to blame.
When we are the victim, people feel compassion for us. They give us a little more grace — sometimes a lot more. Victims get more attention and are quick to be forgiven for their mistakes.
Whether our inevitable desire for acceptance causes us to play the victim on a small scale or a large one, we all know that victims get special treatment. Victims get more of what all humans want — love and acceptance.
We become addicted to being the victim, addicted to the love we receive when we are, and addicted to the dopamine hits that our brain releases when there is an emergency. And most of this happens on a subconscious level. Without self-inquiry, it almost always goes undetected.
Playing the victim will ruin your life
If you have taken on being the victim as a way of life, you may not see a reason to stop. Maybe it is serving you. Perhaps you are accustomed to it. It could be the only way you know how to live. And you may not see a reason to change it.
I implore you to consider the power you would have over your life if you chose to become the victor — which you can.
When you are the victim, you have no control over your life. You do not get to choose your path, for you can only take the path of victimhood. You must, therefore, acquiesce to whatever opportunity there is to create a villain — for there cannot be a victim without one. So being the victim requires you to live a life filled with villains. And you are dependent on your villains to remain the victim.
Victims do not recover.
There are many things we must recover from as humans. But, when it comes to things mental and emotional, victims do not recover. This concept applies to everything from grief, trauma, and severe addictions to propensities towards self-harm or the harm of others. Victims simply do not recover.
When you step out of the role of the victim, you no longer depend on your villains. You can remove them from your life.
When you stop being the victim, you can recover — mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You can create a beautiful life for yourself. You can be free to choose.
I get it. Taking responsibility for your life might sound boring, and doing it may be uncomfortable. But if you take it on as a practice, it will become second nature — just like victimhood did.
The solution is you
Whether you have taken on a life of victimhood or merely wish to find areas in your life that you can improve, you are the solution. You can step out of victimhood and become victorious.
A few principles that have helped many, including myself, move from victim to victor:
- Nothing is an emergency. Pay attention to your reactions to life. Is everything an emergency? In reality, most things are not emergencies. There is a difference between urgency and desperation. Desperation is blocking energy that leads only to obstacles and strain. When you realize that nothing is an emergency, you can handle challenging situations without desperation. You can get out of the problem and into the solution.
- You are responsible for your life. You are the only one who has to be okay with the choices you make in life, but you are also the one who has to live with the result of those choices. As long as you blame others and circumstances for your situation, you are willingly giving away power over your life. That brings us to number 3.
- There is always a solution. And some people never find it because they are too busy blaming the world and its people for the state of their happiness. The solution may require work, and it may ask you to change — but there always is one. Always. You just have to find it. No matter how impossible your situation seems or how far down the scale you have gone, there is hope for you. If you are an addict, there is a solution. If you are abused, there is a solution. If you are living in poverty, there is a solution. If you are unhappy, unsuccessful, mistreated, hungry, lonely, broke or afraid, there is a solution. It might be hard to find, but the only way to find the solution to your problem is to, first, believe that one exists. After all, we find what we are looking for. The solution is always in you. It is you.
No matter what you have been the victim of on this earth, you do not have to be the victim. You can be victorious. You can release the role of the victim, the betrayed and the abandoned. You can become the victor.
Written by Holly Kellums