Episode 50: Breaking Free from the Victim Mentality

Today’s episode is a hot topic for us! Let’s discuss playing the victim. 

Episode 50 (yes, 50!) is all about diving into the various aspects of victim behavior. We talk about the signs of playing the victim (such as constantly blaming circumstances, seeking attention, and lacking responsibility for our actions) and the importance of recognizing and addressing this mindset to avoid limiting ourselves and missing out on opportunities for personal growth and success. We also touch on the martyr complex and how it relates to victim behavior. Yikes!

Let’s explore this common occurrence as we share our personal experiences and give you our insights into overcoming the victim mentality. Let’s all embrace a more empowered and proactive approach to life and get after it!

Episode 50: Breaking Free from the Victim Mentality

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Our definition of “victim mentality”
  • Brace yourselves
  • Personal reasons why we are triggered by a victim mentality
  • Discussing the issue of playing the victim
  • Personal triggers and experiences related to victim mentality
  • Defining what playing the victim means
  • Negative consequences of playing the victim
  • Different ways victim mentality can manifest (e.g., damsel in distress, guilt-tripping, inconsistency in stories, attention-seeking)
  • Competing for victimhood
  • The role of circumstances in victim mentality
  • The impact of COVID-19 on victim mentality
  • The concept of “happening to me” vs. “happening for me”
  • Attracting similar energies and experiences
  • Physical and emotional effects of playing the victim
  • Recognizing and addressing victim mentality
  • The importance of self-reflection and taking responsibility
  • Empathy and frustration when dealing with individuals in victim mode
  • Potential missed opportunities and limitations caused by victim mentality
  • Like the show? LEAVE US A REVIEW wherever you listen!
  • Have a question? CONTACT US at info@thepursuitofbadasserie.com!
  • Want to sponsor us? Find out how HERE.

Read on for a transcription of this episode:

Lynn Howard

Hi, I’m Lynn and I’m Amanda.

Amanda Furgiuele

Welcome to the Pursuit of Badasserie. Today we are talking about a hot topic for Lynn and myself. It is something we talk about a lot.

It gets super frustrating for both of us and that is playing the victim. We like it heated today so brace yourselves folks.

Lynn Howard

Oh yeah what I was thinking about us recording that this podcast this morning I felt like I was getting hives.

I was envisioning all of the times that the victim mentality. Mine is, and I know for you too, but mine is definitely rooted in personal reasons of why I’m triggered by victims.

I think maybe we should talk about what is playing victim because I don’t know if a lot of people realize what is playing victim.

Amanda Furgiuele

Well I think a lot of people want to pretend they don’t know what playing victim is. Let’s say that.

However, and I agree with you that a lot of this. is rooted in family, we’ll call it drama, and just it’s been a pet peeve trigger point for me for many, many years.

And the way I see playing the victim is that nothing is ever your fault. It’s always something that’s happening to you.

It’s it’s there’s absolutely no you’re not taking responsibility for anything. Instead, it’s this. What was me, murder, murder, world is inflicting.

It’s paying upon me and I had I had nothing to do with it. I am just these unfortunate victim of karma or circumstances or the universe is conspiring against me or.

You should start Brandon villain here. So that’s what to me with the victim mentality is this. Complete disregard for taking responsibility for your actions and for your role in the life that you lead and for constantly blaming.

The outside sources for any bad that comes into your life and using that as a scapegoat for why nothing you can’t move forward in action.

And that’s one of the things that just like. So panties and a twist.

Lynn Howard

Oh, absolutely. And we’ll get to our blog. It’s at least my story. don’t know if you want to share your story, but I definitely it also manifests.

That is absolutely true. And it also manifests in ways of like the damsel and distress, like waiting for people to rescue me guilt tripping.

So you can guilt trip others to either get what you want or manipulate. And it’s definitely kind of a victim mode behavior, if you would.

You already talked about blaming others in the martyr complex, which the martyr complex triggers me so much. But it’s also like different ways that it can show up as like inconsistency in story.

You’re making a story bigger or different or even leaving things out to paint yourself in a certain picture. It’s really just a lot of attention seeking behavior a lot of times, victim mode is.

Now, with that being said, that doesn’t mean that, you know, if you hide in your house and you just like are all by yourself, you’re not playing victim as well.

But those that are kind of engaging in their interactions with others, that’s definitely another thing. Also competing for it.

And it’s interesting because when I was thinking about this, of course, I do a little bit of research before we do podcasts and I’m like, okay, like how else could this manifest?

when I saw this one competing for a victimhood, it actually reminded me of when I would do trainings or when we would talk or even like sharing about my book or talking about my book, for example.

