Why you Should Be Thankful for your Difficulties

How many times have you found yourself cursing for all the bad fortune around you? How many times did you wonder why something had to happen to you? Did you feel sorry for yourself at the time?

If you ask me I would have to answer that it has happened many times. Yes, I have gone through some really hard times in my life. I remember myself crying, complaining to others, feeling sorry for myself for what I had to go through and wondering what I had done wrong to deserve all this bad fortune.

Anyway, I am sure I am not the only one. Actually, I am sure most of you have gone through hard times. Different experiences, different situations, different problems but you went through something. Even if you didn’t, you will. Count on it!

Feeling Bad for Your Difficulties is Normal

Sometimes we might be the victims in one situation and we might deserve, or even seek for understanding and sympathy from others. That is absolutely normal and understood. This is a human need.

“Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm, when we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.”

Maya Angelou

Feeling bad when a new difficulty comes our way is normal. Difficulties are in fact challenges that shake our world and make us feel uncomfortable. Sometimes people around us understand how hard this must be to us and even encourage us to continue feeling bad and sorry about ourselves.

Man sitting down on a chair feeling sad

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But, does the fact that our bad response to difficulties is understandable by ourselves and others actually help us?

Don’t get me wrong. We all understand that facing difficulties makes us feel uncomfortable and of course there is no reason to feel happy about it. Doing so would mean that we lose the whole point. That we overlook the problem, show denial and even feel some kind of toxic positivity. None of them is helpful in any way.

Difficulties will Never Stop

One thing is for sure. No matter how much we want to, no matter what we do, we can never avoid difficulties from coming into our lives. One way or another we always have challenges to deal with.

man climbing up rocks

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We have no choice whether we will face them or not because we just cannot escape from them. The only choice we have is how we will choose to deal with them when they show up.

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Winston Churchill

Some people choose to step away as much as possible, choose to play the victim, don’t deal with them nor search for a solution.

Some others choose to face the difficulty, embrace the new experience, understand the feelings generated while doing so and grow themselves through this.

Everyone has a choice to make.

You might also want to read “What is the right decision and how to be sure you make one” or “How to Identify Whether You Have Adopted a Victim Mentality and How to Stop Being the Victim

“The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.”

Barack Obama

Why Facing Difficulties is Important

1. Helps us Become more Self-aware

Going through difficulties helps us to understand ourselves better. We come in touch with our feelings, our true needs and internal strength. We understand who we are, where we are, what we are doing and what we are capable of.

“Expecting difficulties is wise, if that usually gives you the strength to continue, and foolish, if that usually takes away the courage to begin.”

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

2. Inspire Gratitude

When a difficulty appears we have the chance to appreciate everything we have and we were not paying enough attention to. Difficulties sometimes are a good wakeup call to understand all those we are missing when they are just right there but we are far too busy to see.

Man feeling gratitude for life and difficulties

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“When you meet obstacles with gratitude, your perception starts to shift, resistance loses its power, and grace finds a home within you.”

Oprah Winfrey.

3. New Experiences – Chance for Personal Growth

Difficulties are new experiences through which we usually learn new things, grow wiser and stronger. Difficulties come our way and help us evolve to a better version of ourselves.

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.”

Napoleon Hill

4. Identify / Appreciate the Easy

Going through something really difficult helps us to identify the easy when we see it. We will be able to understand when things will get better since they will be easier.

5. Teach Responsibility

To successfully deal with a difficulty we should take responsibility for our actions, our thoughts and our emotions towards it.

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

Michael Jordan

Appreciate the Difficulties

Difficulties in life no matter how hard they are can work to our advantage. Identifying difficulties as challenges and seeing all the opportunities they can offer us can change our way through life. Situations and circumstances will no longer have the same power on us.

stormy day as difficulties in life

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Without difficulties and obstacles to overcome life would be a boring flat line. Life has everything, sunny days and stormy days, pleasure and suffering , beauty and pain. Surviving the stormy days of our life can only make us stronger and ready to enjoy the sunny days to the fullest.

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.

Haruki Murakami

Leftovers

What is left of you?
Two photos of you and me.

