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Can you help me to stop feeling like a victim?


I wanted to know if you could help me with my victimization problem.

Innately, I know that I can control certain aspects of my life. But instead, I choose or rather find it more comfortable to be in the bubble of self-pity than just overcoming my problems and controlling my life.

So could you possibly help? Thanks.

This question was submitted by 'Danneh'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hello Danneh and thank you for writing in.

It's very easy, as you know, to feel like things are working against you, that there is little you can do, that life and the people in it are unfair to you. And when people say, "Yes, but other people in parts of Africa or Syria or Ukraine or, well, lots of places, have it worse than you," or tell you about someone who is gravely ill, well, that doesn't seem to help much. Unless, maybe, you have personal dealings with people who really are victims.

That's not to say that there is no victimization in your life. I don't know you, so maybe some people are unfair or unkind to you. I've noticed that luck of both kinds sometimes – like bananas – comes in bunches. Or it may be that at one time you really did have less power than you have now, but you are still working out of the old habit of feeling helpless.

In a way, feeling helpless and hopeless when you are not is a denial of the freedom that those who are really held captive by circumstances would wish and fight for. It's not good enough just to have freedoms. We need to use our freedoms and have the creativity and flexibility to exert influence in life even when it looks, from the outside, like we don't have much freedom. Reflect on this quote from the psychiatrist and survivor of the Nazi death camps, Viktor Frankl:

"We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

Is it possible that one person can have a whole heap of freedom and not use it and another can have barely any but make the most beautiful use of it as Frankl attested?

So, learned helplessness may be one culprit of an aspect of yourself you want to transcend. In which case, I suggest you use the 'Overcome Learned Helplessness' download.

But you also mentioned that you find it more "comfortable" to be in a "bubble of self-pity". Certainly self-pity can provide satisfactions, such as excuses for not succeeding in some areas. And, people seldom say this, it can feel good in a gratuitous way. You mentioned comfort being a seeming benefit of self-pity, but I would suggest there can also be an element of self-righteousness and that can feel lovely.

But it's the very traps of self-pity, the sometimes hidden (even to oneself) 'pay offs' and self-focus of it all, that cause the most havoc. Better to be impatient (as it sounds like you have become) with your own self-pity than seek to defend it because of secret enjoyments.

But maybe you are being hard on yourself. Perhaps you feel more self-pity than others or maybe not. But one thing's for sure. By writing in the way you have, you have shown a desire to improve your life and develop yourself. If you need any more help, you could also listen to the 'Victim Mentality' download.

All my best for your future,


watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - April 16th, 2015 in

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