Or doing these trainings and you’d hear somebody’s story about their past, right? and not maybe not mine, but somebody else’s.

And then somebody else would have to like one up their story. It’s almost like they’re more of a victim or they’re more of this.

when I saw this, I was like, oh, made all these like little like bells go off in my head because even like talking, and I mentioned my book.

I’m talking with my book with different people. And it’s very vulnerable book. recently I’ve come across just a couple of people that actually did this.

I was like, were they playing victim or was that more of an ego standpoint of you? Or like, it kind of made me like think about that because I never, I never thought about that until I was doing the research this morning about like that competing for the victimhood as well.

But definitely victimhood behaviors.

Amanda Furgiuele

Yes. And you know, for me, one of the ones that really One of the characteristics of playing the victim that really, like I said, gets my nippers in a twist, is the constantly blaming circumstances on why you can’t move forward in your life.

So, I can’t achieve X because the forced me to do something opposite. didn’t make Captain the basketball team because I broke my leg and that’s the only circumstance that it could have been.

And it was that I hadn’t been for that. My life would be totally different. And running down this spiral of all the negative things that have put you where you are and why you can’t achieve more.

And a lot of that comes from, well, at least the way I see it is we are not our circumstances.

And Lynn, I mean, I know you mentioned the book, when it comes out, I want everybody to grab this book because if you want to see a prime example of you are not your circumstances, this book.

Lynn Howard

Thank you. you.

Amanda Furgiuele

However, a lot of what victim mentality is is blaming everything on your circumstances. Oh, well, it’s because I was poor.

It’s because I was abused. It was because I broke up with my high school boyfriend and he broke my heart.

It’s because whatever sad story. And I’m not saying those things don’t shape who we are and are horrible and tragic.

I’m not saying that those things aren’t bad. It’s just you can choose to rise above it. And when you’re living in that victim mentality, you never will.

You’ll just be stuck there blaming outside things for the reason why your life isn’t where you want it to be.

And I just don’t subscribe to that at all. I just feel like you are your own ship’s captain, your own hero of your own story.

You’re the one who is in control of that. And the director of your play, whatever analogy metaphor you want to use.

And if you sit in that victim mentality, you’re going to start to think that that’s where you should be and you’re going to feed on that and you’re going to sit there forever until you literally cannot see any other way.

And forever you will believe that your circumstances dictate who you are and where you are in life and that there’s no way to get out of it and that everything around you is conspiring to push you down.

And that is the exact opposite of what I believe exists in the world.

Lynn Howard

Absolutely. You know, I do like this analogy a lot for different things, but one of the things that you were explaining is like, I feel like when you play victim mode, you’re definitely not even in the passenger seat.

You’re you’re the one in the trunk because you put yourself in the trunk because you’re playing victim and not in the driver’s seat.

And there are so many things that can happen when you’re playing victim. And here’s the thing, I don’t want our audience to think that.

You can’t float in and out of it because even us, we might feel like, why did this happen to us or whatever, even though we’ve really worked hard and absolutely don’t put up with victim mode.

You can still float in and out, kind of like with growth and fixed mindset, you can float in and out of it like you can have moments of like having that but it’s what you do to get out of it and make sure that you’re not sitting in it.

I can give you a couple of examples but I do want to touch on one other thing because as you sit in it and you, you started to mention it, you, you started to develop habits that absolutely support that and that’s like low self esteem, that is lack of problem solving skills like you don’t learn how to be solution oriented.

You literally having this conversation last night but like you allow things to just happen to you and even though you might have some agility and resilience to

Do that depending on the gradient of victim that you’re in. You still aren’t picking up your boots and moving forward and figuring out how to move forward.

It also messes with your emotional coping mechanisms because a lot of times victims don’t tend to deal with their emotions.

They either ignore them or they just over exaggerate them. It’s almost like a, I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but it’s almost like a, it’s almost one or the other in some cases I’ve seen.

Usually mostly of the the woe is me, but I’ve definitely seen victims who are a bit more like closed off and that are more protective, but they still have that victim mentality.

They’re just not as outspoken about it. It’s fascinating to me, but victim mode definitely. And then I do want to add one more other thing.

And I want to add a couple of stories too, but I’ll pass over to you first is that when you’re in martyr mode, right?

You’re dying on the sword. And I know you kind of mentioned this before, but martyrism is like, it’s a whole other kind of level of victim because you’re trying to paint yourself as a hero, but you’re not.

And I’m not saying like being a martyr, like you can’t do it in a positive light because you can.

