How To Break Out of Victim Mentality - How To Win a Man's Heart

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October 30, 2014

How To Break Out of Victim Mentality

# 1. Be aware of the self-sabotaging past patterns in your relationship and avoid repeating them

Dr. Randi Gunther

Do you love too soon, too much, and too intensely? Do you begin each relationship with the intent to fulfill every need your partner exhibits preferably before he even asks for them? Do you pride yourself in being able to give without need for immediate reciprocity? Do you feel that your partners don’t appreciate how hard you try to make them happy? Do you often feel like you’ve been taken advantage of after the relationship ends?

If you answer yes to most of those questions, you may be a person who is unconsciously setting yourself up to be disappointed and disillusioned by love. And, even more dangerous, risk losing your capacity to continue believing you will ever find it. If you continue with the same pattern in succeeding relationships, you are also in danger of attracting the same kind of partner whose actions will sadly reinforce your cynicism.

Everyone needs to feel appreciated and valued when they give of themselves, perhaps not in each interaction but certainly over time. It’s what makes people feel safe and valuable in all of their relationships, but especially when they are vulnerable and open in an intimate connection. Every intimate partner also tries to make their new lovers feel treasured by doing everything they can do ensure they will feel fulfilled in the relationship. That reciprocal giving and receiving is the way people are supposed to behave, bringing gifts to their altar place of mutual devotion.

That process goes awry when the balance between giver and receiver tips in only one direction. People who know what they need and what they can give to get what they need have a self-protective alarm button that goes off when they first begin to feel that the deal isn’t happening the way it should. Of course they make allowances for particular situations and unexpected demands that may keep their partners on the receiving end a little too long. But, if it keeps happening too long, they consciously pull back and allow a healthy balance to re-emerge.

People who continue loving without getting what they need are putting emotional money in a bank with a hole in the bottom. The partner who is benefiting from unequal commitment isn’t going to be concerned with that imbalance as long as the “uber-giving” partner doesn’t appear to be upset, martyred or resentful. He isn’t keeping tabs or feeling any kind of indebtedness, and will most likely feel ripped off by an unexpected “save-up” entitlement presented after the fact. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that, if only you give enough and in the right way, your partner will one day wake up, realize how much he appreciates and loves how much you’ve done for him, and magically want to make it up to you.

There are men who give too much and feel equally ripped off in love, but the preponderance of people who find themselves at the other end of a “taker” are, unfortunately mostly women. They are the natural “weavers,” those who think of the past and future in each present moment. They are building expectations in hopes they will be equally met as time goes on. That makes them more able, and more likely, to invest in the future by sweetening the present. As such, they are more likely to be the partner who risks being taken advantage of by someone who is just enjoying the momentary experience.

To ensure that you feel beloved and appreciated in your intimate relationships, begin them with an honest sharing of your love of giving and what your hopes and expectations are in return. Ask your partner what he can and wants to give you and if that will be enough. Open and agreed upon balances of giving and taking are agreements made by two, not by one. They can be renegotiated over time, but between you, not in your own mind. Even if it may be hard to face, it’s always better to know early what you can look forward to and whether that will be enough for you to continue loving him.

Dr. Randi Gunther –

# 2. Step off the victim triangle

Amanda Patterson

One of my favorite tools to use with clients who are stuck in a victim mentality is the victim triangle. The victim triangle explains roles people play that keep them in victim. The three roles are victim, persecutor and rescuer. If you do one, you do all three. Here’s an explanation of each of them.


This is the person who says “Why me”. It’s the situations where things happen to you that you don’t think you want to happen but end up happening anyway. Victim can look different for people. Some people find themselves unable to keep a job or stay in a steady relationship. Some people continue to live in lack, either financially or emotionally. How have you been a victim in your life?


This is the so-called perpetrator. This is where people use the following tactics: withdraw, addictions, affairs, blame, sarcasm, criticizing, judgment, superiority, revenge and other means that are meant to get back at people. How do you persecute other people? How have you been persecuted in your life?


This is the one trying to make everything better in a situation. It is where a person enables, caretakes, fixes, lacks boundaries, denies and keeps secrets. A rescuer tries to reduce tension by using any number of those behaviors in order to get their needs met and rescue other people or themselves. How do you rescue people? How have you been rescued by others?

The way off of the victim triangle is to take responsibility for your life. Inquire into how you set yourself up as the victim. How are you not empowered in your life? How have you given your power to rescuers or persecutors? When you figure out how you are not empowered, stop setting yourself up to be the victim. Also, work on establishing realistic expectations for yourself and others. If you set high expectations and people do not meet them, it can be easy pattern to slip into being the victim because they didn’t meet your needs and persecuting them by blaming them for not living up to your expectations. Next, stop blaming others and own your behavior. Take responsibility of your behavior and the direct impact your behavior has on your life. Make better choices for you. Finally, take care of yourself. Engage in self-care. Do things that make you happy and live you feeling good about yourself.

