What is Victim Consciousness?
Let’s start by defining the two terms – victim and consciousness.
Definition of victim according to Merriam-Webster
One that is injured, destroyed or sacrificed
One that is subjected to oppression, hardship or mistreatment
One that is tricked or duped
Definition of consciousness according to Merriam-Webster
the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself
the state or fact of being conscious of an external object, state, or fact
concern for some social or political cause
the state of being characterized by sensation, emotion, volition, and thought
the totality of conscious states of an individual
the normal state of conscious life
What does this mean?
Victim consciousness is a stage of consciousness in which people deny personal responsibility for the things that happen on their lives. People in victim consciousness believe that the world is acting upon or against them, and they are the innocent targets of other people’s action or behavior. Victim mentality is an acquired (learned) personalitytrait in which a person tends to regard him or herself as a victim of the negative actions of others, and to behave like it were the case—even in the absence of clear evidence. It depends on habitual thought processes and attribution.
Victim mentality is primarily learned, for example, from family members and situations during childhood. It contrasts with the psychologically better-researched traits of neuroticism. Neuroticism may be defined as general emotional instability or a generally enhanced tendency to experience negative emotions. Psychoticism is characterized by hostility and aggression.
What victim mentality, neuroticism and psychoticism have in common is a relatively high frequency of negative emotional states such as anger, sadness, and fear. But these three traits are also partially independent: for example, a given individual may have a high degree of victim mentality and a low degree of neuroticism, in which case a clinical psychologist is unlikely to regard her or him as needing treatment. Conversely, a given individual may have a high degree of neuroticism and a low degree of victim mentality.
What does this have to do with divorce?
If one or both parties are living in victim consciousness than this may be the core issue of the divorce – not the surface problems and complaints. Each, not be able to see their individual responsibility in the situation. Instead, placing blame and pointing the finger at each other. This blame game keeps the couple stuck in the surface issues and unable to resolve the core problems.
The 10-week series focuses on this concept, helping you move from victim to survivor – simply by shifting your consciousness – and thriving in life!