Victim Mentality: Signs, Causes, and 12 Ways to overcome it

Victim Mentality: Signs, Causes, and 12 Ways to overcome it

What is a victim mentality?

The victim mentality is a learned behavior observed in individuals who believe they have no control over their life as they perceive their actions to be inconsequential.

The victim mentality is a conscious decision to remain in a state of mind where one believes they have no control, power, or responsibility for the outcomes in their life. This perspective distorts their view of the world, making them feel as though they are constantly faced with obstacles and that success is unattainable. This mindset can harm mental well-being and hinder one’s ability to achieve their desired goals and aspirations in life.

The idea of victim mentality refers to a self-sabotaging mindset acquired through a person’s traumatic past. This mindset has the potential to adversely affect various aspects of one’s life, including their career, relationships, and overall well-being. Additionally, a victim mentality can lead to significant emotional distress and even contribute to the onset of mental health issues.

People who play the victim possess an external locus of control. These individuals tend to believe that they lack control over their lives, experiencing feelings of helplessness, pessimism, anger, and fear. They may attribute their failures and mistakes to external factors, and may even harbor the belief that others intentionally act to cause them harm.

Signs of a Victim Mentality

  • They blame other people for how their life’s going.
  • They have a negative attitude going into most situations.
  • They find it hard to make changes in their life.
  • They feel like their lack support from other people.
  • They lack self-confidence or have low self-esteem.
  • They feel like others should recognize that they have been a victim.
  • They tell the same negative stories over and over.
  • They lack empathy for other people’s problems.
  • They never accept personal responsibility or criticism from others.
  • They’re quick to judge others, seeing them as either friends or enemies.
  • They hold the belief that the lives of others are better than their own.
  • They enjoy socializing with people who resemble them, people who tend to grumble and shift blame onto others.
  • For them, failing is forever.
  • They think the world is unfair.
  • They are less willing to forgive others.
  • They ruminate about bad times.
  • They are never their fault.
  • They monopolize the conversation.
  • They hold grudges.
  • They don’t look for a solution forward.
  • They fixate on negative events or trauma.
  • They dramatize insignificant events.
  • They engage in negative self-talk or self-sabotage(Bad things always happen to me, Nobody cares about me, I deserve every bad thing that happens to me in my life ).
  • They lack of self-confidence.
  • They are angry, frustrated, or resentful.

What causes a victim mentality?


If an individual has faced a traumatic incident during their youth, they may perceive life as inherently challenging and without any means to enhance it. This is a fundamental way in which learned helplessness takes shape. Victims may feel a lack of understanding from others and find it hard to place their trust in anyone to assist them.


Having trust in others is an essential human need. When betrayal occurs, especially during important stages in childhood or adolescence, it can lead to a heightened sense of injustice or mistreatment. So the experience of betrayal can be tremendously difficult to overcome. This is especially true if it occurs often or frequently. Furthermore, if it is the result of a parent, partner, or primary caretaker failing to meet expectations, the long-term implications and repercussions of betrayal can create significant challenges in a person’s ability to trust others, thus fostering a victim mentality.


The victim mentality is an emotional barrier that hinders individuals from expressing vulnerability. Individuals who fear and evade vulnerability employ the victim mentality as a means to detach themselves from their relationships and personal aspirations.

Manipulative :

Certain individuals enjoy the attention and sense of control that being a victim entails. Although they perceive a lack of control over the circumstances in their life, they flourish when receiving validation and sympathy from others. The ability to compel others to pause and provide assistance, or at the least, elicit feelings of sympathy helps them preserve a sense of significance and control.

Lack of accountability:

In the face of low standards or expectations, individuals may tend to play the victim. This can be attributed to others consistently assuming responsibility or the lack of significant expectations. The comfort of being ‘out of control’ lies in the anonymity and protection that victimhood offers. When one is never at the helm, nothing is ever their fault.

Learned Behavior: 

people can adopt a victim mentality from their environment, particularly if they have been surrounded by others who also exhibit such a mindset. Family, friends, or social circles that reinforce a victim’s mindset can play a role in its development.

Low Self-Esteem: 

Individuals with low self-esteem may have a greater likelihood of adopting a victim mentality. They may experience feelings of inadequacy, powerlessness, or unworthiness regarding positive outcomes, leading them to perceive themselves as victims of circumstances or other individuals.

Related:Low Self Esteem Causes, Signs, & 10 Ways to overcome it

Fear of Change: 

Embracing a victim mindset may also serve as a defense strategy against change or personal growth. Adopting the role of a victim can aid individuals in upholding the status quo and sidestepping confronting situations.

Related:10 Tips to overcome fear and become unstoppable

Related:How to Embrace Change in Your Life ?

