Monday, April 16, 2012

Victim Mentality

In my last blog post I asked people to share what their best job offer ever would be. The responses I go in my comments and through Twitter were really interesting. what I noticed as most striking was how many people were making that job offer for themselves.

This was really inspiring for me to see! I love the self determined mentality. The person who says, "This is what I want, now how am I going to make it happen?"

It's much preferred to the victim mentality of "Life sucks and always gives me a hard deal. If I had a better job/better boss/a partner/different partner/won the lottery/didn't live in this city etc. I could be happy."

Victim mentality is one of my biggest pet peeves and yet, I have a lot of compassion for people with this frame of mind. It must be hugely challenging to truly believe that life is the luck of the draw and that you have absolutely no control over what happens in yours.

I'm not saying that life doesn't take us on unexpected twists and turns. That is undeniable. I'm just saying that there are those who see the twists and turns as something to learn and grow from and those who think the twists and turns are out to get them. In some cases there's also the belief that the difficulties they face are unique to them and no one could possibly have it so bad. People with victim mentality really love one upping those around them.

My answer to that is let them win. "Congratulations! You win the most Miserable Human Being on the Planet Award. You may have your award. I'm going to go away and win something different. Something like the I Am My Own Best Boss and Self Employment Rocks Award or the Rain Makes me Smile and I like Dancing in it Award or the Gets Joy Out of Little Things Award."

The thing about people with victim mentality is having compassion for them doesn't mean giving into them. You can have compassion for someone without encouraging or joining their whinge-fest. In fact, by leaving behind the people we encounter with victim mentality, we are being extremely compassionate. You can only help someone as much as they're willing to help themselves. People with a victim mentality are likely to drain your energy and resources. Compassion starts with the self and you need to protect yourself from people who might 'steal' your joy.

So go forward with an open heart and mind and remember, life really is what you make it.


  1. Wow this is a great post. And so true. I have learned to look at life the way you stated. A learning experience. You have to roll with the punches and be able to adjust when things unexpected come your way. But you're right. A lot of people would rather view themselves as helpless. And I like your perspective. Have compassion for them b/c it has to be hard living that way. What a great way to view it!

    1. Thanks for sharing! Yes, I believe people with this mentality can be very frustrating if you let them. But I know what it's like to want attention or to feel a bit wrapped up in myself so I try to have compassion for them instead.

  2. I can see bits of this in myself sometimes. The challenge is to just move on.

  3. Totally! Dropping the storyline can be super difficult but that's what needs doing. And because you can see it when you do it you are better equipped to have compassion for those who simply don't want to change their victim habits.


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