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Victim Mentality tends to ruin relationships at home, in friend circle, and at work as well (Image by KamranAydinov on Freepik)

What is Victim Mentality? Signs, Causes and Tips to Cope with the Psychological Disorder

Victim mentality is a psychological disorder that is experienced by people of different age groups. Sometimes, life seems to be too unfair towards us, and we feel that no one around us is capable of understanding our pain.

When we try to make positive changes in our lives, we do less work and sabotage ourselves more, due to which we tend to give up quickly. These changes in the mental state from time to time are just natural.


However, if your days seem to be going like this either all the time or most of the time, then there are high chance you might be suffering from Victim Mentality. As small as the word looks, the condition accompanies a wide variety of symptoms, from behavioral changes to cognitive imbalances.

In this article, we will look into the depth of this Victim Mentality disorder, and try to enlist some symptoms as well as plausible causes for the same.


Victim Mentality: Victimizing Personality Disorder

Victim mentality leads to reduced self-esteem and the feeling of being neglected (Image by Azerbaijan_stockers on Freepik)

Victim mentality is characterized by a person feeling to be the victim across most of the situations of their life, no matter whether the evidence stands with or against them. It is hard to say if it is actually a mental disorder or just a personality trait of an individual.

Generally, people develop victim mentality as an escape or coping mechanism due to previous traumatic events they have been through. However, it can also come forward as a symptom of other underlying mental health disorders like chronic anxiety, depression, or even PTSD.

Psychologists suggest that the roots of victim mentality emerge from multiple past situations in which the person lacked control, faced betrayal leading to trust issues, or regularly experienced the feeling of helplessness. This condition can affect various aspects of one’s daily life, like relationships, work, and health, and might even lead to alcohol or substance use disorders.


Signs of Victim Mentality

A person with a victim mentality avoids taking responsibility of their mistakes and blames external factors or other people (Image by Cookie_studio on Freepik)

The victim mentality can manifest in various ways like having difficulty in taking responsibility for your actions and their consequences, the paranoid feeling of the world being against you, or being ignorant when someone tries to explain your behavior.

Here are some of the signs to look into if you suspect that you or someone you know is suffering from the victim mentality.

Behavioral Symptoms

There are certain very specific behavioral characteristics observed in people having a victim mentality. They tend to blame external factors when something goes wrong, have trouble taking responsibility for their actions, and usually try to self-sabotage. They become extremely critical towards themselves as well as other people and tend to feel connected with the people who only think like them.

Cognitive Symptoms

A person ridden with victim mentality shows symptoms of cognitive distortions like harmful thought processes, undergoing self-harm activities, and periodic regret-like feelings regarding past situations or mistakes.


Relationship symptoms

Relationships get affected to a huge extent because of this mental condition. The person develops trust issues, shows a loss of empathy for other people, and generally becomes emotionally unavailable. These things lead to difficulty in intimacy as well as communication. They tend to feel unseen in a relationship, due to which they become socially isolated in many cases.

How to Deal with Victim Mentality?

Being a good speaker as well as a listener are the initial steps to take when you’re looking forward into getting rid of your victim mentality (Image by Freepik on Freepik)

Victim mentality can cause a lot of problems in different aspects of your life. Thus, being able to resolve this dilemma in your head can help you have a better perspective towards the ups and downs in your life.

Like many psychological disorders, therapy can prove to be the most beneficial thing for a person with a victim mentality as it can help to process past trauma, which subsequently helps in developing your self-esteem, and cultivating goal-setting and gratitude practices.

Try boosting your emotional confidence by referring to yourself as a ‘survivor’ rather than a victim of past trauma and abuse. These small changes may seem insignificant at first but they go a long way in healing the scars on your mind.

Also, activities like writing, volunteering, crafts, or any other hobbies can help you out in healing yourself and gain the ability to look at situations from points of view different from yours.


In conclusion, this type of mentality is a mental condition wherein the affected person tends to victimize themselves and tries to think that people around them don’t understand their feelings.

The lack of taking responsibility and blaming others for one’s actions are the most common symptoms of victim mentality. This psychological condition affects the person’s life in many ways, and so, seeking therapy or indulging in practices that help a person to gain control over themselves and their actions can help in resolving this issue.


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Edited by
Ankush Das
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