How Do You Get Out of Victim Mentality? 

Take Responsibility:

Taking responsibility is the opposite of victimhood. While your circumstances may not be your fault, they are your responsibility. That doesn’t mean that you caused them. It simply means that you have the ability to respond to your circumstances and alter the outcome.

By accepting responsibility for your life, you take charge of your thoughts, emotions, and actions. You shape your life based on your own preferences because you understand that you have the power to create your own reality. The moment you stop blaming the world is the moment you transform from a victim to a victor champion.

Related:8 Tips on How to Take Responsibility for Your Life

Have Compassion for Yourself :

When faced with adversity, individuals often unconsciously adopt a victim mentality as a way to cope, particularly as a result of past traumatic experiences. It is essential to prioritize self-compassion during the process of recovery by engaging in self-care and embracing self-love.

The way to fight self-criticism is through self-compassion, and it is important to treat oneself with the same kindness and understanding as one would treat others. Facing feelings of betrayal and abandonment can be challenging, but by practicing self-compassion, one can overcome self-criticism. Regardless of the external comfort received, the ability to help oneself is crucial, as it reduces the reliance on others.

Change your environment: 

Your environment partially influences the tendency toward a victim mindset, which is something we can control.  Alter your surroundings, Spend more time with supportive and positively-minded individuals.

Be Patient: 

The process of breaking free from the victim mentality is not an immediate occurrence. It requires a considerable amount of time and effort to alter deeply ingrained beliefs and behaviors. It is important to exercise patience with oneself or others throughout this transformative journey.

Learn how to say no: 

If you have difficulty with knowing how to say ‘no,’ you may find yourself easily succumbing to a victim mentality. When you understand your limits and establish healthy boundaries, it will assist you in steering clear of developing an unhealthy complex. It is acceptable and important to say no, in order to avoid overexertion and further worsen feelings of powerlessness.

Related:Why Is Saying ‘No’ So Important?

Identify and challenge limiting beliefs:

Beliefs are conditioned perceptions that are formed from previous memories of pain and pleasure. These memories are derived from our interpretations and emotional responses to our experiences over time. If these disempowering beliefs lead to self-sabotage and a sense of helplessness, stopping victimhood requires identifying the critical inner voice that created these feelings of victimization and injustice. When did self-pity, low self-efficacy? and false blame first manifest in your life?

By understanding why you feel the way you do, you take ownership of your thoughts and realize that you have the power to change and transform the narrative from one of victimization to one of victory.

Related:How Do I Identify & Overcome Limiting Beliefs That Hold Me Back ?

Explore your mistaken beliefs:

Mistaken beliefs give rise to anxiety, depression, anger, and blame. Many of these beliefs are hidden in the shadowy corners of our subconscious mind, and can only be uncovered through deep introspection. You will probably be astonished by the multitude of mistaken beliefs you have unknowingly embraced! so explore it and take a step away.

Find the silver lining:

You might realize that victimhood is offering hidden advantages in your life. What are you getting from always being negative about your luck? Is it attention, validation, or are you avoiding taking action on a bigger goal?

The victim mentality is covering something up. By understanding what it is, you can discover alternative and healthier ways to fulfill your true desires.

Practice being thankful:

Being grateful is a straightforward but powerful method to remind yourself that life is not as miserable as it may appear. Each day, make an effort to identify three things for which you are thankful. 

You can make a gratitude journal where you record these three things, or utilize a digital planner or you can simply acknowledge them mentally. 

Try to Strive sincerely and appreciate having these things.

Learn from experiences: 

Everyone encounters difficulties and setbacks. Rather than perceiving setbacks as proof of being a victim, consider them as chances for personal development and acquiring knowledge. 

It can be difficult when one feels trapped in the mindset of being a victim, but if one can view it as a source of strength and resilience, it can help in breaking free from it.

Practice mindfulness and awareness: 

The practice of mindfulness and awareness can be helpful in recognizing patterns of victim thinking, instead of impulsively reacting to people and situations, take time to contemplate your emotions, behavior, and thoughts.

Start Your Inner Child Healing:

An inner child can be defined as the manifestation of our way of existence. It symbolizes the amalgamation of our previous experiences and childhood recollections that have profoundly impacted our character.

If you have been a victim of abuse or have grown up in a dysfunctional family, your inner child may cause psychological distress, impacting how you relate to yourself and others. Therefore, healing your inner child can assist you in processing past traumatic experiences and breaking free from a victim mentality.


2 Replies to “Victim Mentality: Signs, Causes, and 12 Ways to overcome it”

  1. online says: September 27, 2023 at 11:59 am

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    1. Viemina says: October 3, 2023 at 9:06 pm

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