Table of contents:

How to defeat the victim in yourself and control any situation
How to defeat the victim in yourself and control any situation

Stop bowing to circumstances and drowning in negativity. It's time to become the master of your life.

How to defeat the victim in yourself and control any situation
How to defeat the victim in yourself and control any situation

So, you start to get annoyed right in the morning: traffic jams, idiots don't know how to drive, a long queue at the store, and so on. These are all circumstances that do not depend on you, and they spoil your mood and set the tone for the rest of the day.

Yes, these situations are out of your control, but what about your emotions about these situations? Emotions determine your reaction to everything that happens in life. And they are very difficult to control. Difficult, but possible.

Any reaction to people or situations, regardless of whether it occurs automatically, as a result of habit or comes from conscious thoughts, is our choice. We choose to take responsibility for our actions or blame someone else. We have the right to choose who controls our lives. You make the day, or the day makes you.

How and why we love to play the victim

Victim psychology is based on the belief that we are not responsible for our actions and life circumstances.

Today, thanks to the internet and social media, the habit of blaming, criticizing and rejecting life's circumstances is becoming a common part of everyday communication. Modern people are becoming more and more sensitive, regardless of age. Sensitivity and vulnerability are seen both in workplaces and in educational institutions - schools and universities.

As sociologists Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning have noted in their research, we are taught to respond to the slightest hurt. Instead of solving problems on our own, we complain to other people to confirm our victim status, and we begin to depend on them in this regard.

All this creates a feeling of helplessness. We plunge into powerlessness, blame others, talk about the circumstances and feel sorry for ourselves: "If only X happened, everything would be better …", "Why am I not her?" etc.

In his book The Power of TED, David Emerald describes victim psychology as a terrible tragic triangle. The model of this triangle was developed by Dr. Steven Karpman back in 1960, but it is relevant to this day. We constantly play one of the three roles of this triangle, or all three in turn.

Victim Psychology: The Tragic Triangle
Victim Psychology: The Tragic Triangle

As a victim, we focus on the negativity in our life and feel resentful to those who judge or criticize us.

As persecutors, we judge and criticize others, usually without anger or anger.

Finally, we turn to saviors, who may appear in the form of another person or other things, to distract us and bring relief.

Complaints are a great defense mechanism. A good way to convince yourself that you deserve the best when things don't go the way you want them to (and you don't do anything to fix it). It's much easier to complain and criticize than to create, lead and do something.

My life is filled with terrible setbacks, most of which never happened.

Mark Twain writer

When you perceive circumstances as an external factor, you are allowing yourself not to move forward. You don't grow, you don't learn from your mistakes.

What to do? Increase your awareness, admit your mistakes and shortcomings, and accept that you are responsible for your destiny.

How to Defeat Your Victim and Accept Responsibility

Flip the tragic triangle

The opposite of David Emerald's tragic triangle is dynamic improvement.

Victim Psychology: Dynamic Improvement
Victim Psychology: Dynamic Improvement

While victims focus on problems, creators are clear about what they want and take responsibility for their results in life.

Persecutors become adversaries who help them learn and grow on the path of self-discovery.

Finally, saviors become coaches and help the creator on the path to making his dream come true.

Moreover, the same problems, situations and rivals remain in life. We just look at them from a different point of view.

To switch from victim mode to creator mode, take a time and ask yourself a few questions:

  • What is my ideal result?
  • What intentions have led me to what is in life?
  • Who do I blame for what happens to me?
  • To whom or what am I reaching out for salvation?

A similar philosophy of perceiving difficulties is present in the writings of many philosophers: Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Epictetus and other Stoics.

The philosophy of stoicism is based on the fact that we cannot control the events that will happen, but we can control our reaction to it. We are dissatisfied with our lives because we have allowed emotions to control our thoughts and actions, instead of applying logic and rational thinking. We have forgotten that obstacles and setbacks are rich opportunities for growth and development.

Writer and marketer Ryan Holiday used these Stoic principles in his TEDx talk to tell the stories of great historical figures: Theodore Roosevelt, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Ulysses Grant and Thomas Edison. People who looked at failures and problems as opportunities for personal growth.

There is one thing that helps not to get confused when meeting obstacles, not to get upset and not give up in front of them. Few are capable of doing this. But after you learn to control your emotions, judge objectively and stand your ground, the next step becomes possible - mental switching. Click, and you begin to see not an obstacle, but an opportunity. As Laura Ingles-Wilder said, there is good in everything if we seek it. But we are looking so badly … We turn a blind eye to real gifts.

Ryan Holiday

It's in our nature to believe that things should happen exactly as we expect. And if it goes wrong, we refuse to accept it. For example, we complain about an annoying employee, when we could examine their shortcomings, find similarities in ourselves, and improve our communication.

Do the No Complaints Exercise

During this exercise, you should not complain, gossip, judge, or complain. Try it. Most likely, you will not be able to hold out without complaints even half a day.

Okay, this will help you avoid voicing negativity, complaints and gossip, but will it help you to change the way you think? Will help. We think in words, so what we say is directly influenced by the words we scroll through our heads. Therefore, affirmations are also very effective. By repeating positive mantras, we influence how our brain filters and interprets external information. One study found that affirmations reduce stress and improve problem-solving and decision-making abilities.

When you make yourself a day without complaint, you watch what and how you say to other people, learn to choose your words more carefully, avoid negativity, and focus on solutions and a positive response.

You can practice this exercise all day, or use it only in special circumstances, such as in difficult life situations or when something really annoys you. This will teach you how to stay calm and positive and focus on finding solutions in stressful situations.

Our life is created by our thoughts.


We cannot avoid difficulties, and we should not protect ourselves or our children from them. We must meet obstacles face to face, because it is through experience, constant questions and answers that we grow and prosper.

The next time you face a difficult and annoying situation, think about which is more important to you: anger or personal growth?