Victimhood Ruins You And Your Relationships

by | Feb 25, 2021

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Even if every bad or negative thing that happens in your life may not be your fault, will anything bad ever come out of asking, “What could I have done differently in this situation?” or “Now that this has happened, what is my responsibility in it, how will I respond, and how will I move forward to change?”

Contracts vs Covenants

A contract states that, “I will do this, if you do that.” A covenant states that “I will do this, no matter what you do.” Think about the difference. Our natural tendency is to go through life making contracts with people and circumstances, most of them unwritten and unspoken, but just as real. Think about all the times you’ve made decisions about relationships, health, and finances based on the fact that someone didn’t keep up their end of the agreement or because of your own failed expectations.

Designing a life around personal covenants opens us to healthy change because you’re no longer dependent on the actions of others or positive circumstances in order to make good choices, set goals, and accomplish the things that determine your outcome. I don’t have to eat that food because someone else ordered it, I don’t have to react in anger because someone else is yelling, I don’t have to live life with a sense of entitlement because bad stuff happened to me.

Make Personal Covenants

Contracts can be weak and risky because they involve a unity and synchronicity that most people and external circumstances aren’t going to provide. A personal covenant says that I am determined. I chose to stay focused, stay the course, and move toward what I want, no matter the negative influences, no matter what anyone else does.

Healthy People Create Personal Boundaries With Perpetual Victims

Most people would admit that they can’t control what others do and can’t control many of the things that happen around them. Yet, there still seems to be an element of surprise when bad stuff happens so it’s necessary to have a plan on how you respond to the negative. Have you ever known someone who believes a disproportionate amount of hardship consistently happens in their lives? That their car breaks down more often, travel plans fall through, they don’t get the raise they wanted, people aren’t nice to them, or everyone but them seems to live a trouble-free life. Being in friendships or relationships with perpetual victims is extremely draining. It becomes necessary for those with a healthy perspective, to create personal boundaries so that they aren’t subject to the weighty emotions of the victim.

Be the sole proprietor of the bad that happens in your life. It gives you the best opportunity to learn, change and grow.

How To Determine If YOU Have A Victim Mindset

You know the person, the one that is constantly complaining about their problems or their ailments. They seem to be in never-ending turmoil about how other people have wronged them. They seem to lack discretion when it comes to talking about other people. They often see others in a negative light and have no problem talking about it. The perpetual victim appears to be clueless as to how much time they spend talking about themselves, their problems, and the laundry list of wrongs that have been done to them. The victim seems almost entirely unable to concern themselves with how OTHERS are doing. They may ask you how you’re doing and by the time you take a breath to respond, they’re right back to talking about themselves.

It Takes One To Know One 

The last time I heard that expression was probably on the playground when I accused one of my classmates of being a dumb jerk. Instead of owning the title, they deflected and said, “It takes one to know one!” None of us is immune from thinking, feeling, or acting the part of a victim to life’s circumstances at least some of the time. So, how can we take personal inventory to avoid falling into these patterns?

You might be stuck in a victim mindset if:

  1. You do more talking about your own problems than you do listening to others
  2. You rarely ask how others are doing or take the time to listen and empathize with their response before turning the focus back to yourself
  3. You never see yourself as the problem no matter the negative situation
  4. You believe that a disproportionate amount of bad happens in your life compared to others
  5. Failure to see that your ability (or inability) to change patterns in your life are what is leading to negative outcomes
  6. The inability to take ownership in situations even IF whatever happened was not your fault

More important than spotting a victim, is having a personal ability to see our own victimhood and alter course when necessary so that we bring life, encouragement, and absolute joy to others the majority of the time.


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Dawna Stafford Music

Dawna is a northwest singer-songwriter and cover song artist based in Spokane and Northern Idaho. Described as a folk-rock star, her acoustic arrangements and vocals are soulful and raw. Her style is an upbeat fusion of modern folk and light rock, delivering live performances that are fun, diverse and relatable. Audiences love the dynamic range from upbeat and tempo driven to melodic and thoughtful. Dawna is a versatile artist who knows how to engage and entertain people with a mix of both originals and familiar cover songs that span the decades.