Health is, undeniably, a personal thing, and no one else can entirely understand what it takes to be our best, healthy selves. Hopefully, our loved ones help us when we’re ill and want us to be the healthiest we can be. Yet, when illness strikes, we often lash out at the people we love the most. We can be mean, blame others, and make excuses about our health condition.
I believe this happens because it’s sometimes easier to behave this way than to take responsibility for our own actions. Let’s take a look at a few signs that you have a victim mentality about your health.
Blaming everyone and everything for our problems is a common symptom of victim mentality. It can be blaming others for not understanding or caring enough. It can also show up as blaming others for our problems completely. For example, let’s say you’re living with tinnitus and you end up blaming everyone for mumbling when it’s you who can’t hear well. In the worst-case scenario, this behavior keeps us trapped in our illness and failing to get the help we need.
The moment you start to genuinely believe other’s actions are causing your health issues is when the victim mentality starts. For the most part, we have to be completely responsible for what happens with our health. That said, others can contribute to our well-being by helping and caring for us. They can also neglect us.
Even when others don’t do what we need or do something that triggers symptoms, we still have a choice to be a victim or stand up for ourselves. We have the right to say “no” and to ask for what we need. If those around you are not helping your health, make a different choice to help yourself or find someone who will.
Codependency is the opposite of the above in many ways, yet it can be equally harmful from a health perspective. It may be that you don’t eat well unless your partner decides to do the same. You think ‘what’s the use in cooking for one?’. Or, perhaps, you stop exercising when your fitness partner lets his/her habits slide? Before you know it, your health suffers because you gave someone else your power.
Complaining Without Taking Action
Let’s face it, we all complain about our health and symptoms now and then, but it is worth considering just how many times you mention that pain in your back or ringing in your ears. Up to a certain point, letting others know how we are feeling is perfectly fine if you’re doing things to help yourself. However, if you’re complaining to everyone and not taking action to make things better, it becomes simply complaining.
This behavior can lead to resentment when your loved ones don’t jump into action to save you. What’s worse, it stops you from seeing the truth and seeking the help you need or making the appropriate changes.
Though it may be hard to accept, victim mentality could be holding you back from your health and happiness. It takes self-awareness and some honesty to break through and change old habits. Something I say to myself frequently is to focus on what you can do and not what you can’t. This helps me to acknowledge what’s happening without getting pulled down into the bog of the victim.