This article examines the characteristics of the victim and their relationships with the perpetrators, and offers a typology of the victim. Surprisingly, given that we are moving from blame to an undoubtedly more complex understanding of truly violent systems, keeping those systems in our culture, and the role that victims play in these systems, we actually offer better tools for predicting and especially for avoiding further victimization.
Psychology of Victims:
To understand the psychology of victims, we need to understand the main characteristics of a victim or what distinguishes victims from non-victims. Whether the trauma is essentially domestic violence, sexual abuse, or a hostage situation, the question is: what distinguishes those who specifically overcome trauma and live meaningful lives from those who have extensive acute post-traumatic stress disorder?
For example, what distinguishes women who leave abusive husbands from those who do not? The difference between victims and non-victims, most of whom work in the same social, political, economic and legal context, are not external factors, as is often argued, but, those which are described below. How they see themselves, the world around them, and their relationship to trauma are all important in every way.
The next section contains the first complete description of the victim’s psychology, as they generally thought. It describes the main characteristics of the victims, their relationships with the abusers, the origins of the victims, and the typology of the victims.
The making of a victim:
Children who were heavily abused received repeated reinforcements in childhood to subtly act like victims. It was often the only way to be recognized by parents on a large scale. Identifying and imitating the role of parents as victims can lead to fundamentally appropriate behaviour that is important in all respects.
In general, when a child identifies with an abusive parent, we can expect him to try to repeat the abusive behaviour, or so they mainly thought. Similarly, a girl who observes that her mother is mostly abused is more likely to engage in such behaviour, which is generally contrary to popular belief. It is not uncommon for a person to take on both roles most of the time, particularly becoming an abuser and victim.
The social legitimacy of violence and victimization in our culture goes in a particularly important way far beyond family battlefields. Television programs, video games, movies, schoolyards, neighbourhoods, as well as national and international politics in general, legitimize the use of violence to fundamentally resolve conflicts.
Whether it’s Sunday morning cartoons, an interactive violent video game, or the armed invasion of a foreign country, the clear message is being sent that using violence as a means of achieving a real goal is entirely acceptable to achieve. If culturally violent messages complement family messages, children may have no other frame of reference and most likely fall into the role of victim, abuser, or both in a subtle way.
Typology of victims:
The basic assumption of the legal system is that there is one party to a dispute that is guilty and 100% responsible for the crime and another completely innocent party. Although the responsibility is clear in some cases, in most cases the situation is more complex.
We all feel intimidated at some point in our lives. During these times we may feel exploited, hurt by another person and / or another circumstance, or that life is unfair. The victim’s stance is powerful: the victim believes that they always have the correct morals, are not responsible for their actions, and have the right to sympathize with others. Victim-minded people feel that others are generally happier or happier than themselves.
They blame others or institutions for their misfortune, attribute unsubstantiated negative intentions to others, and may even enjoy feeling sorry for themselves. They self-degrade at bedtime due to underlying low self-esteem, inadequacy, and depression. Chronic negative self-evaluations create feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, a vicious circle that maintains and sustains the victim’s mindset.
Finally, people can maintain a victim mentality because they are afraid to take responsibility for their own needs and desires and they are afraid of failure. They unconsciously believe that they don’t deserve to have good things in their lives.
It is possible to change the victim’s mindset because it is a learned behaviour that generally begins in early childhood and learned behaviours can be forgotten. Young children are helpless and vulnerable and depend on their caregivers for daily support. Some young children receive positive reinforcement and emotional support only if they generate sympathy from distant caregivers. In these cases, the victim’s mindset is strengthened because he is successful. However, in the long run, a victim mentality takes away our strength and potential.
Transitioning from a victim mindset to a “retreat” mindset first requires understanding and examining the underlying psychological issues that contribute to the victim mindset.
Research on victim psychology suggests that victim-minded people have difficulty expressing and processing negative emotions such as anger, fear, and disappointment, as well as difficulty taking responsibility for their wishes and actions. This leads to hopelessness and helplessness, a feeling too familiar for people struggling with the victim’s mindset.
Effective treatment focuses on helping people become aware of what they are doing, maintaining their inability to take control of their lives, and helping them see situations and relationships from many perspectives, broadening their problem-solving abilities, thus reducing feelings of helplessness. Treatment also focuses on empowering people to take responsibility for their long-term desires and actions, and ultimately feel deserved for what the good life has to offer.
