9. They Develop a Victim Mentality
Unhappy people also tend to operate from the default position that life is hard and out of their control. They blame any scapegoat (other people, circumstances, fate, and even objects) for their shortcomings and problems and constantly complain about everything. Their hidden agenda is to manipulate and control other people to be responsible for their excuses. According to them, nothing is ever their fault.
The problem with this victim mentality is that it encourages a feeling of powerlessness and helplessness, and when people feel this way, they are less likely to take the necessary actions to make their lives better.
People with a victim mentality may feel some short-term pleasure reliving past events, avoiding taking personal responsibility for their lives, as well as from all the attention and sympathy they receive from those who are concerned about them. But, that is pretty much all they get.
With time, they become off-putting and creepy to those around them. Their negativity, blame game, and stories get old and annoying, and their closest friends and family members begin to feel uncomfortable and manipulated.
Surely, this is not a good way to live if you want a happy and meaningful life. You may have gone through a rough past, but you shouldn’t let it define who you are now, or where you are going. You have complete control over your future; you just have to be willing to take the necessary positive steps to turn your life around.
But before you overcome this destructive mentality, you need to know whether you have it or not. Here are some behaviors of someone with a victim mentality:
- They have “a poor me attitude” and often view others as better, luckier or happier.
- They blame others and don’t take responsibility for their actions.
- They act isolated and helpless to avoid responsibility or discomfort.
- They are pessimistic and negative about everything.
- They believe everyone else has negative intentions for them.
- They feel sorry for themselves, and sometimes tell exaggerated stories to elicit pity and sympathy from others.
- They often reject constructive criticism or efforts to assist them to get past their victim mentality.
- They mainly focus on their problems and complain about them to everyone who cares to listen.
- They exhibit low self-confidence and self-esteem.
- They blame past events for their current circumstances.
If you identify with any of these behaviors, these tips can help you release the victim within you so that you can regain your power:
Awareness – The first step to recovery is, to be honest with yourself and recognize that you have a victim mentality.
Forgiveness – After that, choose to forgive yourself and everybody else who has hurt you in the past. It will help you heal and move past your inner pain.
Responsibility –Don’t let your story serve as an excuse for anything from now on. Be the CEO of your life and take full responsibility for your actions.
Compassion –Shifting from your victim mentality to a new, more positive mindset will take some time, so be loving and patient with yourself as you go through this process.
All in all, having a victim mentality may give you short-term pleasure, but in the long run, it will rob you of your self-confidence, self-esteem and hold you back from living a full, healthy and happy life.
To move past this destructive habit into a state of self-acceptance and self-love, you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and take the necessary steps to make your life better. That starts with taking full responsibility for your actions and life, instead of blaming others for every bad thing that happens to you.