The Vocabulary of a Victim

Victims have a distinct vocabulary. They tend to use certain words and phrases very often. It is pretty easy to spot one just by what she says.


But it’s not just the words themselves. It’s the big picture perspective and avoidance of all personal accountability.

See if you recognize these words from the victim vocabulary, as compared to the vocabulary of a proactive person:

  • I can’t vs I won’t
  • I had to vs I chose to
  • I didn’t have the time vs I didn’t make the time
  • I couldn’t help it vs I could have avoided it
  • No one’s doing well in this economy vs Hard times point out our weaknesses

Did you ever notice how things “happen to” a victim? It’s like life has them in a headlock and keeps dealing them bad hands. Everything is awful and not at all preventable.

Victims have no influence over anything, including their own actions! Everyone else has all the power and they are helpless. They have no personal accountability.

Proactive people, however, realize they are entirely responsible for their own actions, which have natural good and bad consequences. They see how they got themselves into messes. They do not avoid admitting imperfections.

Victims are weak and powerless.

Proactive people are powerful and wise.

So what keeps people in the victim mentality? Maybe it’s a combination of several reasons.

Maybe it’s pride.

Pride prevents people from admitting they are not perfect. Or made a mistake. Or screwed up bigtime.

Instead of owning up to the responsibility for a car accident, we explain it was completely unavoidable. We rationalize petty theft and white lies. We blame our family / boss / job / car / friends for our problems.

But you know better than to use the vocabulary of a victim.

You know to read encouraging books like QBQ! and accept personal accountability for your thoughts and actions. You realize your power to be proactive and respond well when things go wrong.

And you definitely know better than to say the words and phrases above.

Name one bad thing in your life that you caused. Own up to it!