Victim Mentality ~4 Signs You Have It & How You Can Change It

A person with victim mentality always has problems, places blame on other people for their problems, looks for “villians” to support their victimization, conducts their life with a poor-me attitude, and does not take responsibility for their actions. People are always against them, life is so hard, and that’s why they’re unhappy or struggling.

They portray themselves as unfortunates who need rescuing, and they’ll make you into their unpaid Coach or therapist. As a friend, you want to help, but you become overwhelmed by their never-ending stories that stay the same: “another guy treated me horribly….AGAIN,  co-workers are mean to me, boss was ungrateful.

When you suggest how to put an end to their pity party, they’ll say, “I don’t know why this keeps happening to me” and Yes…but, then keep on complaining about more of the same shit!

  • You are powerless when you’re a victim. There is no power and no respect when you’re a victim.  And when you’re a victim you can’t create change. Be a CREATOR not a victim!

Victims have very little control of their life because they believe life is happening TO them.

Life is happening TO me
Life is happening FOR me
Life is happening BY me
—we all get to chose which one!

Victim mentality keeps people from seeing and acting on choices that could help them achieve the life they really want.


5 Signs Of Victim Mentality

Victim Mentality ~ What is it?

Check out this great article from FORBES:

Many of us experience hardships, and the impact can justifiably have a detrimental effect on our mindset and limit our professional achievement.

Even still, in most every circumstance where there is a person who experiences legitimate hardships and tragedies that they cannot seem to move beyond, there are people who experience these same things and worse but still find a way to overcome it and excel personally and professionally.

Think of people like Oprah Winfrey who grew up in poverty to a single mother and then was raped at age nine and became pregnant at age 14 before losing her child. Consider the life story of Liz Murray who went from homeless to Harvard and had parents who were “desperate drug addicts.” There are enough examples of people who achieve success despite their obstacles to make it clear that we – as individuals – have the power to change the trajectory of our lives if we have the appropriate mindset, grit and perseverance to do so.

But people with a victim mentality might never get beyond their circumstances, and here’s 4 reasons why:

1. You think most people’s grass is greener than yours.
It is a bad idea to go around comparing yourself to other people. This is a futile exercise that leads to more suffering, more wallowing and useless jealousy. Greener grass is a myth of sorts in that no grass gets greener without putting in a lot of work.

When you compare yourself to other people’s outcomes without knowing the inputs and sacrifices they had to make to get there, you are doomed to depression. All you know is what you see from the outside. You don’t know what pain and suffering the person may have gone through or be going through. You don’t know what it took for the person to get where he is or even if you would ever be willing to do the same.

2. You aren’t happy with your career but are full of reasons why you can’t change things.
You feel an overwhelming sense of powerlessness for how to – or even if you can – actually change the trajectory of your life. You take time to tell people how hard you work and struggle and how nothing ever happens for you. However, when these people give you meaningful advice to change your situation, you refuse to change your own behavior to achieve the goals you say you want to achieve.

There is a price to pay for different – for better results. You have to determine that you are willing to pay the price to change your career, or figure out how to become happy where you are.

3. You excessively use victim and negative language.
When your language demonstrates that you are powerless to improve your situation, you are sending out negative energy. The first law of thermodynamics states that, “energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another.”

Even if something horrible has happened to you, you are using excessively negative language long after the harmful even has occurred. Your conversation makes people want to run out of the room after a short while. Miserable people might welcome spending time with you, but high achievers and happy people start avoiding you more and more because you bring them down more than you lift them up. Energy is contagious. People who don’t want to be in that space end up limiting their time with you.

Some victim-type language might include things like this:

You just don’t understand, my company or my boss is horrible – how am I supposed to make a difference in there?

I am not even growing at this company; why should I give them my best when no one even cares? 

If I had (fill this space with any number of things), I’d be able to do better and achieve my goals.

You know I hate my job, but I didn’t have a choice and no one else was hiring.

4. You tend to blame other people and forces for the problems and challenges in your life. 
Sometimes other people deserve the blame for causing problems in our lives. While we can’t control what other people do to us, we can control how long we let them do it and how we respond to it. We can also control with whom to surround ourselves.

Most of us like making our own choices about our lives and our careers, but we realize that there will be difficult tradeoffs we have to make with every choice. Our choices might make other people mad at us or uncomfortable with our decisions. Our choices might mean we have to live on less money, change jobs, or disappoint a friend or family member.

The problem here is that those with a victim mindset struggle so much with making any choice or decision that they tend to let other people impose choices and decisions upon their lives. Living with the consequences of this makes them feel even more miserable.

How to Move Beyond a Victim Mindset
A victim mindset is formed over time and determined by the aggregate of what we regularly think, how we speak, where we focus our attention and the language we choose to use. Avoid allowing your mind to obsess over all the wrong that may have been done to you and channel that energy into more effectively overcoming obstacles and removing barriers.

Just as you can find many people who have had it better than you, if you look objectively, you will also find many people who have had it worse than you. While your feelings and thinking about the wrongdoing may be valid, dwelling on it too much will surely prevent you from realizing your potential. You can spend so much time lamenting the horrible things in your past that it prevents you from taking the steps you need to create a better future and advance your career.

Before you advance your life and career, you will need to change your mindset. Here are some things that can help you do that:

  • Intentionally choose to use more positive and forward-thinking language in your communications.
  • Adopt a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset. Those with a growth mindset tend to better prepare for and respond to change. They also tend to be better equipped to overcome challenges and persevere through them.
  • Read inspirational material and resist the temptation to wallow in regret. Regret can cause you to inadvertently become trapped in a cycle of negative thinking and speaking that holds you back.


High achievers and those who experience the greatest levels of career success do so because they own their power to change and lead their own lives. They rise above their circumstances. Despite experiencing difficulties, challenges and obstacles, they demonstrate a level of perseverance and grit to move beyond problems and own their careers.



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