Victim Mentality


Path to freedom: Overcoming the victim mentality

The victim mentality:
It wasn't my fault!

Confronting the victim mentality

A victim mentality is one where it is always someone else's fault for bad things happening to you. Further than this, it can be an expectation that things will go wrong, because `bad things always happen to me'. A victim blames others for their circumstances - when something happens, they don't take responsibility for their actions.

The most effective way to overcome the victim mentality is to start taking responsibility for every action and circumstance in your life - as you seek in every possible way to take responsibility for your life, you will begin to see that: Although I cannot control my circumstances, I can always control my response!

When we embrace this attitude, life's circumstances will no longer control us, because we have been freed to choose how to respond!
Dealing with the victim mindset

Victims tend to see the control and responsibility for their situations as belonging to others, i.e. the bad things that happen to them are always someone else's fault. This is a destructive mindset, as not only does the victim feel negatively about their current situation, but they also feel powerless to change it.

Victor Frankl survived the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz by discovering the ultimate freedom "to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to chose one's own way."

Frankl said "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." Covey, in his book, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", describes this ability to choose our response as his first habit, "Be Proactive".

Covey describes two concentric circles, the inner for influence and the outer for concern. Proactive people focus on the things they can control (the circle of influence) and their influencce grows. Victims focus on what they cannot control (things outside the circle of influence but in the circle of concern) and their circle of influence shrinks.
Transition to healthier thinking

The victim surrenders power over their life to others -- their life is driven by their environment. Proactive people's lives are driven by the values they employ in how they choose to respond. Victims can often be bound by unforgiveness; as Corrie Ten Boom said, "Forgiveness is setting the prisoner free, only to find out that the prisoner was me." Releasing others for their failings and accepting responsibility for our own futures is often the required path forward from a victim mentality.

Victims can feel they have certain rights that the world owes them, and are disappointed or angry when the world doesn't deliver. They tend to feel very strongly about "their rights" and they way things should be done for them. Contrast this "in-bound" worldview with Peter Drucker, who discusses his life/work approach in "The Effective Executive." His focus is not "what can I get?", or even "what can I achieve?" but rather "what can I contribute?"
© Copyright 1997-2006, Nathan Bailey, All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to print these articles for personal use, in whole or in part, provided the extract references the original URL,, so that people can find the latest version.

created Nov 19 '07

241 replies


LOL Blitxen, you are one heck of a lady. Makes me proud to be female.

created Nov 23 '07

Ditto Susiejo!



created Nov 23 '07

Its amazing how you still want to stick to trhe same old song that we dont want you discussing NPD for people who are actually diagnosed with it.

How many more verses and choruses are there to that tune?

Then maybe you'll start hearing the song everyone else has been singing which is "talk about NPD all you want, just dont discount, devalue and dehumanize all the survivors here of abusive relationships with N's, because



know why? cuz its mean - yep - I said it - yer mean...yer very very mean - yer a mean girl even if you do pole dance.

And people who are still in pain and still recovering their lives from N hell, guess what? they get to point out when someone is being mean to them, and they have been...but it isnt changing anything,

yer still mean...yer a very mean girl.

and I know
that you know
you are.

You just want to convince yourself that I'm mean too. I'm something alright, but mean isnt it :)

what are you thankful for today Gaye?
I imagine its that you get a lot of attention here. I'm glad I got hugs today, and carrot sticks to share with my kids, and did some creative work, and have inspired an otherwise apathetic group to go hog wild with their cameras and self portraits, that I have a special friend who thinks I'm swell, and a son who is incredibly unselfconscious and has SuperHeroHumour :D
and that today is a good hair day, and for the blizzard swirling outside my backdoor, and that I'm healthy and have peeople who love me and who like me loving them back, and that my mom's still alive and came over last night for 3 hours of Scrabble (God bless her!) and that I made a new friend here, a real one, not a sock puppet LOL, and for my sportscar and clear skin and enough money to pay the bills and that my exN didnt cause my death, that Meritage is heavenly, that chicken is cheap, and its oyster season and I have a beautiful boy teaching me all about the finer things about oysters and that Life is beautiful, and so are the impressions I have of the survivors who have been messaging me privately and publicly about their tearful tribulations and tearful pleasures and joys in their lives.

I dont tolerate bullies, but they dont ruin anything good for me either.

I invite you to use your energy for good, not evil. Hug someone. Give someone a compliment. Make real contact with someone who looks like they might be having a hard day. Put a smile on someone's face. Be a patient and sensitive listener. Call up a friend you havent spoken to in awhile. Buy yourself some flowers, or some really expensive cheese. Dance alone in your livingroom. Tap into whats rich and beautiful and lovely about your life and your presence here and your impact on the people around you.

Its so much more valuable than all the energy you're dumping here.

Do someone a good turn. It just might feel really incredibly delicious compared to what you have been doing.

Thats my invitation Gaye. Its a good one. Take it.

created Nov 23 '07

C'mon Gaye,

I'm pullin for ya!!!

reach deep down and find some care and consideraton for others
let your warm self have some oxygen and sunlight
let her out to play


you can do it!

created Nov 23 '07

But surely you are the first person to know when you cannot accept how somebody behaves?

At the end of the day isn't that all any of us know about anybody else for sure?


created Nov 20 '07


You have just accused me of:

discoiunt, devalue and dehumanize all the survivors here of abusive relationships with N's

Now I think you should be prepared to quote specific examples of this with links to the threads, OR withdraw the accusation please.

Thank You


created Nov 23 '07

A lot of people would say that this is a summary of the way that healthy relationships work:

"if you do not abide by the terms of the contract, the agreement is null and void and the part of the first part will be free to leave the party of the second part...blah blah blah"

I think that claiming to be at the mercy of our own emotions is just another way to avoid taking adult responsibility for our lives.

We cannot control what we feel, not really, but we CAN control what we do about it, and the choices we make around our emotions.

created Nov 20 '07

love can be a very messy affair

created Nov 20 '07

I'll support you any way I can Gaye. Dig deep baby. You can do it.

created Nov 23 '07

"and for a moment
the day was filled with angels..."

beautiful, isnt it?

its like I tell kids who do grafitti

"Beauty before pride"

created Nov 23 '07
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