How to Deal with Blame & The Victim Mentality

We all know at least one person who loves to say, “it’s not my fault.” Someone with that victim mentality.

I’m not sure why, but I have experienced this type of person more often than usual lately.

***

He sat across the table from me and venomously spewed out all the reasons why he had separated from his wife.

I hadn’t asked, but somehow he felt I needed to know.

It seemed important to him that I (and, I’m sure, everyone else he had recently interacted with) clearly understood the unendurable suffering he had been subjected to in all the years of his marriage and how the termination of the marriage was caused entirely by his wife’s errant behaviour.

It was all her fault, and there was nothing he could do.

***

She swallowed a mouthful of tuna as she explained that her present boss was the worst boss she had ever had.

I hadn’t asked, but somehow she felt I needed to know.

He was disorganized, scattered, incompetent, a terrible communicator who made her life a living hell. She thought her previous bosses had been bad but this one raised the bad bar to a previously unimaginable level of terrible.

He was the worst of the worst.

She hated her job.

It was all his fault and there was nothing she could do.

***

His parents, he explained as we were sipping on iced tea on the rooftop deck of the restaurant, were the worst. It’s easy to understand why his life has been so challenging.

I hadn’t asked, but somehow he felt I needed to know.

His upbringing was, and is, the cause of every failure in his life. His parents had done a terrible job. They had scarred him indelibly by their poor parenting practices and even now, well into his forties, he was still paying the price for his own poor selection of Mom and Dad.

It was all their fault. He was blameless.

And there was nothing he could do. 

It’s a Victim Mentality

Victims are everywhere. God help ‘em, because we can’t.

That’s right. We can’t help them.

If we try, we will simply become part of the long litany of reasons that explain the sorry state of their lives.

For people who think this way, it all started at birth. They had lousy parents (probably lousy grandparents too), lousy teachers, lousy coaches, lousy friends, lousy relatives, lousy pastors/imams/rabbis, lousy spouse(s), lousy children, lousy neighbours, lousy employers.

That should be your clue that if you try to help them, you will become another one of the lousies.

Nothing is ever of their doing. It’s never their fault. The universe has conspired to make every day of their lives as miserable as possible. They are blameless, and there’s nothing they can do.

Why Do People Act Like Victims?

There is great value in being a victim. It’s a great life. You’re not responsible for anything, your finger always points away from you, and nothing is ever your fault.

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No matter what happens, no matter how bad it gets, someone else did it. Someone else is responsible.

Because of that, when you take on this type of perspective, you believe that someone else should make it right. It absolves you of ever having to take responsibility for your own problems, something that most adults cannot escape.

Taking Responsibility

For those of us who believe:

  • That our destinies are carved by our own hands.
  • That we own the affect life has on us.
  • That we are responsible for results in our lives.

We’re in luck. We can accomplish anything we need to, help ourselves out of any situation, provided we:

  • Believe we can,
  • Make it important enough and,
  • Do what is necessary to get there despite the inevitable setbacks life sends our way.

Oh, and one more important step. Stay away from people who hold this victim mentality. You never know, their disease may be contagious.

Till we read again.

Photo of Rael Kalley,Habits coach in calgary canada

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