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NLP Meta Model: Are You In Victim Mode?

NLP Meta Model: 5 Commonly Used Phrases That Are A Sign You’re In Victim Mode.

The words we use are indicators of how we form our reality of what is happening around us. These words or phrases also indicate whether you are in victim mode or you are taking responsibility for your own feelings and behaviors.

In NLP we call these words or phrases Meta Model violations. Meta Model came from the work of Virginia Satir, known as the grandmother of family therapy. These processes were modeled in NLP to help the practitioner, coach or therapist get to the Heart of the Problem.


1 – S/he Makes Me Feel

If you use s/he makes me feel, this is a very common phrase and is one of the indicators you are in victim mode.

As much as we like to believe that another person has the ability to make us feel bad, it is not the case. In reality, something some says or does has no power of how you feel unless you choose to feel a certain way. Don’t get me wrong, I know things happen and you automatically have a feeling and it seems like you have no control over it and therefore s/he made you feel that way comes out of your mouth.

When you are taking responsibility for your own feelings, you would say something like…when s/he says that to me, I feel bad. You are still feeling bad, but are not blaming the other person for making you feel that way. You are stating how you feel when someone says or does something you do not like.

2 – Means S/he Doesn’t Care

Phrases like when he turns away from me that means he does not care. When you use phrases the claim to know how another person feels by their behavior this is another way to notice the victim mode happening again.

3 – I know S/he Is Thinking

I know she is thinking I’m a nerd. Anytime you claim to know another person’s thoughts without them telling you directly, you are victim mode.

4 – I Should, I Have To, I Got To, I Must

Did you ever hear the saying you are shoulding all over yourself? Anything other than wanting to do something is giving away your power. Regain your power by stating what you want to do rather what you think you should or must do.

5 – I Never Get What I Want

The words never or always can also me signs of being a victim. If you ever used a phrase like I never get what I want or no one ever remembers my birthday, ask yourself this question: Is there ever a time when you get what you want? Has anyone ever remembered your birthday? More than likely the answer would be yes and you can come out of victim mode and take responsibility for how you are feeling in the moment.

These phrases are only a few examples of how our language indicates what we are thinking and feeling inside at any moment. Of course, we are not always in victim mode, but you may start to notice now when you hear words like, means, because, makes, I know, always, never or all.

Recognizing that you are in victim mode is only the first step to making changes in your life and breaking through patterns that control you.

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