This is the second of the 14-part series that aims to give insights about the negative effects of low self-esteem. In this article, we are going to talk about one of its unhealthy consequences.
It is a negative outlook that makes a person think that things, especially bad ones, happen to him or her because of other people. Some would even think that their failures and misfortunes happen because of some "divine intervention."
It is a self-defeating attitude that makes one try to attract sympathy from other people, thinking that he or she is not to blame for everything that went wrong in his or her life.
Causes of Victim Mentality
Victim mentality is most often the result of your own experiences. It can happen if you are not able to move on from unfortunate circumstances especially when you were offended or deeply hurt by another person, and you chose to connect to it all the future conflicts that happen in your life.
Aside from dwelling too much in the past, victim mentality can also stem from:
1. Negative Thinking
It is a thinking pattern that makes you reflect unpleasant expectations of things or events. It is a state of mind which makes you believe that things will always go wrong. It makes you expect that bad things will grow worse and so on.
The mind is neutral energy. Positive and negative thinking is the same energy used in different ways. You must put more energy and consciousness to arrest negative thoughts and transform them to positive ones. This can help you to change your mental attitude.
2. Low Self-Esteem
It is often the result of lack of self-worth and heavy self-criticism. No matter how you try to think that you deserve what you want, there is something deep within you that tells you that you don't deserve them.
3. Co-dependency Behavior
It is often the result of a dysfunctional relationship between you and another person. It often surfaces when you become attached to the person who abuses you.
It creates a need to be needed and thus make a person develop an addiction to help someone, yet he wants the other person to continue to be needy. A codependent often suffers from a 'Messiah Complex' where he sees problems with everyone and sees himself as the only person who can help.
Tips on Overcoming Victim Mentality
1. Build your self-esteem. You are worthy to reach your goals, achieve your dreams and most of all you are worthy of respect. Do yourself a favor by respecting yourself, and others will do the same. Focus on your good qualities and believe that just like anyone else, you deserve what you wish for.
2. Do something about your negative state of mind. You have to stop the sad experiences that you went through from taking control of your thought patterns. Stop living in the past. Your anger, negative thoughts, and feelings of helplessness can't do anything to help you in the present. The past is long gone and the best thing you can do is to learn from it. Live for each new day with hope. Believe in yourself. You can do it.
3. Stand up for your values and principles and be ready to defend them in the face of opposition. Show to other people that you are capable of taking responsibility for yourself.
4. Stop thinking that you can help other people by making them dependent on you. If a family member is abusing you, do something to stop it, seek help it necessary.