Distant memories, forgotten
Two souls once lit.

Time always knows to erase wounds
Where once were springs of dream. 


Stupid promises for eternal love,
Forgotten along with the years.

These photos I look in the moonlight,
Blurred shadows of past peace.
Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

How Anger Affects Your Life and How to Deal With it

How often do you find yourself getting angry about something? Is it just now and then or is it more like a constant status? The reason behind your anger is always justified or you think it is?

What is Anger?

Anger is a normal and in fact healthy human emotion. As an emotion anger exists to let us be aware of a threatening, an unjust or an upsetting situation. Anger should not be considered as either negative or positive emotion.

Getting angry when someone mistreats you or when something unjust takes place in front of your eyes is normal and healthy.

However, it is the frequency we experience anger, along with the way each one of us uses to express this anger that could turn it into something negative and harmful for ourselves or others.

angry man yelling while hitting his fist on table

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There is this common belief that anger should always be expressed. Some people think that it is their right to express anger in any way they like because in their mind their anger is justified.

There are people who might believe that expressing anger with shouting, breaking things or even by hitting others shows their power and rage and eventually will inspire respect to others.

The actual opposite is correct, meaning that expressing anger in such ways has a negative outcome for you and others. There is a negative impact on how others feel about you and also on how your judgement is affected.

Identify what is Causing Your Anger

I usually get angry when I understand that someone else does not listen to my opinion, suggestion or point of view and tend to ignore me or not take me seriously. I get angry when there is a long line in front of me in the supermarket or when I am stuck in a traffic jam.

cars stuck in traffic jam in city road

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Sometimes when I am really tired or stressed I might find it really easy to get angry over nothing. I think this stands for most people.

It is really important to identify where the anger comes from because most of the time losing your temper or acting in rage has nothing to do with other people’s behavior and words or with external circumstances. It is our fault that we do not manage to stay cool and keep ourselves under control.

Look For Possible Solutions

Understanding what makes me angry in my case means that I can change my daily routine, choosing another route or different time to avoid traffic jams in peak hours. It could mean that I decide to take advantage and enjoy my time stucked in traffic through listening to some audio book, learning a foreign language or just listening to music and singing along.

When it comes to supermarkets I could choose a supermarket with less people or try to shop online.

When it comes to specific people that make me angry I could choose to take some time to discuss with them in a calm way the impact their reactions have on me. They might also have their issues and use this kind of behavior as a defense mechanism. Well, if this does not work I could choose to share less with them or avoid seeing them that often.

If none of the above are enough I could look for and practice some anger management techniques or seek professional help and advice.

man and woman having a fight, both looking angry

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The reason why we should all look for solutions is because anger as an emotion will not be able to fix anything. As a matter of fact feeling angry and expressing it in a bad way usually will only make things worse.  

Is Anger Your Enemy or a Friend?

In case you are witnessing a human or an animal rights violation and you get angry about it, expressing your anger and using it to change the situation in front of you, means that you use your anger to take action for a good reason.

When you are in an abusive relationship and get angry with what you are going through, anger will help you to take action and get out of it. Same stands for any toxic friendship, getting angry with the friend who mistreats you or makes you feel bad about yourself will give you the courage to step out of this friendship.

In all the cases above anger is your friend because it gives you the courage and strength you need to change an unhealthy situation.

woman screaming to express her anger

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However, when your anger makes your loved ones suffer and feel distress it means that your anger is harmful for your relationships. If you find yourself regretting things that you have said or done while being angry this is also a sign that your anger is working against you. These are cases where your anger is your enemy and you should take some action in order to control it.

Identify Anger Warning Signs

Have you ever noticed your body’s physical reactions when you get angry? I don’t mean when you have already started expressing that anger in some way, but those few moments before you act.

Speaking for myself, when I start getting angry I am feeling an intense pain in my head and I am feeling like my head is burning. I start breathing faster and deeper. Other signs might be a faster heartbeat and clenched fists.

When these signs appear and you are able to identify them, you could do something about it to prevent yourself from words or actions that you might regret later. It is important to be able to understand how you feel each moment because it helps to identify any warning signs.

“Don’t hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love.”

