“Playing the victim” or feeling sorry for oneself actually deepens pain and prevents healing of emotional scars. The horrible reality of victimization can be prolonged when we dwell on it unnecessarily. In so doing we remain the victim, reinforcing powerless feelings.

Replace self-pity with responsibility-taking. I like to say, “It’s not your fault, but it is your responsibility,” meaning that you have a choice as to how you react to suffering and misfortune. Often dramatic growth and freedom comes when people finally transition from victim mode into responsibility-taking mode. You may begin by listing five things you can do to improve your situation, then asking a friend or other accountability partner to help you act upon them.

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