BY MAL JAMES
I'll admit I initially lacked this crucial element in dealing with the situation I mentioned earlier, which is truly listening to understand rather than just preparing to respond or solve problems; this is a fundamental prerequisite for the strategies to follow.
In the past, I mistakenly agreed with my friend's complaints, but now I realize it was the wrong approach, and instead, we should acknowledge their feelings without validating their victim mindset by focusing on their emotions rather than the situation.
Rather than offering immediate solutions or delivering tough love, a more effective approach is to ask questions that focus on their feelings, encouraging self-reflection and introspection, ultimately helping them to explore their issues and shift away from a victim mentality.
When dealing with someone entrenched in a victim mentality, it's vital to recognize and reinforce their moments of strength, accountability, or forward-thinking, as these small wins, when acknowledged genuinely, can have a compounding effect on their mindset and ultimately lead to more constructive behavior.
Taking care of your own mental health is crucial when regularly interacting with a perpetual victim, especially if they are a close friend, family member, or partner, and setting boundaries and taking breaks for self-care is essential to prevent emotional drain and maintain your well-being.