Thursday, 30 June 2011

All About the Victim Mentality

Victims are always substantiating or justifying why things are wrong and why
they cannot achieve outcomes. They blame their limited resources, too much work,
too little time or overly demanding clients. They play the blame game rather than
taking responsibility for their role in keeping their clients dependent. Victims blame
external circumstances for the failure of their intervention, for example: “It’s because
I work for the government and they have no money that I can’t do my work properly.”
Community workers with this mentality fail to see the range of available alternatives
and resources. Sometimes victims simply play the blame game and are not interested
in solutions. Remember, however that certain victims simply don’t have solutions or
“know-how” and after a long period of frustration they just give up all hope of finding
tools that would work. At this point negativity sets in and the victim starts shifting
blame instead of taking responsibility.

The victim is an excellent role for community workers to play to hide their own
shame, inadequacies, frustration or hurt. Complaining is used to justify failure and
becomes a placebo that soothes them into feeling better. However, it comes with the
cost of being further bitten, dominated and stripped of the power to take charge of
the situation.

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