Self-image of victimization or "victim mentality" is the offspring of trauma. It is a state of mind in which all of our thought processes, actions, and conversations come from the vantage point of a victim. This style of relating governs everything we think, say and do. Victim mentality/self-image of victimization—the view of self as a victim. A pervasive sense of helplessness, passivity, loss of control, pessimism, negative thinking, strong feelings of guilt, shame, self-blame, and depression is often present.
Psychology suggests that the victim mentality is a learned personality trait. A person tends to regard self as a victim of the negative action of others. He/she may think, speak, and act as if that were the case, even in the absence of clear evidence. It is a habitual thought process (spirit). Someone struggling with a victim spirit has a tendency to blame others, fails or is unwilling to take responsibility for his action, ascribes non-existent intentions to other people (similar to paranoia), believes that others are “luckier” or happier than him, takes on the “why me?” persona, gains short-term gratification or pleasure from self-pity, feeling sorry for self, or eliciting pity from others.
Traits of a person dealing with a victim mentality include:
self-abasing (putting self-down even more than others are doing)
Overcoming the Victim Spirit "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."-- 2 Chronicles 7:14
As one who may have been victimized, this scripture may challenging and a little hard to swallow, because the reality of being hurt, abused, mistreated...wronged, is real. There is no denying that someone or something legitimately wounded our soul, however how we walk through the event is key.
God's word tells us to humble ourselves. This can be someone daunting because, as a victim, we can feel quite justified in our behaviors, thoughts, and words. The justification can come through self-talk like, "Do you know what I have been through?" or "I will never let that happen to me again." These thoughts validate our behavior and how we relate to others.
Humility requires authentic introspection into our soul. It also requires that we take ownership for our conduct. I have to be willing to evaluate my role and participation in reinforcing this mindset. Have I been walking around with a chip on my shoulder? Am I mad at the world? Are my words filled with anger and venom, poised to verbally assault the least suspecting individual? Have I become cynical and sarcastic? Or, have I completely retreated and withdrawn myself from others in a futile effort to self-protect? Whatever my modus operandi, I have to look at it truthfully, repent of it, and turn to God. In so doing, God promised that He will heal my land (heart). The onus for healing is not mine--that belongs to God, but the prerequisite is humility, prayer, pursuing God, and repentance.
Prayer for Overcoming the Victim Mentality "Father, in the name of Jesus, I confess that I have been operating with a victim mentality. I repent of every negative word, thought, or deed that has been contrary to your Word. I confess that, according to your word in Romans 8:37, I am more than a conqueror! I am not a victim...I am an overcomer. In Jesus' name, amen.