Are you a victim? Many people think, “Yes!”, because others have wronged them. And that may be true, however, read on! You may be more of a victim of a victim mentality than of the people and circumstances around you!
A victim mentality is a common dysfunctional trait where we see ourselves as a victim of the people and things around us. That means, we believe all of these things are happening to us and are about us and are meant to hurt us! Check out the symptoms of a victim mentality . . .
Victims feel . . .
- Very angry
- Out of Control
- Living In Fear
Put simply, their lives are not their own because their emotional well-being is at the mercy of everyone and everything around them! If you want to know if you have a victim mentality, look at what makes you angry. Traffic jams? Someone interrupted you while you were talking? Kids didn’t clean the house? Your body won’t burn calories fast enough? Your wispy fine hair? Your mother’s phone call? Having to wait 45 minutes at the BMV? The pipes broke? The car is out of gas? Son went to college and doesn’t call much? Daughter is in high school and would rather hang out with her friends than you? Or just simply bad karma? This list can go on and on and on!
Maybe you only visit Victimville occasionally. Or maybe you camp out there from time to time. Some people own a vacation home there, while others have set up permanent residence and are running for Mayor!!
Oh, don’t get me wrong. There are benefits to being a victim. 1) You get attention (at least at first) because people feel sorry for you. And that feels like people love and care for you, which feels good. 2) Nothing, I mean nothing, is ever your fault! That feels amazing, especially if you have shame! 3) It manipulates others into doing what you want. For example, you want someone to go somewhere with you and they say they are busy. You tell them they never spend time with you and that you must not be a priority in their life. They feel guilty and change their plans to go with you. (Ewww!) 4) You don’t have to work on yourself. You can sit back and wait for everyone else around you to change so that you will feel better. (Double Ewww!)
If the list above disgusts you, good! Hopefully it will help you to see how ugly being a victim really is and motivate you to change it! So how do you get rid of it? This is the tricky part. You have to realize you have choices. Choices? How do I have choices when someone does something to me?? Well, you can confront them, you can choose not be their friend, you can not let it affect you, you can divorce them, etc. You have all kinds of choices, but you have to dig deep and look for them. Now don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying you are going to like the choices, but you do have choices. And once you recognize them and understand that you are choosing to be a victim instead of exercising the other choices, you are halfway home from Victimville!
You have the choice. You can choose to live as a victim of everyone and everything around you and live a life fraught with anxiety and despair and at everyone else’s mercy – OR – You can choose to be in control of your own life. Bad things will happen to you, but you get to control how they affect you! And it will free you up to have a better life!!
So what’s your status in Victimville??