The Victim Mentality

When I began to think about the current events of our country, I truly began to think of the “victim mentality “. My story is filled with hardships, yet, I do not hold a “victim mentality “.

Therefore, I am really trying to understand. Trying to understand many things. I’m not going to use this blog post to go into detail about the controversial “current events “, because what is happening now, amongst the political and racial wars is so sickening, disheartening, saddening, and I personally do not see an end in sight.

Let us talk about the “victim mentality “ and exactly what it means, what it would also mean if every person saw themselves as such!

Victim mentality is often the product of violence. Those who have it usually had an experience(s) of crisis and/or trauma at its roots. In essence, it is a method of avoiding responsibility and criticism, receiving attention and compassion, and evading feelings of genuine anger.

Past trauma. To an outsider, someone with a victim mentality might seem overly dramatic. But this mindset often develops in response to true victimization. It can emerge as a method of coping with abuse or trauma.

Victim playing by abusers is either:

It is common for abusers to engage in victim playing. This serves two purposes:

  • Justification, to themselves, in transactional analysis known as existential validation, as a way of dealing with the cognitive dissonance that results from inconsistencies between the way they treat others and what they believe about themselves
  • Justification to others as a strategy of evading or deflecting harsh judgment or condemnation they may fear from others.

For manipulation

Manipulators often play the victim role (“woe is me”) by portraying themselves as victims of circumstances or someone else’s behavior in order to gain pity or sympathy or to evoke compassion and thereby get something from someone. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone suffering, and the manipulator often finds it easy and rewarding to play on sympathy to get cooperation.

While portraying oneself as a victim can be highly successful in obtaining goals over the short-term, this method tends to be less successful over time:Victims’ talent for high drama draws people to them like moths to a flame. Their permanent dire state brings out the altruistic motives in others. It is difficult to ignore constant cries for help. In most instances, however, the help given is of short duration. And like moths in a flame, helpers quickly get burned; nothing seems to work to alleviate the victims’ miserable situation; there is no movement for the better. Any efforts rescuers make are ignored, belittled, or met with hostility. No wonder that the rescuers become increasingly frustrated — and walk away.

In psychology a person who has a martyr complex, sometimes associated with the term “victimcomplex”, desires the feeling of being a martyr for their own sake, seeking out suffering or persecution because it either feeds a psychological need or a desire to avoid responsibility.

All of the above information is research and directing from

Now, when it comes to being victimised, we ALL tend to handle this in different manners. Some through emotions, some internalise, self-harm, hate, vengeance, depression, anxiety, self-blame, standing for a cause, etc.

In recent days on Twitter the #whyididntreport and #whyididnotreportit has trended. There are thousands of stories of individuals coming out about childhood abuse, rape, adulthood abuse, rape, neglect. Years of it or even just on occasion. They are speaking their truth though.

They are NOT holding a “victim mentality”, they held shame for so many years. This speaks bravery to me. This also shows others how strong they are to say “hey, it happened to me, I am now okay to tell my story”. All in an effort to help others.

You aren’t seeing them protest in riots across communities and burning down businesses and homes, demanding justice. They aren’t out there murdering men because men were their rapists. They aren’t out there murdering women and mothers because they failed to listen to their cries! They aren’t out there torching police stations, social service buildings, or child protective service workers for failure to intervene.

What about the failure to save them? What about the disregard and disbelief that they have suffered?

In my story, I was molested, my mother didn’t believe me, my family didn’t help, social services didn’t step in! As a teenager, my boyfriend at the time (my children’s biological father) physically abused me. No one helped me!

As an adult I was raped too.

Am I a victim? NO! Do I hate and want to destroy everyone or anyone who did not listen? NO! I forgave them! I even forgave my abusers!

Yes, I’m in continued therapy to deal with the aftermath and to practice self-care. I will not play the victim!

Why must others?

I am completely empathetic and sympathetic to all oppression, abuse, neglect, etc.

At some point, WE must realize that things happen, history repeats itself often if we do not break the cycles and the chains. WE CAN DO THAT PEACEFULLY AND WE must lead by example.

Teach right from wrong! Teach God’s Word! Teach love, patience, forgiveness, and seek help in the proper places.

We have so many resources now.

That example should not be rage, hatred and destruction!

Bailey-Rug C (2015) Life After Narcissistic Abuse^ Bailey-Rug C (2016) It’s Not You, It’s Them: When People Are More Than Selfish^ Simon, George K (1996). In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People. ISBN978-0-9651696-0-8.^ Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries (2014). Are you a victim of the victim syndrome? Organizational Dynamics 43, pp 130-137^ Evans, Katie & Sullivan, J. Michael Dual Diagnosis: Counseling the Mentally Ill Substance Abuser (1990)^ Susan A. DePhillips, Corporate Confidential(2005) p. 65^ Anthony C. Mersino, Emotional Literacy for Project Managers (2007) p. 60 and p. 43^ Mersino, p. 104^ Petruska Clarkson, Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy (London 1997) p. 217^ Eric Berne, Games People Play (Penguin 1964) p. 92 and p. 141-2^R. D. Laing, Self and Others (Penguin 1969) p. 108^ Laing, p. 145^ Neville Symington, Narcissism: A New Theory(London 1993) p. 116^ Michael Parsons, The Dove that Returns, the Dove that Vanishes (London 2000) p. 34^ Pauline Young-Eisendrath, Women and Desire(London 2000) p. 201 and p. 30Anthony C. Mersino, Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers; The People Skills You Need to Succeed (2012) p. 60 and p. 43

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