Amanda Patterson, LMHC –

# 3. Take responsibility and move forward

Cynthia Pickett

With everything that life throws at us it is easy to feel as if we are a big ole universal whipping post. There have been many times when I fantasized about selling everything and running away to a warm tropical sunny beach to live out the rest of my days. But then I snap back to reality and the truth is we cannot escape our lessons. We cannot escape they will find us even in a tiki hut on a remote tropical beach.

I am not sure where the notion that life had to be smooth, quiet and easy as a sign of living successfully originally came from. That adage is just not true and sets us up for frustration and heartache when we are not able to live it out. Life is supposed to be a series of lessons for us to heal and/or master. The trick is to keep moving forward and through them without getting stuck which just accentuates the misery. Being a victim and blaming others is evidence of being stuck big time. Why should life not be difficult and have lessons? We are here to learn, evolve and grow. That is our job! Our job is to not get stuck in the minutia that goes along with it.

By realizing that lessons and growth occur when we are struggling and that everything we experience is for our benefit (no matter how badly it hurts) it makes it much easier to take responsibility for our reality and heal the lesson so we can then move forward. It is much easier to blame others and be a victim but that keeps the same pattern repeating itself over and over. Then life is really hard! By asking what the lesson is that you need to learn from any situation and following that path, you are learning to heal, and getting yourself unstuck. The lessons keep coming but then you can handle them with more grace and ease, which in turn makes life easier. Not because we don’t’ have lessons and challenges but because we are handling them by taking responsibility for them, healing and moving forward.

Always ask your self, “How is this benefitting me”? Don’t allow your self to say, “It is not benefitting me”, because it is or it won’t be happening. A benefit is not always cake and ice cream it is usually the opportunity to grow and heal. Also ask your self “What is my lesson in this”? Go with whatever your first answer is even if it doesn’t make sense. Blaming is easier than growing and healing! That is why we do it. So just dive into the healing. Yes, it is painful and the in-the-moment process just sucks! But it is the path to peace and freedom! By slugging through our own baggage along the way we are treated to new healthier patterns, peace, freedom, and grace to which we have never known.

Cynthia Pickett, LCSW, LADC –

# 4. Victimhood is a choice we most often make when we are unwilling to see another option

Kristen Brown

For many, attaching to their stories of past and wallowing in the “unfairness” of life is a habitual pattern. In order to stop our story of victimhood, we must make a conscious decision to do so- not tomorrow, not the next day, not next year…

Right Now.

Let me share a little story…

In 2009-2010 I went through a period in time I refer to as, “my tsunami”. It was packed with betrayal, anxiety, fear, loss of worth, loss of financial security and loss of hope. I couldn’t believe another person could do what he did. I was suffering terribly. I had no idea how I was ever going to lead myself or my children out of this devastation successfully.

One day seemingly out of the blue, I decided I had spent too much time on fear and emotional paralysis. I decided I had spent too much time trying to understand the “whys” and the psyche of my perpetrator. Simply put, I had spent waaaaay too much time stuck in my story. I made the steadfast decision that I was not going to give my perpetrator one more crumb of my energy, my personal power, my thoughts or my joy. I made this very declaration:


Even though the difficulty of my situation was undeniable and I was so terribly frightened and weary, I knew that growing roots in this spot was not going to raise healthy children. It was not going to regain a substantial income. And it was certainly not going heal my heart so that someday I could connect with a new love.

And so it began…

My journey to empowerment and the awakening to self-worth that followed.

By simply changing my perception, I created a change in direction. Everything I did no longer reflected hurt, anger or betrayal. I begin to open to a new and better life. I began to view my situation as a blessing and I opened my heart to the abundance and love I knew was waiting for me on the other side. Soon thereafter, my energy began to shift. My essence began to soften and I learned and grew in the most unimaginable ways. I chose victory over victimhood and it was the best decision I ever made.

No matter what your story, it’s time to ask yourself this question:

Am I choosing victimhood or am I choosing victory?

There is only one correct answer that will lead you to empowerment and the life you’ve always desired.

Kristen Brown, Author of, From Doormat To Sweet

# 5. Follow the 2 steps below


When we have experienced an unpleasant situation we often ask ourselves – WHY ME???? We lament over the question. We tell others (e.g., friends, coworkers, family, strangers, etc.) about the incident and ask them the question – WHYME? We do it so much that the people around us (e.g., friends, coworkers, family, strangers, etc.) stay clear of us when they see us coming. All we want is some sort of an answer or explanation as to why we continue to have these experiences. But let us first approach it from the other side to address the WHY NOT YOU question and then we will work on making the changes.

