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7 Traits Of A Serial Victim

Updated: Jan 16

Most self-help, personal growth, and motivational advice consistently declare that a victim mentality is wrong for us: physically, emotionally destructive, and spiritually harmful. A victor mentality is more constructive than a victim mentality. Yet, despite what we all know on the inside, being a victim sometimes just feels so comfortable, so usual, so familiar. It is what we have come to expect, so much so that often we don’t even realize we may have become a serial victim.

Well, I have to jump on the bandwagon of others and give you this assurance: if you insist on maintaining a victim mentality, you will forever be a victim, and true health, happiness, and success will likely be elusive.

Before you write nasty comments and call me insensitive (see #5 below), I am not blaming the victim. What I am urging victims to do, no matter how horrific the circumstance, is to see how events continue to replay to shape your personality, your behavior, your faith—your life.

So, how can you tell if you or someone you know is a serial victim? These seven observations may help.

1. Never accept blame

Many victims will never take personal responsibility. Their predicament is always someone else’s fault. Often, this is because once they take responsibility, they are thrust into the unfamiliar territory of not being a victim (on the uncharted journey of becoming a victor)—and this can be very scary.

2. Always accept blame

Huh?! But I thought you just said…Someone who was the victim of abuse or a violent crime has difficulty allowing themselves to be happy, to be victorious. That is because, on some level, they blame themselves for the misfortune that may have beset them, often circumstances well beyond their control. For them, being a victor is too scary because, to their brain, they are undeserving. After all, they believe something about them caused them to be victimized.

3. Can’t let go of the past

For the victim, the past is their homestead. They will continue to tap into the past for evidence to support why they must stay a victim. Most of the time, the knowledge they take from the past is not to learn and grow but to reinforce and explain their hardship and disadvantages.

4. Benefit from it

Playing the victim role can confer certain benefits. In medicine, “secondary gain” explains the use or gain of remaining sick. If that’s the only way you get attention, well, then there is motivation to stay down, to remain the victim. I recall being quite sick with pneumonia when I was merely seven years old. My father would bring me home a small gift every night for about two weeks. When I got better, I felt a little sad. Why? No more gifts! Thank God I got over that!!

5. Use it for power

Ironically, being a victim can place one in a position of power. Many quote scripture to flex their victim muscle, “Blessed be the poor.” I challenge anyone to come up with something more powerful than God for an endorsement of victimhood. Additionally, through social media and other outlets, a person can use their victim status to malign someone or a group to get something they feel due them, simply by making the person or group look unkind or insensitive to their needs. This victim “power play” is perhaps the most insidious way for one to use their victim status and possibly the most self-destructive.

6. Enjoy throwing their own pity party

The only type of party a victim seems to enjoy is a pity party. And to plan one, all it takes is a good dose of passive-aggressive behavior. “You go on, have a good time. Don’t worry about me; I’ll be here when you get back. Some people are just luckier than me.” This “woe is me” mentality reinforces being a victim and makes this party sad and pathetic.

7. Provides a convenient excuse

Whatever makes you a victim can keep you neatly tucked in your comfort zone, albeit an ultimately uncomfortable zone. You can use being a victim as an excuse not to challenge yourself or seek personal growth. Additionally, confrontation is brutal for most people, especially if you have a victim mentality. Many victims remain passive, allowing the weakness of their “disability” to prevent them from being assertive and voicing their opinions.


Whether you consider yourself a victim, becoming aware of these behaviors is the first step to breaking from them. And though there are many shades of grey when it comes to being a victim, one thing is constant for all: making it your life mission to change from a victim to a victor mentality. Shifting these mental and behavioral fortresses will connect you to a life where being a victor is the norm as you develop a oneness with your destiny through your Divine nature. This will expose greatness within you, personal power, and pure potential—the real you, the person you were meant to be.

© Dr. Charles F. Glassman, CoachMD

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