Do You Have a Victim Mentality? – How to Avoid Looking Like a Victim

Do You Have a Victim Mentality? – How to Avoid Looking Like a Victim

How do you know if you have a victim mentality? What exactly makes someone a potential victim? Predators are very good at noticing the signs of a potential victim. They seek these people out because they are the easiest to attack. Learning the signs that predators are looking for will help you not to become one of their victims.

The Grayson/Stein Study

There is a very famous study that was conducted in 1984 by Betty Grayson and Morris Stein. The study researched the criteria that predators used to select their victims. They videotaped pedestrians in New York City and showed the videos to convicts who were in prison for violent offenses.

The convicts only took a few seconds to pick out the pedestrians that they felt would make easy targets. The convicts picked out the similar pedestrians every time. The researchers didn’t know why the convicts picked these certain people and the convicts sometimes didn’t know themselves.

The researchers then studied the movements and body language of the pedestrians to see what made certain people “easy targets”. Here is what they discovered:


People who were selected as victims had abnormally long or short strides as they walked. They would drag their feet or shuffle their feet. People who were non-victims walked with confidence. Their stride was smooth and natural.


Some Victims walked at a slower pace than other people, as if they are unsure of themselves or lacking a sense of purpose. Other victims might walk too fast which could give the impression that the person is nervous or afraid.


Victims have awkward body movements. They can have jerky movements or wavering from side to side as if they were off balance.


This refers to how you move your arms when walking. Victims tend to swing their arms away from their bodies as if they were detached. Non-Victims don’t swing their arms as much and they move their bodies from their “center” which gives them the appearance of confidence and strength.

Posture and Gaze

Victims tend to look downward, have a slumped posture and seem unaware of their surroundings. They are not looking at what’s going on around them. They don’t make eye contact with people. All of this tells a predator that you are weak, submissive, afraid and you have low self-esteem. Easy target.

If you want to lower your chances of becoming a victim, avoid the victim mentality. If you have been living your life with this type of mentality up until now, get rid of it. Practice the opposite of the victim behaviors described above. It might be uncomfortable to you at first, but continue to practice and before you know it, it will be a habit.