Ask Dr. Orloff

How can I stop feeling like a victim?

Question: Dear Dr. Orloff:

I was abused by my father as a child and have several toxic family members who are always causing problems. I live in a very negative environment and am ruining my personal relationships as I seem to have fallen into the victim mentality. How can I shift out of being this type of emotional vampire?
Richmond Hill, ON

Answer: Dear Sarathi:

The first step is to identify the victim mentality and to desire change. I commend your clarity and strength to be this honest. The second step is to identify positive actions you can take in the situation to make it better. Also begin to create a loving nurturing community outside of the home. Gravitate to positive people who can be supportive of you. And look for the spiritual lesson in dealing with toxic people. Often they can teach us how to grow stronger, more loving and improve our communication skills. In Emotional Freedom I discuss the importance of learning how to set clear, firm boundaries with toxic people in a neutral tone. This is extremely empowering. You can do it!
All best,

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