What do you say when a friend tells you, “You have a victim mentality.”
I would reply to that friend, “What do you mean by a ‘victim mentality’?”
Once your friend defines what she means, you can then take it from there. If she means you complain about the injustice with which your abuser has mistreated you, ask her if it is a sin to make such complaint. If she means you keep asking people in authority to render you justice and to require the abuser to be accountable for his actions, put this question to her: “Is it a sin to ask for justice?”
Why does she think it is sinful to complain when being mistreated? Why does she think it’s wrong to repeatedly cry out to God and to people who may be able to influence the situation, asking them for justice and vindication?
The idea is to get your friend to examine her knee-jerk reactions and judgements so she comes to see that they are not logical and are actually inconsistent with the Bible, that they are merely her own prejudices or things she has been mis-taught by people who say they know the Bible but they don’t know it well enough, they have just swallowed the party line.
You could also ask her to think back on her own life to a time when she was given rough justice or no justice. How did she feel? How did she respond to their mistreatment of her? Did she have what she calls a ‘victim mentality’ then? And if so, why is she so quick to judge and label you, when she had those same responses herself?
You could also ask your friend to read my book Not Under Bondage [*Affiliate link], to examine her ideas on divorce. If her ‘party line’ idea on divorce is what is really prompting her unkind responses to you, then nothing will help unless she re-calibrates her doctrine on divorce.
Unhelpful comments by Well Meaning People is an article I wrote years ago to help survivors of abuse deal with these kinds of unhelpful comments from friends and associates.
What do you think? If someone said to you “You have a victim mentality,” how would you respond to them?