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How to Deal With Perpetual Victim

Does someone on your team sound like that: It's not my fault; what could I do if the entire world is against me; you have no idea how hard this is for me?

If you know someone who repeats this daily, you have an employee with victim mentality syndrome on your hands.

People with victim mentality strongly believe that they have no control over their faith; therefore, they are not responsible for the outcome and that the success of others is pure luck.

They tend to turn every small obstacle into a major disaster, and every attempt at constructive feedback will be perceived as harassment.

In addition, people with victim mentally are masters of manipulation. They know exactly what buttons to push to gain an attentive audience.

If letting this person go is not an option (and let's not forget, they need to make a living too ), then as a leader you can try this:

🔹 You will need to start with yourself. The negative emotional baggage you've gathered during the previous interactions with "victims" makes it very hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But you will need to move from "Me vs You" mindset to "Us vs a problem" mindset.

🔹 The next step would be to accept that you are not a therapist or a rescuer. Your role is to help these employees to realize that they can fix their own problems.

🔹 The next step is to ask tough questions about what the "victim" is gaining from their behaviour (like short-term empathy, attention etc.) and how they can get the same but in a more productive way. Stay alert and don't let the conversation turn into a pity party; focus on the desired future outcomes rather than unpleasant memories.

🔹 The final step would be to ask what kind of behavioral changes the employee is ready to commit to and what support they will need. It can be a small change, one step in the right direction, but it must come from them.


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