While it is common knowledge that discrimination and body shaming exists in our communities, it is to your benefit to be able to note the difference between being victimised and being rightfully criticised.
Victim mentality refers to the mindset that, everyone and the world, in general, are out to get you. It’s the dysfunctional notion people have, that they can’t do anything to change their situation and everything is out of their control.
Well, it is not only wrong, but it also is not cute.
It is an acquired personality trait, and even though it is extremely over-the-top, it is usually as a result of past trauma and victimhood. We know we cannot control things that have happened to us in the past. And as a plus-size woman, over the years, you may have been discriminated against, betrayed, mocked and abused.
Yet, as you grow into adulthood, you have to be an adult. This means, while playing victim might have some perks, like evading responsibility, getting everything you want, getting away with your misdeeds and being the centre of attention, there are actual consequences to your actions, and you will have to answer to them.
People who have a victim mentality will exhibit some or all of the following behaviours. You may recognise them in yourself or other people you meet along your way:
- Self-loathing, you are always hard on yourself and tend to put yourself down.
- You are entitled.
- You blame everyone else for your problems.
- You love a pity-party. You always engage in ‘sufferlympics,’ trying to have the saddest story in the room.
- You tend to blow small issues out of proportion.
- You always feel frustrated, helpless and hopeless. You think your situation could never get better.
- You have outbursts of anger and throw blames at people around you.
Sometimes things will not always go your way, and that’s okay. You probably didn’t ace that interview, and that’s why you didn’t get a callback, not because you are fat. You most likely were criticised because you did something wrong, not because of your size. Maybe, he just doesn’t think you both are compatible, for other reasons besides your body.
There are steps you can take to correct this mentality. Let’s see a few ways we can turn this mentality around:
- Take responsibility for your actions and feeling. Stop saying ‘you, they, them’, and say more ‘I’.
- Have an attitude of gratitude! It seems like this piece of advice has been over flogged, but the truth is, the less entitled you are, the more grateful you become.
- Be kinder to yourself. Be your critic, but remember to make sure it is constructive.
- Start finding solutions to your problems. Don’t sit around, waiting for others to take care of you. Be an adult in actions too.
- Don’t let rejection deter you. Don’t give up after the first ‘No’. Everybody gets rejected; you are not perfect. Keep going.
- Get to the bottom of it. Figure out why you feel the way you do. It may be past trauma, beliefs, and notions or an underlying mental health struggle like PTSD or depression.
At the end of the day, victim mentality is a destructive and disruptive behavioural trait. It doesn’t only ruin your self-esteem; it also damages relationships. Seek professional help if you see yourself sinking into this pit. And remember; be kind to yourself all the time.
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