Victim Mindset, Radical Responsibility & Unpacking Our Own Biases in Relationships

May 4, 2021

“We won’t always see our own bias either, that’s the thing about being biased is that it can often be inherent and built in to the point where we don’t even realize that it’s actually a story that we’re telling ourselves and that it might not actually be true.”

Today on the podcast we are talking all about taking responsibility for our own behaviours and patterns. I will be challenging you to look beyond your own dogma and own your life choices.

We’re covering:

  • Victim mindset.  Are you currently playing out a victim mentality when it comes to the relationships you have allowed instead of looking inward to heal your wounds and write a different narrative.
  • Radical responsibility. Taking on the ownership of our lives, instead of blaming other people for our current circumstances, and emotions.
  • Unpacking our own biases in relationships. We all have them based on past experiences, but today I challenge you to become more self aware of these biases and actively work to grow out of them and flip the script to a more positive outlook.
  • And so much more

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Scroll down for the full transcription of today’s episode.


EPISODE 24 – Victim Mindset with Christina Montalvo

EPISODE 117 – The 9 Year Affair: Lessons in Infidelity

EPISODE 126 – Forgiveness isn’t Found, It’s Earned: Doing the Inner Work


EPISODE 93 – Choosing your Family and Establishing Healthy Boundaries

EPISODE 124 – How to Have Hard Conversations and Improve Communication

Hey, Hey, welcome back to the Room To Grow podcast, Emily here. Today, we’re going to be unpacking some things. I mean, isn’t that what we do on every podcast episode, but we’re going to be talking a little bit about victim mindset and mentality, taking radical responsibility and ownership for ourselves and unpacking our own personal biases. Because that’s just part of being human, we are all biased. We all have biases and dogma that we operate from and it’s more a matter of doing what we can to try to recognize those biases when they come up, and to maybe challenge them a little bit from within ourselves. We won’t always see our own bias either, that’s the thing about being biased is that it can often be inherent and built in to the point where we don’t even realize that it’s actually a story that we’re telling ourselves and that it might not actually be true. So learning to challenge your own belief system sometimes is part of this process. It’s part of becoming a better human in a lot of ways. I’m going to be giving a couple more specific examples in this episode that relate to relationships, particularly because I think that there’s a lot of ways here where we can get tripped up. These are overarching principles that can be applied to any number of different situations and scenarios. This is just one that I see coming up a lot, I saw it coming up for myself as well, so I want to share that and give you a little bit of personal insight there. Part of this whole idea around victim mindset and taking radical responsibility is basically you know, when we get stuck in the victim mindset, we are essentially looking outside of ourselves to blame others for things that happened to us and went wrong, versus happened for us, right? That can be part of that whole victim mentality and to be clear, before we even get into this episode, whenever I or hopefully anybody else is speaking about victims, victim mindset, and victim mentality this excludes any type of abuse, always, abuse is not included in this conversation. Okay, that is completely separate, and requires an entirely different way of thinking. So I am not speaking about any kind of abuse here at all. If you do want more information on victim mindset, a really great episode that kind of pairs well with this one is way back on Episode 24. It’s hard to believe we’re up in the 260s at this point, but Episode 24 with one of my absolute best friends in the world, Christina Montalvo, she and I have done multiple episodes together. We did one way back when on victim mindset, that people really enjoyed and got a lot out of and it was a lot of fun to do it with her. So I really highly recommend checking that out, we go into what victim mindset actually means a huge amount more in that episode and break it down and we give some personal examples. So I strongly advise you to go check out that episode in conjunction with this one. Ultimately, when we’re talking about breaking free of this victim mindset that we can all get into, and we all do, we all do. It’s very human of us to do. What we’re going to be talking about more today is sort of taking personal responsibility for our own behavior and patterns instead of looking outside of ourselves to blame others for things that happen in our lives. And I’ve openly stated many, many times that the only way to get over a situation and to move forward is to identify where you could have done things differently to really own your own actions, your own behaviors. In my nine year relationship, for example, I chose to ignore my own intuition. I allowed all kinds of my own boundaries to be crossed. I wanted the relationship to work so badly that I chose to overlook things that might have seemed obvious to others and I remained in a situation that wasn’t serving me because I didn’t want to face what life would look like if things fell apart. I didn’t trust myself enough to end the relationship. For more on that you can check out Episode 117, all about the nine year affair and all those things. There’s also a really major forgiveness factor here, not just for the other involved parties before ourselves. I had to learn to live to forgive myself for the choices I made with the information, knowledge and wisdom that I had at the time and that’s something that all of us have to learn to do. So you can check out Episode 126 all about forgiveness, I go into a lot more detail on that one. When I first came out publicly with the nine year affair, and the nine years of infidelity that my partner had been having that I found out about, It was back in August of 2019, that I came up with that episode and right after I came out with that episode, I wrote an Instagram post about how I had every reason to dislike men. And to be but but I’m gonna get into that’s not the end of the sentence, there’s more to that, that I’m going to get into in a minute. But before I go further with this, I want to acknowledge and to make clear, there can be a lot of trauma for some women in this regard in relation to men. So the personal examples that I’m about to give I say this with a great deal of sensitivity around anyone who’s experienced abuse, assault, or anything else in that regard that is a separate issue. Okay, the example I’m going to be giving today is a little bit more specifically directed towards anyone who has dealt with past betrayals in relationships and is having a hard time seeing out from around that. Maybe you are kind