Step 1: Self-Reflection – Do you do the following?

• Surround yourself with other victims. If you are the most interesting person or the most intelligent person in your circle, then everyone in your circle is thinking and behaving in a similar way or worse. If your support system does not elevate your thinking and challenge you on your behavior, then WHY NOT YOU?

• Stick with an image of the type of person (or relationship) you think you want. If you continue to attract the wrong man, reevaluate your criteria list. Since you have a choice as to whether you begin a relationship with a certain type of individual and you continue to date the same type of individual resulting in the same outcome, then WHY NOT YOU?

• Lie about who you are. Spending your life pretending to be someone other than yourself is called false advertisement. Even retail stores have a return policy. If a fake representative of you shows up at events and in other relationships and these relationships end or friends disappear, then WHY NOT YOU?

Step 2: Making the Change – Because I am ready to live and love in truth I will…

Build a Support System

– Action for Change: Do I have individuals around me who will love me enough to make me live in my truth? Are my friends allowing me to be toxic with myself and them? Your Support System should be there to help you face reality during your healing and growing process.

– New Mantra: Tell me the truth!!!

Change My Faulty Thinking

– Action for Change: Ask yourself the following: Am I a victim of my circumstances or am I a victim of my flawed thinking? Do I deserve a fulfilling life or a phony life?

– New Mantra: I deserve to live a fulfilling life and have my needs (physically, emotionally, intellectually) met in my relationships.

Be the Real Me

– Action for Change: Review your experiences and identify the theme in each (e.g., when I began a relationship, I feel as if , I have to be attentive to his every need but after three months I stopped doing everything for him because it became overwhelming.).

– New Mantra: In my next relationship I will introduce the person I truly am.

Dr. Maurita Hodge –

# 6. You have to realize that you are the only person controlling your actions

Denise Davis

I see this all the time where woman “play the victim” when it comes to dating. It is as if they think they have no control over the situation. “Why does my boyfriend cheat?” or “Why is he so mean to me?” or “Why does he only call when he needs something?” I am sure many women can relate to this type of treatment. I can definitely relate because I used to think this way too. The good news is you don’t have to play the victim or be the victim anymore. Everyday is a new opportunity to start fresh and change how you deal with certain situations. However, the first step is realizing that you have a problem and although you can’t change other people you can change yourself and how you interact with other people. This will force the other person to change how they interact with you because their old ways no longer work.

When I hear or see a woman in “victim” mode I get angry. Funny coming from a woman who has been in victim mode in the past. However, I think because I no longer allow myself to be a victim I want to do all I can to empower women and show them they don’t have to live like that anymore. The real easy answer to this problem would be “don’t be a victim anymore.” Let’s look at how to get out of this role.

You have to realize that you are the only person controlling your actions. No man can make you act a certain way unless you allow it to happen. When I work with women and I ask them if they would put up with their best friend treating them badly, they always say “no way I would never talk to her again if she was using me.” So why is it any different with a man? It shouldn’t be! The only reason a man would use you or cheat on you is because you let him. Many woman get very angry when I say this because they will say “I didn’t let him do anything he just does it and then expects me to just take him back. ” Then I ask her “Did you take him back?” She immediately will say “Yes I took him back but he said he would never do it again and he apologized so I had to give him another chance.” So to me that looks like the reason he thinks he can cheat and be mean and still come home to you whenever he wants is because you let him. We teach people how to treat us. Think about that, read it again and let it sink in. WE TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO TREAT US. No one will do anything if they know there will be true consequences to their behavior. So what does this mean to you?

If you want a man to treat you with respect then you have to demand respect. If you don’t want to be treated badly or cheated on then don’t hold on to a man who does those things. It is a very simple concept. If you don’t want to be a victim then don’t act like a victim. Women it is time to quit giving away your power to a man or anyone really who does not deserve it. You have everything you need to be a strong, independent woman with a good man on your side. The problem comes in when you allow your boyfriend to suck out all of your self-esteem to the point that you forget you can make different choices. You are in control of who you allow to remain in your life. It is time for women to take responsibility for their choices! You are so much stronger than you realize. Now please don’t misunderstand, this won’t be easy and it won’t happen over night. It is a process, but if you have clear boundaries and you make yourself a priority you will get there. You are a special person and don’t let anyone tell you any different.

Denise Davis, LMHC –

# 7. Follow the 3 tips below

Amy Sherman

Are you coming across too needy or desperate? Do you keep attracting the “wrong” type of person? Are you feeling lost and no longer in control? Then you may have adapted a victim mentality and are wallowing in your own self-pity.

