Only You Can Make You a Victim
What does it mean to be a victim? The dictionary definition of a victim is: “a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action…a person who is deceived or cheated by the dishonesty of others.” Anyone can become the victim of a crime or other undeserved action. But allowing yourself to remain a victim, and letting it rule — or ruin — how you live your life, is your choice alone.
You can’t change what happens to you in life. But the way you react to it is completely up to you. You may have been the victim of a robbery by a street thug, or perhaps you were injured in a car crash. Both can be traumatic, both physically and emotionally painful. Once the physical pain has healed, however, many still hold onto the anger they feel about what happened to them. They just can’t let go of the injustice done to them, and in effect, this lets the person who hurt them continue hurting them.
The Victim Mentality
Many people develop what is called a “victim mentality” — a habitual process of perceiving themselves as the victim of others’ actions, even when there is no clear evidence that this is the case. Someone who is still traumatized from their initial experience may be seeking and receiving attention and validation from others to comfort themselves. This method may not be successful for long as others will eventually tire of repeated pronouncements of being victimized.
So how do you let go of an event that is negatively ruling your life? It’s not always easy. You need to respect the fact that something bad did in fact happen, and it did in fact hurt you. Let it hurt, but then you need to make a decision to move on. The longer you hold onto that hurt, the harder it will be to let go and move on with your life.
Accept the fact that you cannot change the past. What has happened, has happened. All you can do is take steps towards creating a future for yourself that is free of the constant fear and victimization that you are feeling right now. Don’t let your life be ruled by something that you can control. It may not be easy. It may take a long time, but it can be done. Eventually, you will be able to take your life back and start living it the way you want to — happily.
When you start to let go of the victim mentality, you may feel an emptiness, or a hole in your life that had been filled with thoughts of victimization. Maybe you have been spending hours upon hours every week of your life thinking and talking about how people have wronged you and how so many things have gone so wrong for you in life, or how you can exact revenge. It’s time to start filling that empty space with new thinking that, while it may make you feel unsafe at first, will ultimately help you let go of the victim mentality that is ruling your life and let you move forward with a new, more positive look to the future.