of thinking all men cheat or all men will betray me, on the other side of that maybe all women will betray me, all women will cheat, there’s various aspects that we can come at this from, in my own personal history, it has been men. So I’m speaking in fairly heteronormative terms here but please know that this can be applied in any number of ways, okay. In August 2019, I came out with a nine year affair and then I just felt really compelled to write a post and really pulled to talk about it, because I felt as though there were people who were maybe, and this could be a total projection on my part. I felt as though there were maybe people who thought that I was never really going to trust men again. And you know, that could potentially be an understandable argument after being cheated on for nine years, right? That was why I came up with this post around why I had every reason to dislike men, and I’ve added the full post in the show notes so that you can go read the entire thing. But something I don’t talk about very often publicly is that my father left the family when I was a teenager, and I subsequently severed our relationship entirely for a variety of reasons, I am not willing to go into much of that publicly, but if you want more on the very small portions of that, that I am willing to discuss openly in public, you can check out episodes 24, and 93. Again, I’ll reference them in the show notes. So I had a dad who left and there was a lot of hurt around that. I got screwed around by the males, I was dating in my late teens and early 20s. And then, of course, the ultimate betrayal by my longtime partner of nine years with his infidelity throughout the course of our entire relationship. So anyone could argue that I should really kind of hate on men, right? And there are a lot of people out there who have had similar experiences, who would likely feel the same way. And yet, here’s a little asterik *I’m all about the nuance. I had actively made the choice very early on, I kind of surprised myself with this. After things went down with my partner and I ended that relationship, very, very early on, as I was going through the fallout from that, I really decided that I wanted to make sure that I saw the good in people, because I was concerned for myself after having gone through that. I was having all these questions come up about how can I ever trust anyone again? how can I get into a relationship again? how can I start seeing and open my heart up to another man down the road? When this has been done to me, right? I was having a lot of those questions come up. And I thought no, this is not how I wish to live my life. I do not want to live my life from that place of being distrustful, because that is not who I am in my heart. I felt that it was really important to see the good in people, particularly in men, even in the wake of the nine year affair happening. I had male friends reaching out to check on me, I could see some of the amazing men that my friends were in relationships with, the incredible men in my family, I could hardly remember a time in my entire life, where I could see more amazing, good, solid men everywhere, it felt everywhere I turned, there were really incredible men around me. The more I believed that the more amazing men populated in my life, and have continued to do so. I actually have far more men in my life now that are close to me, than I have in a long time. I say that as somebody who for many years had far more female friends than male friends. I worked in a very male dominated industry in the corporate world for 11 years, too. But truly, at this point in my life, I actually have more men in my sort of inner circle and more immediate proximity than I ever have before. And they are some of the best humans and the best men I have ever known. They’re incredible. And I truly believe that that has only happened, because I made the conscious choice to look for the good. And I really have spent much of my life being much more comfortable with male friends then with women for a few years.But that changed a few years ago, as I began to make some just really, really incredibly strong friendships with the most amazing women. It was like, as soon as I got into the online space, this entire world opened up to me and I have just continued to meet amazing, incredible women, all along the way. It’s just been unreal. But you have to be open to it. No matter what we’re talking about here. You see what you want to see. And if we’re going back to the example about the men, if you think all men are assholes, who do you think is going to show up in your life? It actually quickly got to the point where I refused, and I continue to refuse to be part of conversations with women who bash men. I will physically remove myself from those types of situations because I have absolutely no interest in participating in or bearing witness to those types of conversations. I want nothing to do with it. I’ve been part of group chats where the women are bashing men, and just like ‘all men are assholes, and they all cheat’, I will physically remove myself from the conversation. I have been in pre pandemic, groups of women, like physically in person where that has happened, and I will walk away. I don’t want anything to do with that. I don’t want anything to do with that energy. I also just think that it’s wrong, because I just actually think that it’s incorrect. I’m not saying that there aren’t men out there who aren’t great humans. There are some women out there by the way, that aren’t great humans either. It’s all about what you look for. And the other thing is too when it comes to physically removing yourself from conversations, I want you to remember that just because you’re invited to participate in drama, doesn’t mean you have to attend or accept the invitation. That is your choice. And this is just one example again, this is just one example. Some people walk around thinking that all women cheat and and I have to tell you, anyone who tells you that only men cheat are showing their own deep personal biases right there because that could not be farther from the truth. There are just as many women who cheat as men or very close to it. The stats are pretty close on that, I can’t remember the exact stats off the top my head, but they’re very close. Let’s put this in reverse if we’re talking about bashing one or the other, men or women, put it in reverse if you come across someone who thought that you were a total piece of shit without knowing a single thing about you. Would you want to stick around? No, because not only does that feel shitty, but you would be in a constant state of trying to prove your worth to someone determined to see you as something or someone completely different. At some point, if this went on for long enough, it would potentially even become a self fulfilling prophecy. Because you would be so tired of being told that you were bad, why wouldn’t you just go ahead and do the thing you’re being wrongly blamed for, because you’re being blamed for it anyway, right?! 

