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Mental Health

Free Yourself From the Victim Mentality

Sara is twenty and the happiest she has been her whole life. She recently got a new job, moved to her dream city, and is in a happy four-year relationship with her boyfriend whom she’s sure she’s going to marry. “Wow, I am so lucky to have you,” Sarah thought to herself while staring at her boyfriend. Boy was she in for a treat. The next day Sarah found out that her boyfriend had been cheating on her. Her whole world comes crashing down and her reality is construed. The next month Sara is depressed, she seems to have forgotten that she got a new job and moved to her dream city. All that mattered was that her boyfriend cheated on her. “Why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this,” Sara wondered to herself. Sara had entered the victim mentality.

Sad heartbreak robot
burak kostak on Pexels

As emotional beings, we adopt the victim mindset when something horrible out of our control happens to us. We complain, pity ourselves, and believe that we are powerless. It’s normal to feel this way when the big man above turns his back on you. After all, Sara did not deserve to be cheated on, nobody does. For the next six months, Sara continues to pity herself. She thinks that life is unfair and that she has no control over her life. She continues to replay the situation in her head, get herself upset, and then blame the world for being upset. It’s a continuous cycle of Sara getting upset and then blaming the world for her wellbeing.

The victim mentality is common because it’s easy to blame others for hurting us or the world for putting us in a bad situation. However, it’s difficult to take charge of your own life and lift yourself out of a bad situation. Sara is hurt, she no longer trusts others, and she’s insecure. This isn’t her fault but it is her responsibility to take the right steps to heal, to love herself, to accept her flaws, and to learn to trust others once again. What happened to Sara wasn’t her fault, but if she doesn’t pick herself back up it is her fault. 

The victim mentality is self-sabotaging because it allows others to make excuses for themselves and blame their current state of well-being on others. “It’s not my fault I’m depressed, he broke me,” Sara said. Once Sara took herself out of the victim mindset she realized that this is her life and it is up to her to create the best life possible for herself. She realizes that it is possible to create her own reality by taking accountability, healing toward self-love, and improving her life. 

Photo by Bart LaRue from Unsplash

An Nguyen

U Mass Amherst '23

An Nguyen is studying Finance at UMass Amherst. She is passionate about financial literacy, economic justice (this means creating economic opportunities for all to thrive), and fighting against racism. In her free time she likes to read, workout, write, and watch movies.
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