I’ve seen it done, but when you’re in it for a while, it is going to push you on to the victim side of the martyr, on the darker side of the martyr, not the liner side of the month.

It’s fascinating to watch individuals like Navgiz super frustrating, super frustrating. like I said, kind of gives me hives. people who play victim are not my people.

They’re not Amanda’s people, like at all. We know. So, that’s also because we’re action oriented, we’re very solution. What can we do?

How can we do this? We’re going to get ourselves out and we’re going to pull as many people out with us as possible.

Amanda Furgiuele

that’s just why it drives us Very small amount of times that we do and I’ll give an example from today.

Literally today, I was sitting down having a conversation about moving progress through my career, my personal career and how things had shifted even in the last 10 years and just sort of noting these big major life changes that had kind of thrown me off.

And it was Maybe a 10 minute conversation, but I didn’t sit at the end of that 10 minute conversation and say, this is my lot in life.

I’m never going to get ahead because of this. I’m just waiting for the next shoe to drop. There’s going to be a next disaster because now that I’m on an upswing again.

just waiting for the next disaster to happen. That’s going to push me back down. And a lot of people I noticed it a lot right after COVID because COVID was something that I know I was bringing back to like, Oh, COVID.

COVID, I mean, COVID sucked.

Lynn Howard

But so many people had a marker for you because it did. Like, it’s a great marker for the world.

So I love that you’re lot of people’s businesses.

Amanda Furgiuele

Yeah. it did shut people’s businesses down and it put people in that world of, was me? I’ve shut down my business.

I’ve lost my job. And there’s, it’s. And I sat in that when it happened for a couple of, maybe a couple of days just of very negative, very much like.

Anti-government and like, you know, pounding my fists on the wall and then it quickly shifted to solution-oriented. And that’s the difference.

When you sit there and you wall in it, you’re getting stuck there forever and then you’ll never come out of it, at least not with a positive mindset coming out of it.

So if you take these big life happenings and you glean from it whatever you need to in order to rise above and create solutions, that’s getting out of that martyr.

Or even if you can recognize the crap you’re sitting in, it’s rising above it and taking action and becoming solution-oriented even though you recognize these things in your life.

So again, it’s not that you can’t have that feeling of, whoa is me, life’s not working out the way I wanted it to in this circumstance that had nothing to do with you.

It’s the rising above, moving forward the action that’s going to make the difference in whether not you’re sitting in that victim mentality or rising above and becoming more solution-oriented.

Lynn Howard

Absolutely. I would, you know, I’m a person for words and if I don’t say it, then it’s gonna haunt me the rest of the day.

I would correct one thing. I would say that COVID or a situation like that isn’t the cause, but it’s a trigger.


Amanda Furgiuele


Lynn Howard

just because it’s a slightly different way to look at it, because we all have triggers and things like, you know, even me and I’ve spoke about this on other podcasts and, and, and, Obviously in the book, by being a view survivor and a cancer survivor, like, especially we’ll take the cancer one, like, I could have very much sat in the, oh, shit, this is happening to me, not for me.

And I, and I love that saying. And I know that that might be hard for some people, but to me, like, that’s my way of like staying out of victim mode as much as possible.

It doesn’t mean that I’m not going to sit in my feelings and sometimes I don’t, but I’m, I’ve worked on that over the years, but it doesn’t mean like I’m not going to, like,

Sit sometimes in that and be like, why does this happen to me? But we don’t stay there. So I always like to think of like, you know, this is happening for me, not to me.

And that kind of helps me redirect my perspective. You know, it’s interesting. I know, you know, rooted in my past, one of the ones that trigger me the most is probably martyrism because my mom was very much a martyr.

And my dad wasn’t a martyr, but he definitely played victim. he, because of his victim mentality, he was very abusive.

But because of his victim mentality, was like, even though he was a brilliant, like MacGyver mind, he was very stagnant in his belief and in his growth.

And he had a very narrow perspective. Now, you can call that, that you can say that that came from other parts of his life.

But I know parts of it came from him playing a bit of a. of a victim mode, even though he didn’t necessarily do the well with me all the time, but even in his responses of like he hates everybody.

I mean, he was maybe slightly racist, but he hates everybody and like this is all happening to him, right?

It was very much very much a victim mode. Another thing, and you mentioned this earlier too about like you when you sit in victim mode or when you sit in any extent.

It’s negative, but also positive when you sit in that negative space, you tend to attract, and I know I’m getting along the way with that, but you will tend to attract things of the same.

So those that sit in victim mode, they absolutely are attracting more things that can cause them for victim mode.

