Have you ever heard of the drama triangle? We may hear about it and think “me? Yeah right I’m not dramatic.” But this mentality can sneak up on us—I know it has on me.
I’m going to be straight with ya’ll. I have spent a fair share of time in victim mode—especially that first year after Danny’s disclosure.
“Life happened to me! I was going about doing my thing and then life just happened!”
I chose to be a victim to my circumstance.
I had lots of friends confirming that I was a victim of my circumstance.
Brooke Castillo lists out some indicators of victim mentality in one of her books. Before she lists these out she says that this mentality is not a weakness, just a belief pattern, a “particular looping in our brains.”
This takes the drama out of it—I love it. She says it’s similar to her clients and their ‘diet’ mentality, and that can be remedied.
Indicators of the Victim Mentality
“If my husband could just get home from work on time . . . ” “If only I had a different boss . . . ” “If my husband didn’t want dinner so late at night I wouldn’t be overweight.” When we use other people’s actions as an explanation for our misery it is “abdicating responsibility for our negative thoughts because of some powerful perpetrator in our lives.”
I thought this was an interesting one. Hiding, avoiding the spotlight, not wanting to share your feelings, not wanting to put ourselves out there because someone might attack us.
“Poor me.” Complaining is “a habitual thought process that spins into self-pity and feeling sorry for myself and feeling trapped.”
5) It’s All About You
It’s All About You. Brooke gives this example: “If somebody doesn’t invite you to a party . . . you may think, ‘They did that to me. They excluded me on purpose.’ However, what really happened is that they just didn’t invite you. It doesn’t mean that they did anything to you. . . but you spin the facts to make it seem that they did something to you—that you’re the victim of their invite list.”
I have related to all of those bullet-points at some point in my life. And that’s ok! Awareness is the first step to creating new neural pathways in my brain, right?
Three years ago, I truly believed that I was a victim of my circumstance.
I realize now that I chose to think thoughts that made me feel powerless, drove me to inaction and produced stagnant results in my life. Thanks to Brooke freaking Castillo I realized that pattern was optional.
I chose to take ownership for my thoughts, feelings, actions, and results in life.
And the result is that I’m not a victim. I am 100% in control of me and it feels oh so good. SSSOOOOO freaking good.
Final thoughts from Brooke:
What does it mean to be willing to feel any emotion that comes up—any emotion that you create with your mind? It means that you’re going to have to be courageous. You’re going to have to walk into that experience with yourself and know that there is no emotion that can kill you, and there is no emotion that will ever require you to hide form yourself. In this day and age, it’s one of your best assets. It’s the opposite of the victim mentality, which creates defensiveness and learned helplessness.
My husband wrote a blog post on shifting from a victim to a super survivor. It’s a great read.