Leo Buscaglia

Anger Effects

Human Relationships

Anger expression in unhealthy ways could be harmful for every human relationship. It could leave physical and mental scars to the people around us who we love most. It could destroy love relationships, friendships or work relationships.

Physical Health

If anger is something we experience regularly it is possible to give us heart related problems, high blood pressure, weak immune system, diabetes and insomnia.

Mental Health

Feeling anger all the time does not allow people to feel joy in life. Anger could also cause stress, depression and other mental health issues.

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

Mark Twain

Conclusion

When we come to the point to realize that our anger is a problem for us and the people around us we are not helpless. There are several anger management techniques that could be used to calm the rage, and even if these don’t work, professional help from an expert could be taken.

Truth is that we all have more control over anger than what we might think we have. There are always alternatives in the ways we can express our emotions, without hurting other people’s feelings, damaging things or creating problems to our own physical and mental health.

“The best fighter is never angry.”

Lao Tzu

Helpful links

Additional information about anger as well as anger management techniques and strategies could be found at the following links:

https://www.apa.org/topics/anger/control

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/how-to-control-anger#1

https://www.verywellmind.com/anger-management-strategies-4178870

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships-communication/anger-management.htm

 

Why Fear Is a Bad Motivation Choice

Has your boss ever threatened you that if you don’t do what it takes to get the job done you will be fired? Have you tried to quit smoking out of fear for your health? Have you ever started a strict diet because you were afraid of what your body would look like with these extra kilos?

If the answer to one of the questions above is yes this means that you have used fear as a motive for you to do something.

Fear is something normal and it is related to human nature. Actually, fear could be thought of as a defense mechanism that can alert us in case of possible danger.

If we see someone pointing a gun at us, fear would alert us to react in some way. We might for example scream, start running away, finding someplace to cover ourselves, attack the possible shouter or even freeze out of fear.

Although acting sometimes out of fear could turn out in a positive outcome, there are several other times that fear based motivation does not seem to work that good.

Fear Based Motivation in Workplace Environment

colleagues in workspace working on their laptops
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Fear used to be a well-known practice in workplace environments, and in some cases it still is. It was a common belief that managers had to evoke fear in their employees in order to achieve better performance, faster and better results.

Employees out of fear of losing their job or being replaced to a specific position by someone else would strive themselves to make it happen. But what would the outcome be for an employee if he / she had to work constantly in an environment that is based in this kind of fear?

This kind of working environment is absolutely toxic and negative and nobody would be willing to spend his / her life in one. It is the kind of environment that actually inspires people to escape from.

This fear based tactics might provide short term results but long term the employees would be unhappy, full of stress and negativity and they will possibly deal with burnout. Fear could lead employees to panic, loss of their creativity and imagination and loss of their ability to learn.

Employees sooner or later would decide to explore their options and realize that there are also other choices available.

Unfortunately, hardly ever, employers understand that their tactic is wrong. They usually think that it was something that employees did wrong and that is why they decide to leave.

“There is a quarter century of research that shows how people feel at work has a direct and powerful influence on how they perform.”

Sigal Barsade

Fear Based Motivation for Better Health

women running aiming for better health
Photo by Sarah Chai on Pexels.com

We all know stories of people who found out that their health is in danger if they continue smoking, continue having an unhealthy lifestyle, eating junk food and don’t exercising at all. In some cases they might even have had a near death experience, like a stroke or had to fight with cancer and finally recovered.

People who go through something like this, at least at the beginning, are passionate about changing their lifestyle and do what it takes to protect themselves. Out of fear of what might happen if they don’t they start exercising, watching after their diet and quit all their bad habits.

Fear in this case works as a motivator, and works well enough to start doing good things for themselves for few weeks or even months. But only that. Fear is an effective motivator for short term period while results only come long term.

Fear alone is not able to inspire motivation in long term and that is because fear when lasts for too long tires you and makes you want to give up on your goals.

