7 Ways to Lose a Victim Mindset

Hey Optimist Minds!

Has anyone ever told you to stop seeing yourself as a victim?

Playing the victim is an exaggeration of victimhood used to justify unhealthy behaviour. Sometimes, people tend to play the victim card to excuse abuse and manipulation. But more often, they do it as a coping strategy, to seek attention, or to diffuse responsibility.

For example, you might be mistreating someone in your life but you rationalise it to yourself thinking, “I’m only doing this because I’ve been through so much.”

The victim mindset is more common than we realise. It’s quite likely that you’ve spent some time in it. Maybe you think you can’t succeed at something because other people’s actions get in the way. Or, perhaps, you’re upset someone didn’t call you all day while you waited when you could have easily called them too.

The problem with thinking this way is that it interferes with growth. You end up feeling demotivated, alienated, hurt, and wronged. Even if you are right about having suffered, what good can you do for yourself feeling that helpless?

If you’re interested in learning how to shake loose from a narrative that gives you no power to change things, you’re in the right place. This video will describe seven ways to lose your victim mindset.

Please note that though these are effective strategies, sometimes you need more support and guidance to execute them. We recommend seeing a counsellor if you struggle with these changes.

Now, let’s begin.

Number One

Change your locus of control.

Your locus of control, or LOC, is a psychological concept that refers to how strongly people believe you have control over the situations and experiences that affect your lives. If you perceive that you have a lot of control, your LOC is internal. You believe you influence the things that happen to you.

But with a victim mindset, you perceive zero control, so your LOC is external. You blame external factors for everything. There’s not much one can do to improve their lives if they only have an external LOC.

Number Two

Learn assertiveness.

Often, people tend to put themselves in unwanted situations just because they’re unable to be assertive. Later, they spend time complaining about the whole thing when a simple no would have prevented the entire experience.

If you are familiar with this problem, you can let go of your victimhood by learning to speak up. You don’t have to be aggressive; a polite but firm statement is enough to effectively draw boundaries. You stop being a victim because you take charge.

Number Three

Take accountability for your actions.

Accountability is about acknowledging your behaviour and accepting its consequences. Sometimes, this can mean admitting that you made a mistake. It can be hard to admit that, especially if the outcome is hurtful. In fact, most people play victim only to avoid that feeling.

Nevertheless, it’s always better to face things than to pretend they’re not real. More importantly, taking accountability typically leads to improvement in the lives of all parties involved.

Number Four

Be kind to others.

At times, the victim mindset can make a person resentful and vindictive. You feel like you’ve been wronged so much that now it’s your turn for payback.

As a result, you might try to do the same wrongs to others in an attempt to restore justice. However, as they say, an eye for an eye makes the world blind. You might end up hurting people who don’t deserve to feel that way. 

Instead, by being kind to others, you stop the cycle of victimhood. You don’t give people an opportunity to feel wronged and you also inspire others to be kind.

Number Five

Speak to a therapist.

Generally, if you’re using the victim mindset as a coping mechanism for all your troubles, you probably have some unresolved issues from your past. It’s usually a person’s childhood experiences that develop this outlook. 

Maybe while growing up, you had a tough time and now as an adult, you haven’t been able to heal from it. So you keep feeling powerless and angry about it. In that case, it makes sense to speak to a professional and work out a way through it in therapy.

Number Six

Forget shame; focus on the lesson.

As we mentioned earlier, people use victimhood to avoid admitting their fault. When this happens, it’s usually because you’re overwhelmed by the shame and guilt associated with the error. Playing the victim is simply a way of denying these intense feelings exist.

But if we are kinder to ourselves and we learn how to get rid of the shame, we are able to look at the bright side of the mistake; the lesson. 

Therefore, if you want to lose your victim mindset, next time you’re at fault, admit it and focus on how not to repeat it instead of feeling ashamed.

Number Seven

Practice gratitude.

Finally, regularly checking in with yourself to acknowledge what you’re grateful for will remind you of how blessed you are. Everyone has something to be thankful for, no matter what atrocities they have survived. Think about yours to stop feeling wronged.

Did these methods seem doable to you? Do you think you’ll be able to lose your victim mindset? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.

Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.

References

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