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. They are unable to recognize that their own words or actions might have provoked others people’s responses, so they think, feel and act like victims.
Victim consciousness is pervasive! We believe it’s virtually impossible to grow up without being exposed to it or feeling its impact.
Victim consciousness is a special kind of psychological “stuckness” that we believe is stalling the evolution of all of humanity.
Those stuck in victim consciousness believe that the people and situations around them are in control of their life. They believe they are powerless to change things in themselves and in their lives. They are waiting for someone or something “out there” to change so that their life will be different. This is a sure recipe for being “terminally stuck.”
Victim Consciousness is Social Programming
In our research on Victim Consciousness, we have come to see it as a part of “the Matrix,” as something we learn through social and relational programming. This programming is the result of not fully completing two important psychological tasks that should have been finished by the time you were two or three. The first is learning to be emotionally separate from your parents, and the second involves moving beyond black/white and either/or thinking, and developing “both/and“ thinking.
Our research indicates that hardly anyone has completed these critical evolutionary tasks. So most of us are still struggling to complete them in their adult relationships. Most co-dependent and counter-dependent behaviors, for example, are unskilled attempts at completing these tasks. Completing these two tasks is essential for completing your “psychological birth,” a significant evolutionary milestone.
Self-Awareness Inventory on Victim Consciousness
Discover where you are on the Victim Consciousness spectrum by taking this inventory.
Look for the updated edition of our ebook, Breaking Free of Victim Consciousness & The Drama Triangle!