Curbing the Victim Mentality

by Okey Egboluche

The victim mentality is a kind of attitude where one blames everyone or others for what happens to him or her. The affected person thinks the future only holds bad things. In other words, it is said to be in place when you feel you cannot make the desired change in your life because of other people, situations, circumstances, reasons you cannot define or because of some mystery.

The following scenarios throw more light on this attitude;

You have had some very sensitive issues with your boss in your workplace which raised a lot of dust. Then came this day that you arrived to work late not because you overslept or left your home late but because your car developed a fault in a lonely and isolated part of the town. Getting a car mechanic was tasking, and this made you get to the office an hour later than your were supposed to. Your boss lost his temper and shouted on you to everybody’s hearing. You stood your ground and gave a strong reason, for which your boss later exonerated you. Despite having your way, you feel terrible about yourself as you remembered the other disagreements you have had with him in the past. You feel so withdrawn and guilty to the extent that whenever you see your colleagues in the office chatting happily and laughing in groups, you think they are talking about you.

When you feel you are not good enough to do certain things because of past mistakes or you think because your family is lacking in a particular field of achievement, therefore you are doomed to suffer the same fate.

You are based in Riyadh and you heard that people are losing their jobs in Bahrain, Jeddah and Dammam and you think you are next.

The Victim Mentality kind of life breeds certain attitudes such as continually blaming others for any misfortune, complaining, quitting easily, seeing the bad side of every situation and acting like a wimp.

Playing the blame game profits no one, how much more when it becomes a lifestyle. It makes one to cease to be responsible for his or her decisions and actions. It breeds irresponsibility. A man was asked why he had not changed his old car after a long while; he blamed it on the fact that he does not have money. His puzzled friend replied.

“Oh well, Emeka, everyone knows how hard you work and how well you excel in your job. Honestly, I did think the money should have been pouring in.”

Emeka, frowned and suddenly smirked “Look, ever since I got married to that lady, it has been one bad news or the other and you were one of those that advised me to marry her. She is bad luck, which is the reason why I have not changed my car. You hear!”

Even when people can give in their best in their work place; take refresher courses and find other ways, to still excel in their career pursuits. You find them still lurked in regrets and negative thoughts, linked to their past life, “My parents never sent me to a good school, how else can I succeed in this profession and life without a Harvard equivalent degree?”. The parents, not wanting to take responsibility still passed the buck to the economy,“Oh son, it was the bad economy, if only it didn’t make us lose interest in life, we would have had time to give you more coaching at home.”

Complainers are always ready to tell anyone that comes around about how unfair life is to them at every slightest opportunity. Who loves to have someone who never ceases to complain as a best friend? I presume no one does. Victim mentality also breeds a lack of self confidence. It makes one look like a wimp. You find it hard to mix up with your peers because you feel you are not good enough.

Quitters never win and winners never quit. Things do not always go right as they do not always go the way we expect. When we pursue our goals and obstacles come our way, it is left for us to persist, find other approaches to reaching our goals, re-strategise and learn from our mistakes. If you start thinking that you are doomed not to reach that goal or suddenly attribute your difficulty or failure to circumstances or someone else it can make you quit out rightly, by doing that, you have allowed the victim mentality to set in.

Contrary to the victim mentality attitude, what we ought to adopt and practice is the winner attitude. Someone with victim mentality often lives a life where he often sees what he does not have, while a winner sees what he has. The former, looks at the negative, waits for things to happen and often finds excuses. A person with a winning attitude on the other hand looks at the positive, makes things happen and finds ways and solutions.

A winner sees wins, favours, can make out time and is prepared to go for opportunities while a person with a victim mentality sees losses, blames, has no time and often considers himself unlucky even in the face of opportunities.

The attitudes of someone with a victim mentality mindset often have some undesirable and unfortunate effects. Anger is one of them as such people do not easily forgive or forget which always makes them either angry or bear grudges. It leads to under-productivity which can result to a sack in a work place. It has caused many divorces in marriages. A lot of opportunities for progress or a better life are also lost. This is because a person with a victim mentality mindset mainly sees faults and looks on the bad sides of situations. Seeing the bad side of every situation and things is an effect of victim mentality. A lot of promising relationships and friendships have been severed because of the victim mentality mindset.

This unpalatable attitude can be curbed. If you have victim mentality, you should first of all forgive yourself. It could be a mistake you made in the past that has been haunting you. It could be a dream that did not come to pass even after you put in your best. You have to get over it and move on with life. Believe in yourself. Building yourself esteem by focusing on your strengths and not your weaknesses will go a long way to help.

Learn to forgive those who you think are oppressing you. Life is a lot easier if we live without grudges. A lack of forgiveness puts people in a form of captivity. If we forgive others it opens up our minds and empowers us to take back control of our lives. Funnily, sometimes, the people we have something against, do not even know we feel that way. They live their lives fine while we end up being the ones with a heaviness locking around our hearts.

Recognize that the world owes you nothing. This will spur you to take responsibility of your life. It will make you more effective and efficient in carrying out your pursuits. It will awaken the star in you.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Possibly look for motivational books to read. Reading broadens our knowledge and world view. Sometimes, it could be the friends around us who are contributing to our misery. Some people find it pleasurable to make others always feel sorry for themselves or incapable. Such friends only reinforce our fears and even discourage us when we are about to make progress because of the way they see things. Such people can be great influences. It is always subtle but the impact over time could be enormous. If you have such friends, then it is time for you to change your friends. You do not need to quarrel with them to do so.

Breaking your routine can also be of help, as it gives you a new approach to your life. After all, variety is a spice of life. Lastly, visiting a psychologist could be of help too.

Life is not long enough for one to wallow in a captivity of negativity caused by a victim mentality. We ought not to just exist, but to live. Maximise your life. Do not be a victim, be a winner!

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Bernie April 19, 2011 - 4:01 pm

Very helpful and thought provoking thanks

Martin September 8, 2010 - 5:59 am

Great Article!

mary June 8, 2010 - 2:42 pm

Thank you for writing this article. Your opinion was well thought out.

afam July 3, 2009 - 3:03 am



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