Everyone can claim to be a victim of something. Whether it’s a bad childhood, a mean boss, or a nasty divorce, anyone can potentially adopt a victim mentality. Being a victim is a choice. A more productive choice is assuming the role of a survivor.
Why would someone choose to be a victim? It might not make sense on the surface, but there are several perks to taking on the role of a victim.
There are benefits to being a victim:
- It’s always someone else’s fault. When you’re a victim, you don’t have to accept responsibility for anything. Life seems easier when it’s always someone else’s fault. There’s so little you can do.
- Some people feel sorry for you. Being a victim can result in a lot of attention being thrown in your direction. Attention can be nice. Who wouldn’t want attention and sympathy?
- Others expect less from you. After all, the world has mistreated you, and you can’t fend for yourself. You’re either not a capable person, or the odds are so stacked against you that little can be expected of you. Lower expectations are easier to deal with than high expectations.
- Others give you what you want. With all the attention and sympathy you receive, some people are eager to help you out. You might be on the receiving end of money, favors, and other advantages. It’s manipulative, but it can be effective.
No one can deny that being a victim doesn’t have its advantages. However, there are disadvantages to being a victim, too.
Consider these challenges that come with being a victim:
- Many people don’t respect you. You can’t fool everyone, and many people have been through worse. For everyone that pities you, there are several that aren’t impressed in the least. Playing small is hard to hide. Most people can spot your act from a mile away.
- You don’t respect yourself. Down deep, you know you’re being pitiful. You know you’re capable of more, but you’ve given up. You’ve chosen to manipulate your way through life and indirectly asked others to carry your burden.
- You give up control of your life. You can’t assertively manage your life and simultaneously be a victim. A lack of control is a significant contributor to unhappiness and depression.
- You destroy your self-esteem. Without self-respect, it’s challenging to have a healthy level of self esteem. You might think you’re being clever, but you’re harming yourself a little more each day.
- Others don’t trust you. Those with a victim mentality aren’t reliable. They’re too good at avoiding things they don’t want to do. Others quickly learn that you’re not reliable or trustworthy. This makes it hard to maintain friendships.
- You have to avoid success. Success would ruin your victim status. You have to keep a low profile or others will instantly expect more from you.
The downside to being a victim is considerable. You slowly feel worse about yourself while control over your life slips away. Others resent the way you approach life, and few people will trust you.
It’s not easy to give up being a victim. There are benefits to living this way, but over time, the person that suffers the most is you.
A victim mentality hurts you more than it helps. Life is challenging, but it can be rewarding to face those challenges head on and to deal with life on your own terms. Give up being a victim and take responsibility for your life. Show yourself and the world that you’re a survivor!