People don’t become victims. They open themselves to the opportunity. Believe it or not, becoming a victim often stems from a lack of taking responsibility for yourself. Maybe you blame others when something goes wrong in your life. Or you take the position that was something was done “to” you; it had nothing to do with your own actions. This sounds somewhat harsh, yes, but learning to take responsibility for your own behavior can help you take charge and escape victimhood.
Escaping victimhood involves taking responsibility for what is making you feel like a victim. You may consider yourself a victim when you feel unhappy and blame others for it. Maybe you sometimes perceive yourself as being taken advantage of by others. But it is you who chooses to accept being treated in a way you don’t like. No one can do hurtful things to you or take advantage of you unless you allow it.
Develop Self-Care and Self-Love
Many people allow themselves to be a victim of poor treatment if they have a poor sense of self-esteem or self-worth. That’s why building self-care and self-love is so important. When you have a healthy core of self-care and self-love, a positive self-esteem and self-worth follow. These are all tools that will make it easier to escape becoming a victim.
It’s up to you to adopt a victim mentality or accept the challenge to change what you don’t like. When you feel like a victim, you may find yourself asking, “Why me?” Instead of reinforcing victimhood by falling prey to feelings like this, focus on how you can change the situation.
Saying no to excessive requests for favors from others keeps you from getting overwhelmed and feeling put upon, or victimized.
If some makes you feel unattractive, or otherwise bad about yourself in some way, avoid them. Don’t spend time with a hurtful person and accept unfair criticism. Refusing to allow behavior you don’t like attracts better treatment from people and increases your own self-respect.
Set stronger boundaries between yourself and others, and don’t let them cross the line. One aspect of self-care is allowing yourself time for yourself, without the requests of others eating into it with requests and demands.
You may feel that you have no control over your life, that things happen “to” you, and the consequences are unavoidable. You begin to feel sorry for yourself and get stuck in the mindset that the world is out to get you. This is when you need to work to strengthen your sense of self-care and self-love, so that you are strong enough to break out of that feeling of self-pity and take control of whatever is bothering you.
Often, it is easier to play the victim, blaming what is wrong with your life on others and expecting them to change things for the better. But when that doesn’t happen, you are left holding your bag of unhappiness and feelings of victimhood. Again, it falls to that seemingly central theme of taking responsibility for your life to make sure you can minimize the negative things you experience.
Taking charge of your life to avoid becoming a victim isn’t easy, but constantly feeling like a victim damages your self-worth in the world. By taking action, you will begin to see change in your life and eventually get the results you are looking for. It won’t, and doesn’t have to, happen all at once. But with each step you take, you move that much closer to escaping victimhood and moving on with a happier life.