Alternative Approaches to Fear Based Motivation

1. Hope

The “if you don’t do this you will get fired” could be easily replaced with “If you have this ready on time you might get a bonus – a raise – a promotion”. The first sentence evokes fear which results to negativity and stress. The second sentence evokes hope which results to positive emotions. Hope can breed happiness and confidence.

word hope written in caligraphic letters
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2. Love

 While fear might put you on the move to start something it will not help you keep going. Love on the other hand could prove to be the fuel that can keep the motive alive and help you keep moving. Quitting a bad habit because you love yourself and want the best for him is healthier than quitting it because you are afraid of a stroke, cancer or bad body looks.

woman doing heart sign indicating love
Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com

3. Joy and Pleasure

Whatever it is that you use fear to motivate you try to find something that actually offers you joy and find pleasure in it. If the fear of bad health motivates you to exercise, find a form of exercise that you enjoy like dancing or even just walking. If you need to start eating healthier discover healthy foods that you like, yes there are some of those! 

Doing something out of fear or just because we have to will never offer us the passion needed to stay committed. Only if you start enjoying the changes in your life you will keep them long term.

choose joy coulourfull text
Photo by Bekka Mongeau on Pexels.com

Conclusion

Fear is necessary to motivate you to protect yourself in case of danger, but fear is not a good motive when it comes to life goals or career goals. For long term goals fear based motivation sets you in a condition of constant fear and stress that could harm your body and mind.

Fear based motivation is strongly related to negative thinking. This means that is focused on the wrong thing or on what could go wrong. This kind of thinking prevents us from looking at the bright side of things, at what is right or what might go great.

We are afraid of the outcome while we could anticipate for it. Things might go wrong, but things might also go great. Why should we focus on the negative and not see the bigger picture instead?

“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”

William James

If you liked this post you might also like to read my post about negative thoughts or my post on how to overcome fears.

I would like to read your thoughts on this. Have you ever used fear based motivation for a long term goal? How did it go?

inspirational quote about fears and dreams
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Why Commitment Sets You Free

Do you believe that commitment means that you lose part of your freedom? That you will never be free enough to explore your options to the fullest? That you somehow will be limited to live your life in a specific place, doing one job, spending the rest of your life with one person only etc.?

Well I used to think about commitment the exact same way.  I always preferred to think of myself as a free bird, able to live wherever I wanted to, doing whatever I wish, be with whoever I wanted to whenever I wanted to. I was terrified even at the sound of the word commitment.

While, yes, signing a contract is an obligatory type of commitment, the reason that stands behind this is not. While marriage is a formal declaration of your commitment to one person, the reason you are getting married isn’t.

If what you feel about commitment is that it will make you lose a part of your freedom I think it means that in some way you are committed to the idea of freedom that has been created inside your head.

While growing older, what I realized is that commitment does not necessarily mean to sign a contract or to get married. Commitment is something much bigger, can be found in many aspects of our life and can set us free in so many ways.

1. Commitment to a Bigger Purpose

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To commit yourself to a bigger purpose is what can help you make your dreams come true. Commitment in this case is the fuel that makes you keep going no matter what. It is the dedication of yourself and your energy to something bigger.

Commitment is what is behind every Olympic champion, every great scientist or every great artist. In this case commitment is what can set your mind free to dream the impossible and make it happen.

“Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.”

Albert Einstein

2. Commitment to a Person

Photo by Flora Westbrook on Pexels.com

Commitment to one person could be terrifying thinking that you dedicate yourself to one person only. But if this one feels like the one for you, why would that be a bad thing?

Having found a person that feels right for you and making the decision to commit does not mean that you lose all those you have not met yet. It means that you set yourself free to explore yourself along with the person of your choice.

“True love – that is, deep, abiding love that is impervious to emotional whims or fancy – is a choice. It’s a constant commitment to a person regardless of the present circumstances”

Mark Manson

3. Commitment to a Job

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During our life most of us go through several different jobs from package delivery boy / girl to office employees or freelancers.  Most of us can perform well in different kinds of jobs, all of which offer us something.

Commitment to a job that offers some money can offer financial help to pay our rent and bills, to a job that offers much more money can offer us financial freedom to do whatever else we like, even if it means just wasting money. Financial freedom could mean anything.

