How to stop playing victim in life becomes a crucial question if you say yes to the following questions, Do you constantly feel that others are out there to plan against you? Or no matter what you do, only bad things happen to you? Or that you have no power/control over things?. This mindset makes people feel sorry for themselves and stops them from working towards the necessary change to heal themselves as well as their progress in life.
But, how come we play the victim in the first place? A possible explanation could be that playing the victim may be a defense mechanism that a person uses to stop themselves from taking responsibility or challenges that might create an internal conflict within themselves, for example, a person rejected in a job application suggests that the organization is discriminating against him or the world is against him instead of working on his technical or interpersonal skills as they think they already have enough skills.
Another possible explanation could be the external locus of control, which basically means that an individual believes that his/her success and failures are determined by outer forces, such as luck or other people’s perception, instead of themselves. Therefore, they easily blame others, and enter their victim cocoon.
An effective hack could be to build your internal locus of control, that is when a person believes that they are responsible for their success as well as failures. To build this, try to develop a habit of the following things:
- Instead of waiting for things to happen to you, take a proactive approach to make things happen. For example, instead of waiting for your colleague to send your project material, mail/call them about it.
- Take ownership of your work and try to complete them yourself if possible.
- In every situation, ask yourself, “what is out of your control?” and “what is in your control?”
- Whenever you feel victimized, ask yourself a key question, “What would I say to a dear friend in a situation like this?” and repeat that to yourself.
- Finally, make a habit of writing daily situations about which locus of control you used for these situations, and also note down how you will further work on improving your internal locus of control in your journal at the end of the day.
This is an effective solution-oriented hack because it keeps individuals motivated when they win and helps them to improve themselves after failure by acknowledging their mistakes instead of blaming them.
Bonus tip: When you hear yourself going into stories to blame, whether against other people, the world, life, whomever… Say “stop” to yourself out loud. This will help you to turn your attention away from your blaming thoughts for a while.
Challenge: Think about an area of life or situation where you feel victimized, then write down three small ways you take more control or responsibility for that situation and commit to these three things this week. Write your experience in the comments section.