Do you feel like a victim at times?

We all know people that assume that the world is against them. They have no luck, no matter what they are going to undertake, it is going to fail and so they don’t do anything. Or they have this huge problem, but don’t seem to ever make any progress, seemingly happy to retain the role of the victim, of life, of work, of ….

It is frustrating for those around them, because it really feels like they are not interested in a solution. You may offer them a solution, you may point out the positive in their life but they are likely to not take your suggestion into account, not see the positive or even get upset because “you don’t understand their problem, if it was that simple, they would have changed already.”

How can a successful person becomes a victim?

In the burnout cycle, the “victim syndrom” appears once the person is already in the cycle, has driven him or herself to exhaustion and he or she feels empty, they become cynical and completely disconnected.

Freudengerger's 12 steps to burnout
Freudengerger’s 12 steps to burnout


Those people are aware to some extend that a problem exists but unlike in the past, they can’t find a solution. They have tried all their usual strategies and more, they went all out without success and they are on their way to become cynical and completely checked out, in an attempt to resolve their issue. Unfortunately, they are on their way to a burnout.

Like with the people that are inherently living in this disempowered state, with people in the burnout cycle, you can try and talk to them, and you can point out the obvious that everything is not going against them, that there are other areas where they are successful and meaningful,  they are unlikely to see it and accept it!

Six Human Needs

In Human Need Psychology, each human action is driven by the necessity to meet at least one of the 6 human needs.

The needs work in pair: Certainty and Variety, Significance and Connection/love, Growth and contribution.

6 human needs
6 human needs


Regardless of social economic background, culture, religion or even gender, each action that one takes will meet one of those needs. One can meet those needs in a positive or negative way. Each individual will have a couple of dominant needs that they will drive their general behaviour.

The good news is once you understand the needs that are driving you and how you meet them on a regular basis, you can change how you meet those needs and/or change which needs you are going to favor. (For more information about the 6 human needs, click here)

So from a 6 human needs point of view, when a person feels like a victim, they are meeting the need of connection and love. They are allowing themselves to feel “sorry for themselves”, they connect with themselves,  which is something they are not allowing themselves often, especially in the burnout cycle. They are also feeling significant. Their problem is important and they define themselves with it. They are different and special because of this problem they are trying to fix. It also attracts people around’s attention and empathy, which allows our victim to feel connected with them.
Furthermore, they are also certain that their problem is important and is unlikely to change because they have tried everything to no avail (and it probably is to a certain extent!). They have variety, because we all know that life can be very creative when sending problems our way.

People in this victim state or syndrome, are meeting their 4 basic needs (Certainty/variety, Significance/Connection and love) at high level (probably at a 8 or 9, on a scale of 0 to 10). They are addicted to the situation.
Their problem (being a victim) becomes their reality. They are defined by it. They are THE Victim. They can not imagine themselves any other way.

Ironically, they will defend their personality with passion, because they are not sure what else they could be. They know that it is not positive, but they have no clear idea what else they could be, especially when they have tried everything and it is in their nature to achieve.

How can a coach help people in this phase?

As a coach, it is my role to explore with them, what they could be, based on their main needs. How can they meet their needs but in a positive, longterm sustainable way?

This is where fears come up and the magic happens.

Because suddenly, people re-discover what it means to be empowered and to be in control of their life once again. The realm of possibilities is endless.

But first they have to let go of their old personality. They have to face that fear. And not everybody is able or ready to do so.

Using tools like EFT or the triad of emotions, we work on changing the person perspective, on getting the person to realise that this disempowering state does not serve them in the long term and that they could get the same connection, certainty and even significance in a positive way.

For those who are willing, the transformation is amazing. They evolve to become what they have always been. They grow into their own self.

For others, especially in the burnout cycle, they continue down the cycle until breakdown, which ironically re-inforce the victim state and the need to be connected and reassured. At that stage, it is then important to work on the person self-esteem to re-inforce the knowledge that exist inside that they are strong and can be strong again.

If you are interested in learning more about how to get out of the disempowering state of feeling like a victim, I encourage you to join me on Thursday for our weekly EFT Coaching Call where I will be discussing feeling like a victim.  Book your seat now!

Till then.


With care



Joelle @ Joelle’s Practice

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