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Victim Archetype, A Perspective

A woman, who refers to herself as a holistic psychiatrist, once said that victim mentality is the only mental disorder people suffer from.

Bold statement to say at least.


The energies of the shadow are always mirrored through abuse, addiction, betrayal, violence, poverty, disease, and abandonment.

They've been present in humanity for millennia.

Humanity's history is a history of trauma. Humanity is capable of exceptional creativity and deep love, but it's also capable of causing the most unimaginable stupidity, suffering, and horror.

The problem with the shadow is of course tightly knitted into the concept and reality of trauma.

Now, everyone seems to talk about trauma, but shadow work and trauma can be too often subjects of ignorance, denial, and spiritual bypassing. This ignorance is saddening yet universal. As Judith Herman writes in her book "Trauma and Recovery":

"It's very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is for the bystander to do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering."

The ignorance, denial, and evasion come not only from our unprocessed personal trauma but also from continual media bombardment; exposing ourselves to mass news and entertainment with elements of violence is making us increasingly desensitized to the painful aspects of life.

Even though large sections of society are in denial about shadow and trauma, we are also equipped to deal with shadow and trauma, individually and as a society.

We can transform shadow by exposing it to the light of human consciousness and taking actions that are in harmony with who we are in our essence, on a soul level.


The shadow consists of unrecognized or rejected energetic patterns on individual and collective levels. It arises from all that we don't want to remember, don't want to perceive, don't even perceive, and don't want to deal with.

Choices, and thus actions, that we make from the shadow energies are compulsive, reactive, unconscious, and survival-oriented. This is how we can recognize shadow energies.

To avoid making this kind of choice, we need to endure the necessary inner work.

We can only transform shadow by exposing the shadow psychic material to the influx of higher states of consciousness, which requires intentional emotional-energetic work. This won't happen spontaneously.

To shift the shadow, the dark, and the pain must be exposed to the light of consciousness, then processed through the body and transformed into the safe container of love.


Perhaps a crucial aspect of contributing to the much-needed healing of the shadow energies on this planet is that we heal our channel of the victim archetype. The victim archetype is a part of our collective psyche that has a solid connection to the energies of repression, suppression, powerlessness, and lack.

Our victim archetype is often well hidden in the trenches of the most distant, shadowy parts of our psyche but very present in our daily choices and actions.

The "victim" archetype is an energetic program like any other program in our psyche. This specific encoding is then reflected in a certain way in a particular person's thinking, feeling, and behavior. It exists and runs as a given potentiality, activated on a spectrum.

The problem with the victim archetype is that it implies avoidance of self-responsibility.

Self-responsibility means different things to different people, but regarding energy and consciousnes, it is about taking care of our energy by proactively pursuing our role and our influence in all interactions with the world around us with the highest possible level of awareness.

100% self-responsibility is linked with our willingness to take an honest look inside ourselves. It is also about our neurobiological ability to explore, not even necessarily find answers, questions like these:

  • What is my part in what is happening?

  • Where am I involved, and with what specific choices and actions?

  • Can I approach and choose differently?

  • What are the consequences of my behavior?

  • How can I be the change I want to see in the world?

Self-responsibility also requires that we let go of hidden feelings of entitlement. The idea of relying on our "disadvantages" can come as insulting, or sound crazy, but it is real and it happens and we do that. It makes us feel momentarily relieved, and when others respond to our disadvantages, we can feel acknowledged for who we are.

The trap is that we can easily get caught in this mentality in an unbeneficial way.

As long as we're adults whose, say, prefrontal lobes function at a level so that we can drive a car, take care of our food, and earn basic income, we're capable of consciously co-creating our reality. Yes, our past and present deprivations are real. Like, my neurodivergence is real. Your sexual abuse is real. Her growing up in a remote village is real.

But we also live in a field of infinite potency, and that's our energetic reality. Our existence is vital and unique, and it's also full of potential.

And because that's so, not only does no one own anything of ours, but no one can do anything in our place instead of us. We can cooperate with others, ask for help, and expect respect!


How do we feel when over-identified with the energy of the Victim archetype?

  • We feel powerless, miserable, sick, and stuck.

  • We want to submit, leaving “it all behind.”

  • We are typically preoccupied with justice.

  • We are focused on the possible or impending disaster, drama, or crisis.

  • We feel we have no support.

  • Life feels heavy.

  • We are angry.

  • People around us are angry.

Here are seven steps on how to wisely approach those daunting negative moods.

  1. Cultivate a new perspective on yourself empowering one.

  2. Challenge your moodiness.

  3. Understand your "negativity" so you can let it go.

  4. Get aware of projections you might be running and own them.

  5. Recognize the energy of the victim archetype as a nuance of your inner part.

  6. Expose that inner part to the light of Consciousness - do inner work (use very effective energy psychology tools, for example).

  7. I advise you to replace the ego truth - I'm the victim, with a higher truth:

I have, and I will find even more inner and outer resources to go through all this!

And find a trusted mentor, when you see you are spinning in circles and you don't move for ages.


A victim mentality can be found on a spectrum.

People with a deep-seated victim mentality have often been through severe trauma and hard times, or, on the other hand, they've experienced a severe shortage of perfectly healthy frustration in life. Either they haven't found resources to deal with the emotional pain consciously, let go of the pain, and back-engineer their innate self-esteem and personal strength, or, on the other hand, they've never been called to take care of themselves and others, because they didn't have to.

As a result, they both develop a rather painful view of life or a rather unfortunate way of treating others.

Because they experienced so little control over what's happened to them, they believe that it's not in their power to master life and therefore they attribute or delegate their personal power to others.

Consequently, they expect others to care for and provide for them in unrealistic ways. They become disappointed, resentful, and frustrated when this doesn't happen.


Owning personal power doesn't mean we're 100% responsible for everything in our lives. Systemic inequality and oppression are natural and affect us - whether we meditate.

Taking radical responsibility for ourselves is simply the opposite of the victim mentality. It means owning our power as much as possible, despite systemic oppression, the distribution of various privileges, and social inequality.

When we realize that we are connected to the Divine and that our consciousness is our most important spiritual tool, something changes within us, reflected in our circumstances.

We still have our destiny, our fate if you'll, but suddenly we begin to interrupt and co-create our journey through our conscious choices. That then is a turning point, despite the circumstances, despite all the injustice on this planet. How and why this happens is a mystery to me, but I see it happens to people who become much more satisfied when it happens.


Last but not least? Don't use the term "victim" as a label - unless you use it in a clearly defined, specific legal context.

Holistic psychiatrist misses the point when she claims victim mentality is the only mental disorder people suffer from.

We can't refer to people and ourselves as "victims" to shame, criticize, or ridicule them or ourselves... or to allow anyone to do this to us.

Words are catalysts of magic. They carry the spirit into form and are, therefore, one of the royal transformation tools. Use them wisely. Words are magical. The intonation of the words matters, and the vibration behind the words is what's most important.


Tina Božič Psychotherapist View my bio

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