You are going through a dramatic time in your life. You may have experienced the loss of someone close or broken-up with a partner. It’s a drama. At some time in the future you have to break free. In some cases, because of the brainwashing and psychological experience you have had, you may be stuck in a mode called ‘learned helplessness.’ You believe that you are the victim in all of this.
To move your life forward, at some point, you will have to leave this ‘victim mode,’ and it is not easy. Leaving this mode will require you to reclaim your power and set boundaries. The biggest problem is that being in victim mode is a comfortable and irresistible place to be, as while you are there, when you don’t achieve, there is a good reason to why you are not achieving. You have the perfect excuse. The blame is all on someone else.
I haven’t got a job as I am going through the court process with my ex and I can’t be seen to earn much money”.
I only work part-time as my Mother is ill and needs me to help with her issues”.
I am lonely as I am a single parent and I haven’t got time to go out and find new love”.
My wife left me for another man – I am the victim in all this”. (maybe the victim never looked at his own behaviour during the marriage to see why his wife may have fallen in love with someone else).
It may be difficult, but the victims in all of the above can find solutions.
In fact, in many cases, the victim knew that at some point their husband or wife would leave them. For years they had been ignoring the conversations their partner had been attempting to have with them. The victim was lazy and comfortable in Victim Mode, even in the marriage. They couldn’t be bothered to make any changes to improve the marriage and to reclaim the power in their life and set boundaries.
Examples could be financial struggles; finding the energy to get a new job. Setting boundaries with interfering family members who a partner struggles to deal with. Making a change could require the victim to start singing from the same hymn sheet as their partner with regards to parenting or not drinking so much alcohol.
You can be in ‘victim mode’ with any of these excuses for the examples above. You are too tired and overworked, your family needs you and it’s easier not to upset them and tell them to only phone once a day, you are stressed so you need to drink when you get home from work.
Being in this mode within a relationship can lead to the breakdown of it.
Being a victim stunts your growth. You are so busy bathing in self-pity – you are unable to reach out to new goals and achieve and change. It is also a place where you know the tune you are humming. You know the role you are in and it is very comfortable. You can be the victim without a script as it becomes normality.
Hopefully by reading this blog, you may realise that you are in victim mode. You can decide whether you want to stay in it or exit. Growing is scary as it’s the fear of the unknow. You have to be brave. When you are a victim, everything is someone else’s fault. “My partner died and left me with two children and I have no life”. This is untrue. It may seem that the walls have caved in, but there is always a way out, however difficult that is to find.
When you leave victim mode you have to start being accountable to yourself and taking responsibility for yourself and your decisions. It can be a terrifying place to be. If you make a wrong decision, it is all your fault, but by the same token, things that start to happen which are improvements to your life, will start to make you stand tall and feel proud. All the responsibility is your own. You have to stop blaming your ex for you having no money or feeling sad and alone. You have to start making your own life choices and feeling how great it is to be free and mature.
Breaking out of victim mode is well worth it but I acknowledge how difficult and scary it can be to walk alone. You will find yourself being drawn back into victim mode as that place still looks easier and cosier. You quite like being the poor little victim. Another problem is that the victim starts to become boring to others and people can only take so much listening to you in your victim mode.
So how do you step out of victim mode?
You probably blame others for your situation and circumstances, but if you look really honestly, you will probably see that you were to blame for some of what you are experiencing too? Even if you only played a small part in what happened and how you are feeling now (and that can be guilt), try and find the strength to acknowledge this and you will feel the freedom to learn from the experience and move on. It can be very difficult to take some of the blame too, but it’s an invaluable thing to learn to do and will give you a new outlook on life. “Learn from your mistakes and be accountable”.
For example, it could be something along the lines of “I knew my partner wasn’t right for me from the very beginning of the relationship, but she had a good job and offered me the stability I thought I needed. I believed I could compromise but there was no love there”.
When you are going through something where you really feel that you are the victim, that role is reinforced by others when they offer you pity and sympathy. You will find you are not taking personal responsibility and therefore not moving forward. You are essentially allowing other to feel the pain for you. Make a list of the areas in your life where you would like to take more control. It could be things such as where you live, how you live, love life, job…. Take the time to tell yourself that you need to take greater personal responsibility for what is happening in your life.
Ok, someone has hurt you in the past. That happened and it was terrible, but ask yourself if that is happening now? Are they still hurting you? If they are, how can you stop that? If they are not, it’s time to move on and stop wallowing in self-pity for what happened in the past. Learn to forgive and move forward. Remove the burden of this negative thinking. It may help you to find a coach or therapist to support you through this stage. The fact is that this happened and now you have to move on. In fact, if you continue to be the victim when the other person is no longer hurting you, surely you are allowing them to hurt you further by allowing them to be in your thoughts?
Leave your old story behind and create a new chapter in your life. Going over the history time and time again will do nothing for your self-esteem. While you are problem solving and learning to forgive the past, create positive dreams in your head or write a life plan or make a mood board if you prefer to be more creative and see your future in pictures.
Find the positives in the negative issue you have come through. Maybe coming out of marriage seems truly horrendous, but as time passes, focus on what could happen in the future. You could meet a wonderful new partner and experience true love and share new experiences. It could lead to you having hobbies you would never have had in the past or a healthier lifestyle. Maybe you will move to a new area? It could be that going through something terrible leads you into finding out things about yourself you never knew existed and you find a new career? “Everything happens for a reason” and you just need to find the positive side of that. Take a look at your life so far and you will see that there have been negative points which have actually developed into the most beautiful outcome.
Try to take control and gain power of your life. Staying in victim mode simply attracts negative thoughts leaving your life to go around and around in the same circle. Imagine yourself standing in a circle, it’s a continuous line, you need to jump out of that loop into a new life and make a change. Only you can make the decision to do that.
There are many therapists, counsellor and coaches in our Hug Directory who can help you to find yourself again if you are struggling and need further guidance. You have just read this blog, so you have made the first step towards change.
Work out in which areas you want to make a change. Do you want to improve your current relationship, have you been grieving for too long and want to lead a fulfilling life again? Are you bored of your job and want a change or unhappy with the way you look and feel and want to become more active and lose a few pounds?