Commitment to a freelance job means that you commit to your choice of being free to choose the jobs you decide to do, meaning that from that point on you would be the absolute responsible for your working life. No boss to put the blame on.

4. Commitment to a Choice

Sometimes the exploration of different choices could turn out to be an exhausting research of the extraordinary. There comes a point when a specific choice is enough.

We might proceed and check what else is out there that might be waiting for us but yet we do know what we want. In this case ignoring what we feel and know is the right thing for us for the sake of exploration could be one of the stupidest things to do.

5. Commitment to a Place

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You might feel the need to travel and live in different places of this world, and this is great because understanding different cultures and civilizations is something priceless that helps our mind think under different aspects.

However, at some point you might decide to drop your anchor in one specific port. To make a decision to live your life in one specific place can set you free to explore everything this place has to offer, everything you can offer to this place and even more.

Conclusion

Generally, commitment is not something that we are forced to do. To commit to something or someone means that you make a choice and the reason behind this choice is usually our desire to give depth to our choice and to set ourselves free in some way.

Without commitment, you cannot have depth in anything, whether it’s a relationship, a business or a hobby

Neil Strauss

How about you?

How do you feel about commitment?

Full Moon

The words are blurred. They are lost.
Eyes are getting older. They are blinded.

Our wrinkled faces
Are mirrored in front of us.

Desires that were not fulfilled
Touch feelings that were hurt.

We move forward holding sticks.
You walk beside me. We both wrestle.

Sun is getting dark. It’s getting late.
Full moon tonight
Υour pale face resembles

Stop Avoiding Your Negative Thoughts – Learn How To Handle Them

Are you one of those who often start thinking of the worst case scenario for every single thing? Do you sometimes think that others believe the worst about you? You think that everything is either black or white and there is nothing in between? Do you let small things bother you and think about them for hours, days or longer?

Well, if your answer was yes to some of the above questions then you have negative thoughts.

I know what you might say. Who is this person who doesn’t have any negative thoughts?

The answer is simple. Nobody.

We all have negative thoughts and that is absolutely normal.

The thing is that thoughts are just thoughts and nothing more than that.

Scientists and researchers would oppose this opinion since it has been proved that thoughts interfere with the way our brain works and cause us bad feelings and emotions. Yes, thoughts can be the reason behind lots of mental and physical problems in the end. I do not disagree with that. I even admit it as a fact.

woman on the floor embracing her knees due to negative thoughts
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Thoughts do live in our head and the bad thing is that sometimes we all spend more time living inside our heads than in real life.

Sometimes thoughts are just like feelings. They come and go and they may mean something or may mean nothing at all.

I don’t know about you but for me there are those days that I wake up in a really bad mood and I just don’t have the courage to have any positive thoughts. I don’t feel like lying to myself that this day is going to be a great day. I am in my blues but I know that this is just a day and not my life. I just accept the fact that these days exist and I watch my thoughts. Yes, even the negative ones.

Below are some of the things that I choose to do to cope with negative thoughts and may be helpful to you also. I am not a professional, so these are just my suggestions as a person who deals with negative thinking from time to time. In case your negative thoughts are persistent you should consider asking for professional help.

How to Handle Your Negative Thoughts

1. Accept the Thought

Do not try to avoid or push back your negative thought. Try to understand it and accept the feelings that this thought causes to you. Give this thought some time to stay with you and embrace the feelings that are caused by it. Even if it makes you feel sad or angry, feel the sadness or the anger for some time and let it go away. It is just a thought, there is no reason to stay with you forever.

2. Be Honest with Yourself

Do not try to force yourself to turn a negative thought into a positive one. Your mind is smart enough to realize that you are trying to play with it.

If it is one of those days that you feel like a loser and your thoughts are like “I am a total failure”, “I will never make it in anything” do not say “I am the best” or “Whatever I do is perfect”. It would be more honest to say “I am smart enough and I try my best and that is enough”.

Trying to stop a negative thought and turn it into a completely positive one could even have the worst results. In some cases people who try to push anxious and negative thoughts down only manage to build them stronger until they all explode or come rushing out at once.

