The Victim Mentality of our Generation

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Photo by lil artsy on Pexels

C. Andrews, Managing Editor

Our generation has brought attention to issues that were not acknowledged enough. The problem now, however, is that a pattern follows this victim mentality. It has become normalized in modern behaviors for people to search for persecution for many reasons. This has led to a way of thinking that prevails within many people, containing things such as constantly blaming others, accusatory finger-pointing, and pity parties fuelled by fear, pessimism, and anger.

 

Everyone has a dark side in life, usually from their upbringing. This leads to various coping mechanisms that each individual in society develops. Unfortunately, most people become victims in some way. Physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological abuse are all things that, sadly, are found commonly in households. Self-victimization may develop in many ways, such as the codependent relationships people have had with their parents or even just watching an unhealthy victim mentality projected by someone else. 

Over time, people have begun to notice the benefits of playing the victim card. Unfortunately, these ‘perks’ lead to unhealthy habits becoming rewarding for modern society. Examples of this include the increase in attention, gaining pity from others, not taking responsibility for things, feeling important because everyone wants to hear your story, and an increase in the likelihood of achieving whatever you want. Suddenly, everyone wants to feel like they can justify their actions since they’re sad or victimized. 

On top of this, people playing these cards manipulate others around them. Often, the habit of controlling others by self-victimization is not a conscious decision. We learn that gaining people’s sympathy makes us feel better about ourselves, so we exaggerate things more and more over time. 

Some people, however, abuse this consciously. For example, abusive and/or sociopathic people use this role to help keep an emotional leash on those around them. For instance, a narcissistic person might constantly put their partner down, then dwell on the one time their partner went off and called them names, making it seem like they are the “abused one.” Or a physically abusive person might use the excuse that they “always have to put up with the other person” as a reason for beating up their partner.

Any individual can play the victim card, and every person around you has likely done it in the past, consciously or not. But now, this is happening more often as this behavior is normalized around newer generations. 

 

Children are developing these self-destructive mentalities more often than ever. It’s also getting harder to prevent as it can form in many situations. For instance, a youngster who experiences peer bullying may begin to believe that they are utterly powerless; meanwhile, a child with a strong feeling of entitlement may insist that they deserve more when they don’t get their way. Even when good things occur, a kid with a victim mentality will only concentrate on the negative. Even when something excellent happens, they still disregard fortunate situations.

Modern children are growing up extraordinarily pessimistic and dismissive of the positive aspects of their lives. What’s worse, children are encouraged to be victims in their lives growing up. Whether it’s a teen trying to find a situation where something horrible happened in their life for a college essay, or if attention is only gained when something dramatic or drastic is happening in your life, children are choosing to look at the issues in their lives and hold onto them for as long as possible. 

 

In politics, there is a pattern where Americans are becoming increasingly pessimistic. Instead of viewing challenges as obstacles, we too often regard difficulties as insurmountable systemic issues.

On the left, it appears that racism, sexism, ableism, and other pervasive issues are the root of all problems. While acknowledging these systemic issues is vital, focusing on them too much stops us from adopting actionable initiatives that will result in real change. Unfortunately, the left tends to grasp past issues and make claims about the future but hold onto the past so much that they can’t move forward. 

On the right, the 2016 campaign season saw perhaps the clearest example of victimization in modern times. In contrast to Reagan’s upbeat “Morning in America” speeches, Donald Trump rallied followers behind the notion that they were the victims of a dishonest “liberal elite” who were purposefully destroying the country. Moreover, Trump encouraged voters to believe they were being oppressed by those in power as president, leading to a decline in faith in the political process rather than inspiring Americans to overcome the risks of globalization.

We have lost the sense of unity and tenacity that allowed Americans to persevere through early adversity because we have gotten so fixated on labeling ourselves victims and examining how factors impact us outside of our immediate control.

 

The victim mentality has led to a divide in American citizens and constant unhealthy issues with modern generations of children and teens as they grow up. We have no chance of resolving issues in America with a pessimistic attitude or overuse of victimhood, and we must stop normalizing and rewarding self-victimization within kids. Instead, we must address issues together and meet challenges with the strength of unity.