When we allow ourselves to fall into the role of victim and blame everyone and everything outside of ourselves, it means we carry those biases and beliefs into every relationship with us going forward, you get what you look for. And when we are always pointing the finger at others, when we’re just looking outside of ourselves all the time, we’re ignoring our own bullshit and we all have bullshit. No matter how evolved you are, or how much personal development work you’ve done, we all still have bullshit, trust me. I’m the first one to admit that. But the good news is, the more self aware you become, the sooner you’re likely able to see your own shit coming up in order to deal with it. And you will hopefully be more receptive to getting feedback from those close to you who might notice things like that coming up in you, for you to work on. Not everybody is open to feedback, I’m going to actually have an episode that I’m going to be recording with a friend about how to take tough criticism. And I think it’s, I think it’s really important especially in today’s world, I think it’s really, really important. So we’re gonna have a deeper conversation on that. 

It is really helpful to be incredibly self aware, because you can start to see these things coming up and if you’re fortunate enough to have people in your life, who can not only help you to find the biases within you, but are brave enough to point it out to you, then that can be incredibly helpful too. I want to challenge you here, if you catch yourself in your own bias, challenge yourself to actively look for information that will support the opposite belief. Okay?  Look for information that will support the opposite of what you believe, anyone with a Google search bar can do that. Because this is the inherent confirmation bias, when we type something into Google, we’re almost always typing in something that is phrased in such a way that we will get what we are seeking, Google will give us what we want, it’s the same thing in the outside world , it doesn’t have to be in a computer. We could even go down into a rabbit hole here around the fact that Google has an algorithm developed to know your habits enough that it can probably tell you a little bit more late Well, it can tell if you are more of a liberal person, if you’re more of a conservative person and then it bases its search results based on that. So that’s another entire conversation around technology and the algorithm. But I’m speaking from a more macro view as well that you get what you look for, you will absolutely get what you look for. This has been proven over and over and over again in so many different situations. So what happens then when someone does wrong you? Because I’m not taking that away from you. I’m not taking the hurt away. I’m not saying that if somebody cheats on you, betrays you, lies to you, that is not okay. And that is not acceptable behavior. It is not acceptable at all. You cannot own their actions which are wrong. You can only take responsibility for you and your own actions in any given situation. And you get to determine how your past plays out in your future in some ways, because if you drag that distrust, that baggage, those biases around on your back for the rest of your life, not only is that going to be a really painful deadweight, but it is going to influence how you see the world in a really significant way. Listen, we’re all going to have some biases. We are all going to have some biases based on our history and our previous experiences. The difference is becoming self aware about it, noticing it coming up, and then actively choosing what you are going to do with it. That’s the difference. So when someone does wrong you, you see it, you take note of it, and it reminds you what you will and will not tolerate in the future, this is where you start to learn boundaries. Sometimes you won’t know you need boundaries in place until someone has already crossed them and that’s usually when you can feel that anger bubbling up in you, maybe resentment, you are feeling used or discarded, this can also happen when you’re far more invested in a particular relationship than the other person involved is too, and you can start to feel those feelings coming up. Ultimately, all of that to say, you have to own your choices, it does not mean that you think it’s okay for others to behave poorly, it does mean that you have to own your role in any given situation. So rather than walking around identifying as a victim, which is also incredibly disempowering, how are you going to show up differently? This is partly where you get to turn your story into gold because you get to do that for yourself. I can’t tell you the number of times that I thought I can’t, I had long conversations with coaches and mentors and people close to me that I, one of one of the the only major reservations that I had about coming forward with my story was I was like, I don’t want to be only known as the girl who was cheated on for nine years, that was a really big fear of mine. I don’t want to ever be viewed as a victim because I don’t think of myself as a victim and I don’t want anybody else to think of me that way, either. That is not how I identify. Ultimately, you get to decide and you get to make that choice for yourself. Because we also can’t control how others are going to view us. That’s just the name of the game. We can’t control that. You can control how you respond and react in difficult situations. 