3. Share your Thoughts

If you feel like a negative thought returns again and again try to share it with someone close to you. When we talk about something that lives in our head we have to let it come out in words. Even translating our thoughts into words and hearing them provides us with another perspective of them. Not to mention that someone close will also offer us his / her perspective.

4. Be Kind with Yourself

During the days you feel bad and your mind is full with negative thoughts try to be kind with yourself. Make yourself a priority, try to work less hours or less hard than usual. Choose to spend the rest of your day doing things that make you happy like playing with your children or watching a movie that makes you laugh. You name it!

woman and daughter playing and laughing
Photo by Katie E on Pexels.com

5. Take Care of Yourself

This includes your physical and mental health. Watch your diet. Junk food is ok once in a while but making it a habit is not. Make sure you have enough sleep and find a way to work out that you actually enjoy. A healthy body makes us feel good and positive about ourselves, contributing to a better mental health.

6. Connect with the Right People

Make your small community of people the community you want to be a part of. Get rid of people who put you down or make you feel miserable. You don’t need toxic people. Keep your loved ones close, enroll in activities that offer you joy, join the team you always wanted to. Enjoy your life with those you want to.

group of people gathered around, a small community of multiethnic people
Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

Conclusion

Negative thoughts are normal. We all have them and there is no reason to be afraid of them or to try to prevent them. We cannot stop negative thoughts from coming or choose not to have them, but we can change the way we deal with them and what else we choose to think of. After all negative thoughts are just thoughts, we don’t have to believe them.

I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains“.

Anne Frank

How about you?

How do you feel about your negative thoughts?

How do you choose to deal with them?

Redemption

Peaceful night. Indolent. Everyone believed that this peace
Would last forever.
Desperately looking for something to happen.
Intense lights, loud music. People. Lots of people. Paying attention to nothing.
Searching for one another.
How can they find others when none of them has ever found himself?

They say they know. They pretend they know.
They don’t need anyone else.
Stories of a life and dead memories.
Nothing is enough to thrill them.
Nothing is enough to awaken souls.
Souls buried in the dark.

Music comes out of instruments not tuned.
Their songs sound stupidly.
Their lights even when they are on, they are off to their eyes.
Voices without soul are heard like screams.
Screams coming from far away.

Yet, it is you who screams “Help, save me”
You are next to me. You try to reach me.
That is what I am here for. I try to reach you but I can’t.
You pull yourself back.
Why?

Night gets deeper. Your face is pale.
White.
Your look is terrifying.
I shudder to the sound of your scream.
It is not you calling me.

What calls me is that what makes you be afraid of yourself.
Only you can find yourself.
You can be saved by you,
Only.

How to Identify Whether You Have Adopted a Victim Mentality and How to Stop Being the Victim

When something bad happens to you do you always think that it is someone else’s fault? Do you feel like no matter what you do you have no control over what is happening to you? Do you usually blame others or your bad fortune for every negative thing that happens?

From time to time we may all act like drama queens, feeling like the whole world is against us, seeking for attention and sympathy. However, there are some people that seem to adopt this kind of behavior and mentality permanently.

I recently found out that there is a term to describe this kind of mentality which is called the “Victim mentality”.

“Victim Mentality. Some choose to believe that there is nothing they can do to solve their problems, even when they in fact could. Victims seek to blame others for their problems or blame outside circumstances.”

Mark Manson

What is the Victim Mentality?

Woman almost crying while making negative thoughts
Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

This term is not officially accepted as a medical term and actually most health professionals even avoid the use of it due to the stigma surrounding it. However, there are specific beliefs that people with victim mentality share and all of them are related to negative thinking:

1.       Lots of bad things happened to you in the past and lots of bad things will also happen to you in the future.

2.       Your bad fortune is a result of other people’s actions.

3.       Trying to change your fortune is worthless since nothing will finally change.

Negativity is so much easier to people with a victim mentality than trying to actually take action to save themselves.

Experts claim that the root of this mindset is in many cases an old trauma experienced at the hands of others. People who have experienced something similar are instinctively taught that they are helpless and unable to change something through their actions.

They tend to feel vulnerable and afraid. They don’t take on responsibility, instead, they blame others and refuse to take action while they prefer making excuses.

