There are always going to be people who love to blame other people for creating, in whole or in part, the circumstances with which they struggle. 

We’re told that the “victim mindset” is rampant in the world today. 

We’re told that people refuse to “take responsibility” for their problems. 

We’re told that there is an attitude of “entitlement” that pervades the culture today. 

Every time I hear things like this, I truly wonder who these people are talking about. Because those statements do not describe the vast majority of people I’ve encountered who are trying to heal or improve their lives. 

In fact, it’s my observation that many people— especially those who have been abused or neglected growing up— assume way too much responsibility for the things with which they struggle. 

There is a HUGE subset of people who think it’s THEIR fault that they were abused. 

There is a HUGE subset of people who think the primary reason they struggle is because they are “weak” or they’re “losers.” 

There is a HUGE subset of people who think that the solution to their problems is to just “suck it up.” 

Don’t get me wrong. Of course there are people out there who have difficult accepting their role in their struggles. And, if you’ve ever been in a relationship of any kind with such a person, you know how maddening that can be. 

Here’s the thing, though: “refusal to take responsibility” or “victim mindset” usually does not describe those people who are actively working to solve their problems and improve their lives. 

And, in an ironic twist: it’s usually those very people who refuse to take responsibility for their problems that most often accuse OTHERS of having a “victim mindset.” 

Don’t let anyone tell you you have a “victim mindset.” 

First of all, they don’t know what goes on in your mind. 

They don’t know how you struggle. They don’t know what you’re doing to improve your situation. 

They don’t know what your obstacles have been, or are. 

They might know part of your story— but not enough to justify trying to guilt or shame you into accepting that you’re not “sucking it up”e nough. 

One of the hardest things we need to do in order to make progress is to find ways to deal with the things other people say about us— whether or not they are justified, whether or not they are accurate, whether or not they are helpful. 

Often, when other people have strong opinions about whether we’re doing “enough” do solve our own problems, they’re projecting their own insecurities onto us. 

But we end up taking it personally anyway, because some people can’t help but offer their opinions. 

When you’re out there, trying to make progress, trying to improve your life, you’re going to hear a lot of opinions and judgments— about you, about mental illness, about victimhood, about personal responsibility. 

Don’t let it freak you out. 

Remember you are on your own journey. You are responsible for the steps you need to take. 

You do not need to please anybody else in how you’re managing your recovery. 

You need to stay focused on you. 

And it’s OKAY to stay focused on you. 

Remember to breathe. Refocus as you need to. 

And above all: remember to treat yourself and talk to yourself with compassion, fairness, and respect. 

One day at a time. 


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