Family, Self

Want To Know How To Get What You Want From Your Life? Stop Playing The Victim

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How To Stop Playing The Victim In Your Life

It’s very easy to spot someone playing the victim. They are the ones who are constantly complaining about how nothing ever goes their way, and someone is always doing something to hurt them or keep them down.

Sadly, it’s not so easy to recognize when we are the one doing it.

The trouble is, most often, playing the victim is unconscious. It becomes a behavior of circumstance. It’s what we know and how we’ve learned to survive. We’ve interpreted those things that happened to us and given them meaning. Now those events have evolved into beliefs about ourselves.

Victims truly believe on a deep level that they are victims and unable to change their circumstances.

RELATED: Stop Playing Victim To The Circumstances You Created

They truly believe they are unworthy of good things happening to them. Or that they aren't capable or deserving of whatever it is they desire.

Just like you don’t question what color your eyes are because you know, a victim also knows the things that happened to them are preventing them from moving forward. That has become their reality.

Unfortunately, sometimes, some people become addicted to the sympathy they get. This is called malingering. Choosing to stay a victim and sometimes embellishing it to gain significance.

RELATED: 7 Signs The Person You Love Acts Like A Victim All The Time

So, then, how do you get what you want? How do you stop playing the victim when 'victim' has become a part of who you are?

  1. Stop blaming yourself. Assuming you were victimized, it begins with first acknowledging to yourself that you didn't deserve what happened and you have choices — right here — right now.
  2. Recognize that people didn't or don’t do things to us rather, for themselves. Meaning, whatever happened was not a result of who you are, but how the other person reacted to you. How the other person reacted is about them and their own beliefs about themselves. It’s based on their own worldview and expectations.
  3. Challenge your beliefs. You know where they came from and you now know they are someone else’s burden placed on you. So challenge them.
  4. Interrupt the pattern. The minute you begin down that rabbit hole, put on music, move your body, and do something to change your state.
  5. Tell yourself a different story. 
  6. When you tell your victim story, notice how your posture changes.
  7. Notice when you’re feeling great and the difference in your posture from when you play the victim. Then, when you fall into the victim story, shift your posture.
  8. Be honest with yourself. Ask yourself: "Am I getting a payoff for playing the victim?" Are you getting sympathy? Do people do things for you that you may otherwise have to do for yourself? If "yes",  what will that mean to you if you took charge of your life and didn't get the sympathy any longer?
  9. Get quiet and become intentional with your life. No more knee-jerk reactions and spinning from one thing to the next. Know why you are doing everything you do. That may begin with asking yourself why you are telling your victim story. Is it your intention to get sympathy? We intentionally brush our teeth every day. There is a reason we do it. Become intentional with your thoughts and actions from now on.
  10. Learn from what happened. Glean the lessons. Maybe you know what you will never do to your kids. Perhaps you learned through these things what your strengths are. Focus on the lesson, not the pain.
  11. Offer forgiveness and acceptance for yourself and those who victimized you. It doesn't exonerate anyone from wrongdoing. It is understanding they were coming from a broken place or they wouldn’t have done it. No, it doesn't make it ok but it will free you from your mental prison.
  12. Show empathy for yourself and others. We must be able to see things from another perspective. What must have happened to them to treat us so badly?

People do what works. Parents yell at kids not because it’s right, but because it works. At least in the short term. It gives the parents what they want. And that is a strong statement right there — so let me repeat it. It gives parents what they want.

It’s not about the kid at all. And it wasn't about you.

Not everyone who plays the victim has had an extraordinary life event happen that caused this. But in order to be a victim, you have certain beliefs about yourself and your capabilities. Working through your beliefs will open up the door to a world that is awaiting your gifts.

And you have gifts. We all do!

RELATED: How To Let Go Of Your Victim Mentality And Rewrite Your Life Story

Suzanne Jones owns a one person adoption coaching firm and works primarily with adoptive parents. She gives them the tools and skills necessary to parent the adopted child. If raising a happy healthy whole adopted child, and family is a priority for you, your next step is to connect with her and have a conversation about working together.

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.