Now, it’s also their perspective in the way that they look at the things coming to them, but it’s almost like they’re a magnet but when you sit on the other side, you can attract the other things as well.

I would say like with like especially those that sit in victim mode, they tend to age different. They tend to stress more.

tend to have more like chronic illnesses because they’re not being solution oriented. They’re also not. And I’m not saying victims can’t be positive like optimistic and pessimistic.

They’re not all pessimistic. don’t think so. And just like those that are not victims, they can be either or as well.

However, they are looking at life through a different lens. So they’re almost expecting the worst to always happen to them in a lot of ways.

And so they’re attracting this just like illness and bad shit and strange relationships. never, a lot of times they can’t keep friends in a certain way.

It’s just mind blowing. Victims. I’m really trying to stay out of like the. It triggered the triggered part of this because it is crazy.

It’s a hindering you. And when you find yourself in victim mode, you have a choice. Maybe some of you like sitting in it.

Maybe some of you like the attention. And that’s not you. But I can tell you that you are limiting yourself.

You’re straining not just yourself, but also the relationships around you. You are narrowing your skin. You of understanding of mindset, the world.

You are actually disconnecting from the truth of what is happening. And I even believe disconnecting some from you. And I know that the claim victim can be a…

It can be born out of a survival mechanism, right? Because you want attention. You need attention. Or different things like that.

That but it is not a healthy thing and not to stay in full time.

Amanda Furgiuele

Yes, I was just literally having a conversation with someone in victim mode yesterday. And it was really, you know, it was really hard for me.

It always is hard for me because when you sit in that perspective, when you sit in the world of what was me, you’re creating drama where it doesn’t really exist in order to make yourself seem more important because you equate your importance with this drama and with this negativity and with this energy of like the universe truly is conspiring.

It’s me. It’s against me. And I’m the one. I’m the center of the universe in here. And I know we’re all the center of our own universe is I get that.

And when you’re sitting in that victim mentality, you are creating more stress. You are creating more chaos. You are.

Creating more obstacles that aren’t actually there and creating opposition even with yourself. To the point where you are losing your productivity and you are losing your efficiency, you were losing, well, I was losing my sanity.

And I think that overall that victim mentality in no way serves you other than in some kind of, and this person isn’t a narcissist, but it has this narcissistic tendency of just skewing the way things are in favor of the drama and chaos and the negativity that you need you being this person.

You need in order to function on this martyrdom level and it’s maddening to me. It’s super maddening because all I want to do is just shake you and tell you to get it done.

And to get over it and move forward and find a solution and stop wallowing. And anyway, it was a very difficult conversation as it usually is.

And it’s that victim mentality of creating chaos and creating more work for yourself. From some delusion, whether it’s purposeful or habitual.

Of creating this martyrdom victim mentality that is in no way serving you in any way of your life.

Lynn Howard

Absolutely. And if it is serving you, it’s serving you temporarily. But the more you do it, the less it’s going to serve you.

almost like a drug that you need it more and more and more because it’s the attention that you’re used to getting.

And there are, I can’t remember, what is it?

Amanda Furgiuele

Munch, munch, housing or whatever?

Lynn Howard

kimchow them. Yeah. Where people fake illnesses to, right?

Amanda Furgiuele

Isn’t that one of us? they get whole lives.

Lynn Howard

Yeah. It literally, it is, it is not a healthy state of mind to continue. There are many, many gradations of it.

There’s definitely, it’s a whole rainbow of where you can land and it’s not absent of the opposite. So, I wouldn’t say hero is the opposite of victim.

Amanda Furgiuele

I don’t even know what would be the opposite of victim, victim. Boss asked the itch. I don’t know. No, no, picture of us.

Lynn Howard

Yeah, it’s a picture of us. But you absolutely, and here’s the thing, for those of you that are recognizing, it’s hard to recognize.

And especially, and Amanda said, we have to pull ourselves out of that situation. doesn’t mean that we, doesn’t, playing victim is different because to me, playing victim is more of a conscious, like, I’m going to sit in the shit.

I’m going to do it for attention or like have people or whatever versus like processing or having pity on

I’m one self, which pity in oneself also triggers me a lot. But like you do need to process through those motions.

I think it’s kind of like the intention and the reason behind it. But getting back to what I was going to say is like those of you that are recognizing like, Oh, yeah, I might play that like, okay, so it is uncomfortable to get out of that victim mentality, that martyr mentality, because you’re so used to getting attention in a certain way.

And it’s like I said earlier, it’s almost like a drug like you’re used to that like that hit of attention.

And so, but if you work with somebody to help you like recognize it, put out like layout, why is this happening?

