What Causes Victim Mentality?

Odille Remmert
4 min readFeb 23, 2019

Victim mentality is, in fact, a perfectly natural and automatic human development. Understanding how and why it develops is the key to freeing yourself from it, permanently.

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What is “Victim Mentality”?

Living life from a victim mentality means seeing yourself at the mercy of people, circumstances, and events outside of you. It’s living life from a helpless, disempowered standpoint, and counting on the actions of others to change the issues and challenges you are facing.

For some, living from a victim mentality is part of their constant experience; for others, the state of victim mentality may come and go — depending on their current circumstances or emotional state.

What Causes Victim Mentality?

As humans, we are preprogrammed for identifying as victims. In fact, it is more natural and automatic to develop victim mentality than it is to escape it.

1. Human babies are born completely helpless. As infants, everything that happens to us, comes from outside of us, and we are completely dependent on those around us, to provide us with what we need, and to protect us.

2. From birth, every experience is interpreted by the subconscious, given meaning, and that meaning stored for future reference. These references form the structure of who we are and how the world works. It’s how we learn, unconsciously, how to survive in our environment.

3. As we grow, we become more independent, and gradually learn to “make things happen” for ourselves.

4. Since the subconscious has no ability to use logic or reason (the way the conscious mind does), while the conscious mind learns to ask for what it wants and express desires and disapproval, the subconscious is still referring to the “fact” that we are helpless and reliant on what’s outside of us. It is still referring to the “evidence” from previous experience, that what happens to us comes from outside of us, and what we need has to come from outside of us.

Why Doesn’t Everyone Sustain Victim Mentality?

Whether or not a person continues to live from a victim mentality will depend on what other experiences they’ve lived…



Odille Remmert

Author of: "Change What Happened to You: How to Use Neuroscience to Get the Life You Want by Changing Your Negative Childhood Memories"