“I got my own back” – Maya Angelou
We’ve often heard of the term “victim mentality” or “victim complex”. Psychologists define this term as someone who has a dysfunctional mindset characterized by an incessant need to feel persecuted in order to gain attention or avoid responsibility for oneself.
It may be annoying to be around someone who is always complaining about how their life isn’t quite going their way and how everything is falling apart. They tend to act as though they can’t do anything about it. They even go out of their way to sabotage things for themselves because they feel like they don’t deserve good things in life.
We all know someone who would rather cry and complain rather than doing something about their situation. People with victim complexes have a tendency to victimize themselves in order to gain sympathy. They wallow in self-doubt and negative self-talk rather than taking matters into hand and fixing it.
The foundation of Victim complexity is built around three core beliefs. They are:
- You are destined to experience bad things
- These bad things that are happening are occurring because of a situation or a person
- There is really no point in trying to change these negative events since they are destined to happen and any efforts to prevent, change, or avoid are of no value.
This condition is a learned behavior that people can unlearn with some effort and self-determination. There are some character traits that are seen in people with a victim complex. Here are some of the signs of victim complex:
1. Giving up easily
People with a victim complex will find any reason why it’s not going to work out and make excuses before starting the project. They tend to give up easily without taking action. Giving up is easier than trying to think of solutions to a problem at hand. There’s no fun putting effort into something you are confident won’t work out
This is a fairly important sign of victim complex. They don’t believe in themselves and so they don’t follow through with the amazing ideas that come to their mind. They tend to put it off, make excuses, find an escape or a way around it, rather than live life. Self-doubt also becomes inevitable by thinking things like “I’m not smart enough for that job”, “they won’t like me the way I am” or “I am not that talented to succeed.”
3. Letting others take control of their life
They let others dictate how to live their life because they feel that others know more than their own lives. Taking life decisions based on someone else’s opinion is letting others control their life. This way they do not take responsibility when things go wrong and blame others for the mess.
4. Negative self-talk and Self-sabotaging life decisions
They are an extreme internal critic. That is why they tend to make self-sabotaging life decisions. This makes them continue to be in a state of “not being good enough”. They continue to engage in negative self-talk such as “everything bad happens to me”, “I can’t really do anything about it, so why bother?”, or “no one cares about me”. Negative self-talk can damage a person’s ability to be resilient that makes it harder to bounce back from life challenges and heal.
5. Trying to please everyone at the cost of yourself
They run around trying to please everyone even when the cost is themselves. They want to hit a crisis so that they can be rescued. This then becomes everyone else’s fault because they were busy paying attention to others instead of themselves. They place blame on others for not meeting their demands. This is one of the most important signs of victim complex.
6. Being bitter and resentful for not living life
Due to their constant fear of being alone, they end up trying to please everyone else but them. Their primary focus is on pleasing other people instead of themselves. When everything falls apart, they end up feeling bitter and resentful and not in control of their lives. The ultimate sign of victim complex is relying on others to keep them happy instead of fulfilling their own unique selves.