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3 Ways A Victim Mentality is Showing Up in Your Relationships and What to Do About It

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

My heart goes out to all of us here. We all need to be wanted, included, and seen. These things don't just go away, but what can happen, is that we get into an unhealthy relationship with these needs. We, in a way, start demanding them from others rather than just desiring them. You may not notice if you have begun to demand them because you are not saying anything out loud that would be categorized as demanding, but your internal dialogue is another story.

If you are wondering if you have made the shift from desire to a demand, look for these 3 signs that the victim mentality is showing up in your relationships and what to do about it.

1. You wait to be invited rather than doing the inviting.

There are two ways that victim mentality can be at hand here.

First, you can be a victim to your own insecurity. It is a possibility that you do not do the inviting because you assume that others don't like you, or it is inconvenient for them, or they wouldn't want to come anyways. You act as if it is something that can't change, and it is just your portion in life to be alone. You hold this mentality so close that you never take the initiative to continue to invite others until you find someone who does like you. The chances that there is someone out there who likes you are very, very high but you will not allow yourself to know it.

The second way the victim mentality shows up here is not insecurity, but rather only making room for 50/50 relationships in your life. What you usually end up getting is 0/0 relationships. If they begin to reach out to you then you will reach out to them, but here is the thing, most people struggle to think outside of the life and the people who are right in front of them. Well, you might conclude, if they are unable to think about anyone else that is not right in front of them then you don't want to be their friend anyways. If that is what you want, that is fine. Just take ownership of that choice. But if you are willing to show a little grace, and are willing to put in a little bit of the extra mile, you might find they are truly great friends that you want in your life even if their intentionality isn't the greatest.

So, what to do:

1. Don't generalize the whole population. Don't assume no one will like you because one doesn't. Do not give up on reaching out to others until you see the type of relationships you want in your life.

2. Give people a little grace. Unintentional people don't equal bad people. We all have strengths and weaknesses.

2. You blame others for how you feel.

Others can't make you feel anything. This one is hard. You might be thinking, "If someone is yelling at me, how am I not supposed to feel hurt, angry, insecure, etc.?" I feel you friend. It can hurt, for sure, but what is actually hurting is the messages we are internalizing. The internal messages that say:

"You are not smart enough."

"You mess everything up."

"You're alone because of who you are."

We do not have to internally agree with what they are saying. Now, here is what I am not saying: You have to feel good all the time. Sometimes it is appropriate to hurt. "I am sad that this relationship is not as close as I want it to be." Totally appropriate. Just own it because you will need ownership of how you feel if you want to heal friend.

What to do about it:

Reject messages that are not true about you. You are smart enough, good enough, and enough, enough. Ignore abusive people and their messages. If your situation isn't this extreme, great. Taking ownership of your feelings might allow you to have a delightful relationship with an imperfect person.

3. You are way too hard on other people.

This one is similar to blaming others for your how you feel, but it is slightly different. For this one, you are hard on others because you are giving them too much responsibility in your life. See, the victim mentality is all about passing the responsibility to someone else. In this case, high school didn't teach you how to budget, and that is why you're broke. It is the job's fault that you aren't happy. It is your husband's fault that you didn't pursue what you wanted to in life. Essentially, you blame, and if it is a person, they can be crushed under the weight of your blame. Now, I do not want to do a disservice to your intuition friend. I do believe there are times that the responsibility does belong with someone else. If you are broke because you were robbed, that is a different story. I don't want you to overly identify with being too hard on someone. Maybe what you are saying is an accurate description of the situation. This is for you if it is not.

What to do:

Go inside yourself. Ask yourself, "Am I passing responsibility, or is this an accurate description of the situation?" If you are passing blame, learn to budget, look for a different job, and chase the dream.

Now, hey friend, if you see yourself in any of these, I don't want you to be too hard on yourself. Honestly, I don't want you to be hard on yourself at all. We do not need any more shame. What I would love to see you do is take ownership of you. I think you'll be happy you did.

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