Be careful you don’t:

1. Lose yourself and become too enmeshed in the other person’s life
2. Become afraid of being alone
3. Look to the other person for gratification and confirmation
4. Depend on others to affirm your value
5. Fear change and taking risks

Here’s what you must do:

1. Become aware of your self-talk. Catch yourself putting yourself down, calling yourself fat, boring, stupid, or any other term you may have previously used to make yourself feel less valuable to the world.

2. Start consciously calling yourself “a great catch,” and begin visualizing yourself laughing and walking hand-in-hand with someone special. Keep mentally affirming, “I deserve a great mate, and I’m attracting him into my life,” or some other phrase that resonates with you.

3. Start anticipating success and feeling like the person you want to be. Know you deserve to share your life and attributes with some other very lucky person — because you found each other!

To attract the kind of person you truly deserve you have to come across as a desirable, self-confidant individual, and that involves doing the inner work to get there. Stop wasting your energy worrying about how to change for him and start being different for you! Radiate the essence of who you really are and you will start attracting smart, relationship-minded men who are looking for a sharp, compassionate, fun-loving person like you!

This is your opportunity to focus your attention on your own personal growth, interests and individual needs. Of course, allow your partner to do the same. This will nurture the development of a healthy, fulfilling and lasting relationship while creating a healthier, more satisfied YOU.

Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC –

# 8. Choose to succeed and triumph #INSPITEOF


As a survivor of neglect, abandonment, rape, molestation racism and discrimination,
I stand firm in my belief that you can overcome your tragedies, trials and tribulations. I am a firm believer that #INSPITEOF the barriers put into place, failed marriages, partnerships and relationships; it is still possible to succeed at love, your career, and everything in between.

Many times when barriers have been put into place, your marriage fails, or your partnership dissolve, we find ourselves wanted to blame the world for our unhappiness. Many of us will choose to play the victim role and not hold ourselves accountable for the part that we played in the things that are bringing us so much unhappiness.

When tragedy strikes we naturally have a tendency to “fall apart”, and when trials and tribulations cause barriers to pop up in our lives; hindering us from being successful at love and in our careers we look to place the blame on our partners, co-workers, mates, friends and family. Yet the truth is we are capable of withstanding all the negative, hurtful and disappointing things that may come our way. We have to choose not to be he victim.

As a young woman I consciously made the choice to succeed and triumph #INSPITEOF the tragedies, trials and tribulations that occurred in my life. I chose to not label myself as a victim and to stand tall and proud in the fact that I was a survivor of neglect, abandonment, rape, molestation racism and discrimination. I chose to focus on my strengths instead of my weaknesses. I chose to embrace my flaws, imperfections and shortcomings and use them as a learning tool for both myself and the people around me. I learned that choosing to live my life to the fullest meant that I had to accept my past and my mistakes and not allow myself to play the blame game or to be hindered by the barriers, tragedies, trials and tribulations that occurred in my life.

Choosing to triumph #INSPITEOF all the bad that may have taken place in your life, is the true definition of success and happiness.

Wendy Whitmore, MS, LMFT –

# 9. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, take a look at what you do have

Sally Leboy

Feeling like a victim is the ultimate statement of powerlessness. While I do think there is such a thing as bad luck, the majority of what happens to us in our lives is the direct result of the choices we make. It’s the good news and the bad news. The good news is that you have more power than you probably know to create the life you want; the bad news is that you are almost completely responsible for creating that life.

We are all dealt a certain hand at birth. We probably don’t have any choice in that. Some hands are certainly better than others. People are born with certain attributes that can help or hinder them on their journey through life. What really ends up mattering is what you do with your hand. Bemoaning what you don’t have takes up a lot of time and energy. That time and energy could be spent figuring yourself out, creating meaningful goals, and beginning the work to achieve them.

Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, take a look at what you do have. All of us are so lucky to be born in a country where we have the basic rights to create for ourselves a meaningful existence. Is it perfect here? Absolutely not; there is a lot of inequity and things are very often not fair. But most of us don’t go to bed hungry or homeless. We have access to health care and education. We have the resources to make our lives better.

I know that many of you have struggled with poverty, abuse or neglect. Sometimes we really are victims of circumstances beyond our control. But staying stuck in that reality is such a waste of energy! These realities certainly impact us but they don’t have to define us. Learning from our own past mistakes and the mistakes of our families is the best way to not repeat defeatist patterns. Once you recognize that you have the power to shape your life, you are no longer a victim.

Most successful people aren’t any luckier or more talented than you are. They just work hard. They learn from the past and stay focused on their goals. You can do that, too. Oh and by the way, self-pity is not attractive except to people who are only defined by their role as a caretaker. Helplessness spells neediness and that is a real turn-off for healthy people.

Sally Leboy, MS, MFT –

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