Find some of the roots like I know my roots like it came from my parents, it came from like watching other people in my childhood, like not do anything with their lives, because everything was was they were their circumstances, right?

They became their circumstances. This is where I was the opposite. Not allowing others around you. Guess what, parents? Sometimes we create this in our children because we don’t let them take responsibility for their actions, right?

and action. We can actually start to have that manifest in our kids, but it takes time. It takes really a lot of self reflection and like calling one out.

And like even when you do it in front of somebody say, I don’t know why I did that. Let’s move forward from it.

But I can tell you it’s a whole other life after and the attention and the resources that you receive is very different.

And it can be just as if not in my opinion, it is more fulfilling on the other side. Because you actually when you get out of victim mode, in my opinion, you are able, you make space for joy and happiness that are truthful.

Amanda Furgiuele

I want to make it clear that neither Lynn nor myself, neither of us hate people who are in martyrdom.

I’m like some of my absolute favorite people in the world, family members, close friends, have this trait. Yeah, have this trait.

And it bugs me, but only because, not because necessary that they’re doing it, but because I see the loss of potential.

Because when you sit there, you’re limiting yourself. And if you look at your life and look at your circumstances and you aren’t where you want to be, it helps to take a deep dive into why that is.

And maybe it’s a mindset shift. Maybe. You’re idealizing something that you don’t actually want. Maybe it is sitting at a victim mentality.

Maybe it’s just that you’re not there yet. There’s all sorts of reasons that you may not be where you want to be in your life.

And playing victim is often one of those reasons. So I just encourage you if you’re wondering if that’s sort of you, take a look a little bit and just I actually ask like question of are you happy in your life?

Are you happy with where you are in your life? And I know happy is kind of a tough word for lot of people.

I’m just content. Happy is a scale spectrum. Not every day. You can’t be happy. There’s no light without darkness.

I get it. And taking a look at that and taking responsibility because that’s the big one. Take responsibility for where you are and why you are the way where you are.

That’s a really important differentiation is taking responsibility for it and then moving forward because truly some of my absolute favorite people in the world.

I live in the victim mentality and that’s why I hate it so much because I see their missed opportunities and I see them holding themselves back where they could be infinitely further along in their own dreams if they would just let go of this need to be the victim.

And it breaks my heart to see it happen because these people are so amazing and if they would just take a little self-reflection and it’s hard.

There’s no such thing as a reflection that’s going to be easy. It’s hard and Lynn and I have worked on it for years and are still working on it.

Absolutely. And I just wanted to make it clear that this isn’t like a down with people who have victim mentality.

is just something that really it really hurts me to see people limit themselves with that kind of negative mindset and that kind of victim mentality.

Lynn Howard

About 100% agree 100% agree. Although I will say it again, I don’t typically work with those who sit in victim mode.

Now, people who go in and out, but that’s only because my tolerance level. It’s not that I don’t dislike them.

It’s just that I don’t have the capacity. But there are lots of people who can. And I appreciate those people who can help work people through that.

And that’s not to alienate anybody. We’re just really clear on who we are comfortable and have the capacity to work with.

And yes, I don’t know if it came out. But yeah, definitely have a lot of Very close friends that sit in and out of it.

And also like grew up around it. My mom was a martyr. dad was a victim in his own way.

my family, friends, definitely. I do want to leave on one last note. then we got to wrap up. This is actually a really good one is that we know that this is badassery and we tend to talk about entrepreneurship and playing victim.

Kind of this was a bit broader. We’ll say because it applies to both life and business. Which we definitely.

I all topics, most topics that we talk about should unless they’re business specific. But I will say that, you know, I’ve known some people who sit more in victim mode than in not, that have had great success.

This doesn’t mean just because I am successful. I’m not, then I’m not in victim mode. That’s not true. And what Amanda was saying earlier is like, you know, we both know people who have have great success.

That’s still sit in it. And they could have so much more and their lives could be so much fuller.

Things don’t have to be so difficult, right? And also, and just from my own personal cancer story, disease and illness happens when you are like holding on to shit like that.

And I know this from my own experience. And so like these people who we see have great successes tend to have health problems and different things as well, because they are just not fully.

So, to go that back to mentality. So, it’s just something to really, really evaluate. Yeah, instead of being actually a bit calmer of a podcast.

yeah. But yeah.

Amanda Furgiuele

The fire is inside.

Lynn Howard

It’s there. fire is inside. Well, that’s all we got for today. Don’t forget to like, share, comment. If you know someone who might really get a lot of value out of this, please share our podcasts with them, subscribe, and let us know in the comments below.

Amanda Furgiuele

And as always, get after it.