How to Stop Being the Victim
For many of us, playing the victim is a way of life. We blame everyone for our troubles, lack of money, bad relationship, etc. and we do not take responsibility for our own lives. Our culture even encourages this behavior through our lawsuit happy reactionary lifestyle and constant emphasis on the other or outsider. The need to be right is a strong need for many of us and we often fight to be right even when being right causes us great pain. The result of being right in many relationships is often divorce. Below are several ways you can move away from being the victim and create a life of freedom.
Blaming others for our problems is a big part of being a victim. We tend to look outside of ourselves and refuse to see our part in the pain that was inflicted upon us. One way to release the victim is to move into acceptance and take absolute responsibility for our lives. Moving into acceptance is all about dropping the emotional drama and looking at the facts of the situation. They are what they are. The abuse was done, the pain was inflicted, it is what it is. When we come to this understanding then we can actually do something about the circumstances we find ourselves in. This is what is meant in 12 Step programs when people say they are “powerless”. Accepting the circumstances of your life, politics, the world, etc. gives you a starting point for creating change.
Americans in particular seem to have a very difficult time with the idea of forgiveness and this reinforces the false belief that we are better than, greater than, and more important than everyone else. Many people think that forgiveness means that you have to lovingly embrace the person who wronged you. The primary component of forgiveness is to remove the anger, hatred, hurt, etc. that has been living in your heart as a result of the pain, abuse, etc. Forgiveness is a highly personal thing. When we truly forgive, we let go of the victim within was created from the pain. It has been said that the lack of forgiveness is like drinking poison intended for someone else. When we hold onto being the victim, we poison ourselves with painful memories and stories.
Stop Complaining –
Many relationships have unfortunately developed around common victim like bonds. Groups of people huddle together around their common feelings of being wronged. They talk about how “bad” the other person/group was or is and connect with each other around their common hate and shared pain. They maintain their victim status by talking about how they were wronged and how “bad” the person, group, race, government, etc. who wronged them was. When you stop complaining, you have the opportunity to connect with people from a more authentic and beneficial way of being.
Shift Your Focus –
An easy way to release victim thinking (being) is to shift your focus away from the thing or person that was causing the pain. So many of us find ourselves obsessing over the person/organization that harmed us. We become consumed by our anger and hatred and this destroys us from the inside out. When you find yourself in a situation like this do anything you can to disrupt that obsessive thinking. Watch silly cat videos, laugh for no reason, change your environment and go for a walk, climb a tree, chant the words, “I am worthy. I am enough” at least 100 times and let your mind disengage from the obsessive thoughts.
Practice Empathy –
Empathy is an important part of stepping away from being a victim. When we can understand that the behaviors of the person who wronged us come from some place (anger, frustration, shame, prior abuse, etc.) and that the abuse is often a logical extension of the person’s life then we can more easily move into a state of freedom. It is common knowledge that someone who is abused becomes the abuser. Understanding how that abuse was handed down and decided to put a stop to this cycle can be super empowering. This often happens in families with generational addiction problems. The child that was abused by the parent or even grandparent consciously makes a decision to not participate in that cycle anymore. They decide to find their own sobriety or spiritual up-leveling. They can historically see how their grandfather was abused and neglected by his father, how the emotionally distant and damaged grandfather raised his son, and how that son, their father, raised them. Understanding how a person became who they are and developing a sense of compassion for them breaks the cycle of abuse and allows the individual to stop being a victim to their past, or in this case, their family history.
Change Your Environment –
The people, places, and things that surround us can often keep us locked into victim thinking patterns. Step outside, go on a vacation, go someplace you have never been before. When you do this you are giving the brain different stimulus and this can help free up space in your brain for other things to come in.
Raise Your Heart Rate –
A physical way that I have found super helpful in helping to break victim thinking and behavioral patterns in my life is to simply raise my heart rate through physical activity. When I find myself sinking into that depressed state of hopelessness I do what I can in the moment to speed up my heart beat. If you’re indoors, run in place, do some sit ups, jumping jacks, push-ups, etc. If you’re outside, go for a walk or run, climb some stairs, dance on the grass, roll down a hill, etc.
Challenge Your Subconscious –
It’s hard to stay in victim thinking patterns when those patterns can’t be accessed. Part of being a victim is the subconscious thinking patterns that reinforce the thoughts and feelings that are in alignment with being a victim. When you disrupt those thoughts either through hypnosis, visualization techniques, and similar techniques you stop the victim mentality. Create a mantra for yourself that is aligned with the experience you want instead of the one you are having. Write down 100 times something like, “I am happy, healthy, strong, and wealthy.” And/or say that phrase, or something like that, 1000 times out loud. It is important to say these things out loud as our brain will actually hear the statement both internally and physically through our ears. This makes the effect even more powerful and can shift your state more quickly.