ERP 157: How to Shift Out of The Victim Position

By Posted in - Podcast November 16th, 2018 0 Comments victim mentality in relationships

In the last episode, I discussed the destructive nature of the drama triangle. When faced with conflict, we may quickly see the roles of the persecutor, victim, and rescuer emerge. Although the information isn’t specifically directed to a couple, it can help rid of the victim mentality in relationships.

If you missed the previous episode, I encourage you to listen to it before listening to this episode. Listen to episode 156.

A Quick Recap of The Drama Triangle:

  • Victim: Feels helpless, hopeless, and downtrodden. “Poor me.” (death of a dream)
  • Persecutor: Behaves in domineering ways and attempts to have power over others. Fears loss of control. Usually a former victim.
  • Rescuer: Attempts to help others and tends to take over-responsibility. “Poor you.” I want you to need me, so that I feel more valuable.

Today, we are going to explore how to get out of the victim position by helping you identify places where you may be getting stuck and how to get free and empowered. This will help people get out of the victim mentality in relationships.

Please listen to the podcast episode or read the transcript to hear stories, explanations, and examples.

This episode was inspired by and references material from The Power of TED, by David Emerald.

The Victim Orientation

“The victim orientation is the approach that most human beings take toward their experience, by default. You spend a lot of time searching for solutions to problems.” by David Emerald, The Power of TED

  • An orientation is a mental standpoint that determines your focus and direction…direction of thought or inclination.
  • Anticipating victimhood impacts your perspective and beliefs.
  • A victim orientation perpetuates the cycle.

Below are some examples of what people feel and believe- when taking on a victim mentality in relationships:

  • He doesn’t care.
  • She never cares about what I want.
  • He never listens.
  • She is constantly on me. I am never good enough.
  • He doesn’t engage.
  • She doesn’t respect me.

“You’re always looking outside yourself to the people and circumstances of life, for a sense of safety, security, and sanity.” by David Emerald, The Power of TED

Focus – Inner State – Being

The Victim Cycle

“The anxiety you feel comes from your way of focusing on the problem.” by David Emerald, The Power of TED

Problem – Anxiety – Reaction

  • When we focus on the problem, we are going to have an emotional response (i.e. feeling sad, hurt, angry).
  • Focusing on the problem creates an inner state of anxiety (mild discomfort to terror).
  • Your inner state motivates you to act in a certain way. For example, anxiety, whether mild or intense gives you energy for action and sparks your behavior.
  • Reaction helps reduce anxiety and the problem intensity in the short-term. However, when anxiety goes down, so does the impulse to react.

Emerald says the mistaken when in the victim position, as we think the problem causes our reaction. However, if we look at the sequence within the cycle, it is actually the anxiety that causes the reaction.

“A problem is rarely if ever solved from within the victim orientation.” by David Emerald, The Power of TED

How to Shift Out of The Victim Position

“Things get better and you relax and stop reacting to the problem.” by David Emerald, The Power of TED

Vision/Outcome – Passion – Baby Steps

  • Focus on solution, vision, goal, or dream.
  • Putting your attention on what you want to create.
  • When you focus on what you are passionate about and what matters to you, you will have an inner sensation of purpose, excitement, hope and possibility.
  • This inner state will help you take positive and constructive action to towards your vision.
  • As you achieve progress in the direction of your goals, you will feel empowered and like a creator.

Excerpt from The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks.

“Projection is the source of power struggles that eat up energy and intimacy in relationships. Power struggles are a war between two people tp see whose version of reality will win out. Much of the energy in troubles relationships is drained through power struggles about who’s right, who’s wrong, and who’s the biggest victim. Relationship – healthy ones that is – exist only between equals. When both people are not taking 100 percent responsibility, it is an entanglement, not a relationship. There is only one way to transform an entanglement into a relationship: both people must drop projection and see that they are 100 percent the creators of their reality.” By Gay Hendricks



Click on this link to access the transcript for this episode: 157: HOW TO SHIFT OUT OF THE VICTIM POSITION [TRANSCRIPT]

If you have a topic you would like me to discuss, please reach out to me. Here is my contact information.

Thank you so much for your interest in ending the victim mentality in relationships. Identifying the symptoms of victim mentality in relationships help couples improve and understand each other to connect rather that neglect the feelings of each other.

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Thank you! 

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Shifting Criticism For Connected Communication

Shifting Criticism For Connected Communication.

Stop the criticism loop, learn new ways to communicate
and strengthen the connection with your partner.


Dr. Jessica Higgins ~ Relationship and Transformational Coaching