Here are some tips to help you to regain control:
- Make a list of your wishes and goals. Writing down your goals and wishes is the first step in taking responsibility for your life. You have your purpose and destiny in life. Others have no right to interfere in this process. It is your trip and yours alone.
- Choose a goal and create a plan to achieve it. Taking the opportunity to take risks to achieve your goal is a way of NOT being a victim.
- Be honest with yourself and consider what you can do to inadvertently put yourself in the role of the victim. For example, do you blame others for negative results because you may be too afraid to make a mistake, take responsibility, or assert yourself?
- Take time every day to do something you enjoy and want to do.
- Consider psychotherapy to develop a healthier self-image. Developing a healthier self-understanding helps reduce feelings of helplessness and hopelessness and leads to a fuller, more fulfilling, and sincere life.
You feel like an eternal victim and have accepted the victim as an inevitable reality.
But what if you could stop feeling like a victim once and for all? What if you could stop suffering at that time? How could giving up the victim, improve your relationships, your career, and your health?
You don’t have to wait for someone else to release you from your prison. With these 7 steps you can free yourself from the victim’s chains:
1. Stop blaming others:
Blaming others can temporarily ease our pain, but will eventually lead to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
Here is a quick tip to help counter the tendency to blame others. When you look in the mirror, regardless of how you feel, ask yourself:
What is my role in this situation?
In most cases, you will find that you have the option of choosing your answer. Are you going to let go or hold a grudge? Are you going to have hope or helplessness?
2. Be compassionate with yourself:
The biblical command to “love your neighbour as yourself” is well known.
But we often focus on the first part of the offering, presumably because we take the second part for granted.
However, there is a quiet epidemic of self-loathing that betrays this assumption. Do you have problems with self-love due to past moral failure or other perceived deficiency? Know that you are not alone.
You can challenge the voices (yours or others) that tell you that you are not worthy of your love.
3. Practice gratitude:
It is practically impossible to feel victimized when you are grateful, which is very important. The spiritual forms of each tradition teach us that even in the most difficult circumstances, we can find things for which we are very grateful. The difficulty itself can be the source of our gratitude for the priceless lessons that we can learn subtly.
In general, when we are trapped in the world of victims, we are more aware of how vulnerable we are, which is quite significant. We experience a feeling for what Brené, Brown describes as a “deep feeling.” It’s the feeling that there is always a disaster lurking around the corner.
The feeling is particularly intense when things are going well, for the most part. When a disaster occurs literally, the victim wants to control when that disaster occurs so that they are generally not disappointed. That is why he undermines his joy and success with self-destructive behaviour.
5. Be kind to others:
If you feel like a victim, you are probably focused on yourself, definitely on your feelings, and generally very concerned. When you help someone else or do an accidental act of kindness, you empower yourself, but not in a manipulative or controlling way. Your ability to positively influence someone helps you realize that you can also positively influence your way of life, which is quite important.
6. Forgive and let go:
Victims often cling to feelings of bitterness and anger, which in every way emanate from past injuries. It colors their everyday experiences and leads them to subtly interpret the well-intentioned gestures of others negatively. In some ways, we refuse to forgive others because we believe that, for the most part, it means being weak, apologizing for the mistake, or reconciling with the person who hurt us.
It is none of these things. In general, it does not require an apology or justice to be served in principle. Because forgiveness is not primarily about the perpetrator. Forgiveness in every way is subtly about you. It is your reaction to the pain that has been especially inflicted on you, which is quite significant. It’s about what you do with this pain to generally transform it into compassion, empathy, and understanding for the other person.
It is about finding the inner strength to go beyond pain and find inner peace and freedom, contrary to popular belief.
7. Developing self-confidence:
Victims often cling to the bitterness and anger of past injuries, which is quite significant. It colors their everyday experiences and leads them to interpret even the well-intentioned gestures of others in a particularly negative way. We refuse to forgive others because we think that being weak is to apologize for the wrong or to reconcile with the person who hurt us.
If you feel like a victim, you may be struggling with a low confidence level. For the most part, you may think that a safe person is actually born, not made. Yes, some people are inherently safer than others, but trust can be subtly taught and enhanced in each person.
The best way to do this is to emulate safe people to a great extent. Dress well, maintain an upright posture, make eye contact and exercise. All of these things will help build confidence and will ultimately branch into all areas of your life.