In life, you may have come across a person who wallows in self-pity and claims to be a victim of circumstances, people and situations. These people have a slightly different understanding and opinion about life, given they believe that nothing good can ever happen to them, because the world is out there to bog down and bully them. You may begin by sympathising with them, but then it can swiftly change to frustration and annoyance. If all of this reads familiar, you have dealt with/are still dealing with a person who has victim mentality, sometimes referred to as ‘victim syndrome’ or ‘victim complex’. Find out what it is.
Broadly speaking, a person with victim complex believes that bad things are inevitable and will keep happening to them; outside factors and circumstances are to be blamed; nothing they do will bring about a change, or make any difference to anybody’s life, so there is no point trying. People associate victim mentality with terms like ‘victim card’ that has a negative connotation.
Keep in mind that there are some basic tell-tale signs that reveal if the person you are interacting with, is suffering from victim complex.
* They never take responsibility for their actions, and instead place the blame on someone or something else. This lack of accountability makes them come up with excuses, as a result of which, they don’t grow out of whatever is causing them misery.
* They are not interested in finding a solution, and give others the impression that they are enjoying the chaos. So, even if you offer to help them, they will show little or no interest. It may seem that they are only interested in feeling sorry for themselves.
* They do a lot of negative self-talk. This stems from their belief that nothing good can ever happen to them. So, they may try to blame others for not caring enough.
* They also lack confidence, because in their head, they are ‘not enough’. So, they will not work towards landing their dream job, as they doubt their own self. It is like they have convinced themselves that they are powerless, thereby resigning to circumstances.
* Not only do they frustrate others, they also frustrate themselves. As a result, they may experience sudden snaps and outbursts, bouts of loneliness and isolation.
Understand that not everyone enjoys being dramatically low. Sometimes victim complex can arise from a past trauma, repeated betrayals, etc. Advise them to go seek a professional’s help. Show them compassion, but simultaneously draw some boundaries.