“I have no physical symptoms, but psychologically there’s this burden. I’ve got to get rid of it somehow. Of course, when I first went back to work I was scared the same thing might happen again. It takes positive thinking to overcome fear, otherwise you’ll carry around this victim mentality forever.”

Haruki Murakami

Benefits of Adopting a Victim Mentality

A woman is holding another woman's hands while trying to show her sympathy and support
Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels.com

It seems that some people who get by as “victims” are not willing to do anything in order to change even if they realize that other people around them are getting tired or annoyed by their constantly negative behavior. This happens because it seems that there are some benefits when somebody adopts the role of the “victim”.

1.       You are not accountable for your life: You take no responsibility for what happens in your life. Your life is the result of others’ people choices and actions and there is nothing you can do about it.

2.       Secondary benefits: “Victims” receive attention and sympathy from other people. In some cases they may also receive medication or funds. People who receive these benefits may not even realize it and keep feeling truly distressed.

3.       Satisfaction of unconscious needs: When you have a victim mentality you are in unconscious need of other peoples’ help, while you also seek for their validation. You play the “poor me” card which results in help and sympathy from others.

4.        No risks: Everything is other people’s fault so there is no need to actually take risks and be vulnerable.

How to Identify Whether You Have Adopted a Victim Mentality

As stated above it is absolutely normal to feel dissatisfied from your life from time to time and to seek other people’s attention and help. However, this is totally different from having adopted a victim mentality.

This is a list of signs that indicate that you might have adopted a victim mentality:

·         You believe that your life is against you

·         Your life is this way due to other people’s choices and actions

·         You cannot deal with the problems of your life and feel that you have no power against them

·         You have adopted a negative attitude and feel like your life is stuck while you can do nothing to change that.

·         You somehow even feel relieved and pleased when you feel bad and sorry about yourself

·         When somebody says an opinion about your behavior, even if it is an honest feedback you feel like you are under attack.

·         The people you attract are those with similar beliefs and attitudes towards life. They are those who complain about their lives and blame others.

·         It is hard for you to examine your life, make decisions and changes.

“I was a redhead and a middle child; both can make you feel excluded. It’s like fighting to be included, in the swim of things. After a while you start to develop a bit of a victim mentality, which isn’t great for a happy life.”

Shirley Manson

What Can You Do to Stop Being The Victim?

A woman is thinking her next chess move
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What experts say on the issue is that the victim mentality is not something you are born with but instead it is a learned behavior. People learn to adopt a victim mentality through their social life and family. It could also most commonly be a result of a trauma.

There are some steps that could be followed in order to overcome the adoption of the victim mentality.

1.       Learn to be responsible: Take responsibility for your choices and actions. Of course you can never control others but your reaction to their choices and actions is still your choice. You are the person responsible for your life and her potential and nobody else.

2.       Practice compassion and self-care: The victim mentality is in many cases adopted subconsciously after a trauma in order to cope with it. Be compassionate with yourself and practice self-care and self-love while trying to recover. Use journalism to better understand your feelings.

3.       Say No: Learn to prioritize yourself and your needs. When you feel like you don’t want to do something it is totally ok to say no even if others feel like you’re letting them down.

4.       Learn more about the victim mentality: If you identified the signs pointed above across different areas of your life, you might consider learning more about it and how it affects your life. This could be done through reading articles or books or you may even consider seeking therapy. Educating yourself about the victim mentality will help you recover and prevent you from returning to the old way of thinking.

“Defeat is a state of mind; No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.”

Bruce Lee

Have you identified any of the signs on yourself?

Have you met others with victim mentality?

References – Resources

Further information about the victim mentality could be found at the following links:

1.    https://www.healthline.com/health/victim-mentality

2.    https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-a-victim-mentality-5120615

3.   https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-a-victim-mentality

4.   https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/managing-victim-mentality.htm

Impossible

Vain thoughts, vain words, vain glances.
False hopes born inside you.

They made you think of yesterday with me again.
So much different everything was.

I felt it. You wanted me back.
I was a part of you myself.

Until, I felt you were turning into prison.
Impossible, for us, to be again as one.

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