The Victim Pattern

If you have the Victim Pattern, you tend to see yourself as being wronged by people or in an impossible situation. You may believe that your problems exist because harmful things were done to you. You may feel like the victim of your circumstances, and you may feel that there is nothing you can do about it.

With this Pattern, you may find yourself continually thinking about how others have wronged or hurt you. You may make excuses to yourself about why you cannot get your life together, feeling cheated and helpless to do anything about it. You may feel angry or depressed about your circumstances and helpless to change your life for the better. In the back of your mind, you may even feel entitled to special time and attention from others, especially those who have wronged you.

You may indeed have been victimized in your childhood and perhaps even as an adult. The Victim Pattern doesn’t refer to these situations where you were truly a victim and had no option. It refers to the situation where a part of you is attached to feeling like a victim even when you are in a situation where you could now take steps to improve your situation.

You may now have the power to stand up for yourself or to get away from someone who is harming you. However, if you have a Victim Pattern, you tend to focus on feeling sorry for yourself rather than looking for ways to get what you want in life.

This Pattern can keep you from moving toward goals for personal development or professional success. The Victim Pattern may interfere with your ability to take charge of your life. You may focus on how other people are to blame for what has happened to you rather than focusing on what you can do to change your difficult circumstances.

This is not to say that a Pollyanna attitude is helpful or that you should completely ignoring past hurts. But it is important to focus on moving forward and on what you can do, rather than perpetuating your sense of yourself as a victim of circumstances.

On a deeper level, you may unconsciously hope to get some benefit out of playing the victim, wanting someone to realize how they have wronged you and rescue you.

On the other hand, it isn’t realistic to believe that you can control every single thing that happens in your life. As with all patterns in The Pattern System, the healthy position is one of balance. It is good to recognize when things harmed you that were out of your control. However, it is important to realize when you can take charge of your life and try to make it work.

There are three variations on the Victim Pattern:

  1. If you have the Angry Victim Pattern, you feel resentment toward people you believe have wronged you.
  2. If you have the Helpless Victim Pattern, you just feel powerless over your life and attribute your problems it to external circumstances or other people.
  3. If you have the Martyr Pattern, you believe that you have helped someone who not only didn’t appreciate what you did for them but wronged you instead.

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