Having a victim mentality is not uncommon. It has often developed as a defense mechanism and could be a result of unfortunate childhood experiences. These may not necessarily have been abusive, but may have been a response to relationship dynamics, or simply from mimicking primary caregivers.
Regardless of the cause, going through life with the burden of a victim mentality is not a mentally healthy way to live. Like many coping mechanisms, they exist long beyond the circumstances they evolved with, and limit a person's potential life experience.
If you want to stop playing the victim, you can break free from this cyclical and learned behavior pattern by incorporating an alternate set of standards. First, be honest and authentic with yourself. Nobody is listening to your inner voice but you.
Being real and honest with yourself is probably the hardest step, but you can't move forward if you don't admit to even yourself that there's a better way to live this life. Chances are if you're still reading this, you recognize that you have a problem, and you've already accepted that you want to change.
Here are some key components to breaking the cycle.
Own Your Life
This is your life. If you want something, do the work to get it. Mistakes or simply unwanted results are always going to happen. It's human nature. Blaming others or responding with anger only slows your forward progress. It is a regressive behavior.
Instead, ask yourself what you can do differently next time. Take responsibility, own up to your inadequacies (everybody has them) and push forward. If you get hung up on the little stuff, you'll never reach the end.
Holding grudges only holds you back and no one else. Think about all the negative energy you harbor when you are holding a grudge. It's very counterproductive. If someone has really wronged you, forgive them and let it go. It doesn't mean you have to put yourself in that situation again. However, don't hold yourself back from all that this life has to offer you by wasting precious time being perpetually angry at someone else.
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Be Assertive, Not Aggresive
Learn to say "no" if someone asks you to take on something you don't feel you have time or the desire to complete. Stand up for yourself and take control of your life. Find a polite way to respond and then move on.
Sometimes empathy is the best character trait we can use to think outside our own little box. Put yourself in someone else's shoes and actually feel something other than your own desires and needs. How would you feel if the positions ere reversed? Go out of the way to be nice to people. An excellent way to help others and reap many inner rewards is through volunteer work.
Get to the Root of Your Anger
What's really making you mad? Do you feel that you lack control of your life? Powerless? Did things just not go your way? Are you feeling embarrassed or defeated or inferior? Be really honest here and identify the root instead of masking it with an emotional response.
If you believe you are always the victim of a cruel world, it doesn't always have to be that way. Your past does not have to define your future. You don't have to live a life of negativity, narcissism, and pessimism. Your life is in your hands.
Even if you are carrying the emotional burdens of a difficult past, reframe your future by taking the role of a survivor instead of a victim.