So what patterns are you noticing coming up in your relationships, look for the common denominators. One thing to think about here, if you’re only ever blaming the people you end up with, and let’s say all of your relationships end up in either betrayal or breaking of trust, or you just always end up disappointed all the time. If you’re only ever blaming the people you end up with, you have to take a look internally, because you’re the common denominator. At that point you are the common denominator. That’s a hard fucking truth to swallow sometimes. But it really, it’s true. And we all have patterns that will come up. One of mine is that in the past, I have always given more than I received, that’s a pattern. So anytime I see that pattern coming up, I have to notice that I am aware of it happening. I see it now very quickly and then it’s up to me what I do with that, and I won’t tolerate that anymore from anybody else or from myself. So you have to ask yourself what lessons have you learned from an experience? How will that change how you show up going forward? What will you tolerate in your presence moving forward? And sometimes, people will come into our lives to show us exactly how much bullshit we will willingly tolerate and then we’re presented with a choice about whether we will tolerate that going forward or not. That also leads into an entire topic around having hard conversations too. So check out Episode 241,  I go into all kinds of truly life changing information around how to have hard conversations. I’m not kidding that what I teach you in that episode is about how to have hard conversations, they are all things that I practice all the time in my everyday life, and they have completely altered my relationships with people, platonic, romantic, and all in like the best possible ways. So I really, really recommend going to check out that episode. Again, it’ll be referenced in the show notes. 

I hope that if nothing else, this episode has just made you think a little bit differently about noticing some of your own biases coming out. And you know, the betrayal example that I gave, that’s only one example. We could be here all day talking about different examples, that was just one that I’ve had come up in conversation a lot. It was one that I saw coming up for myself, and I actively chose something different. I chose to look for and believe something different and the results have been life altering. Absolutely life altering because I specifically chose to see something different and to not tolerate that kind of shitty energy in my presence. I want no part of that and it’s completely shifted everything and it shifted everything very quickly. As soon as I made that decision to see something different everything started populating in my life in a different way that matched that belief. I am not a manifestation expert, by the way, not even close. I also think that there’s a lot of like privilege wrapped up in manifestation. So please don’t mistake me this is not a conversation around manifestation, I’m not a manifestation expert at all. But it is a really big conversation around choosing to not be a victim, taking responsibility for yourself and unpacking our own personal biases, which is a lifelong journey. There will always be biases, there will always be more coming up in us, it’s just a matter of recognizing them within us or sometimes we have to have them pointed out to us, which is when those hard conversations happen, and they can be a little bit uncomfortable, but they are worth it. 

So let me know what you think. I would love to hear your thoughts. Please take a screenshot and tag me over on social media over at @emilygoughcoach on Instagram, thank you for listening. And just thank you for being here. Thank you for being here. Thank you for showing up. I’m so incredibly grateful to get to speak into your earbuds. Truly I get you know, I know I’ve said this before but there’s always a moment, it never fails every single time anyone reaches out to me and tells me that they listened to an episode. Or somebody shares an episode and tags me and I get to see it or something like that. It never ceases to be this moment of like pollution. I get to do this as a job like it’s really it’s it’s mind blowing to me and I’m so incredibly grateful for your time. It just it means the world to me that you gift me with one of your most valuable resources to listen to these episodes. So thank you so much, and we’ll be back soon.

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast today. It means the absolute world to me and I’m so grateful for any references in the episode and all show notes. Be sure to jump over to room to grow podcast calm, and if this episode touched your heart It would mean so much if you would take a quick second to hit subscribe, write a review and share on social media over someone who really needs to hear today’s message. It makes such a difference to keep this podcast going so I can continue to bring you amazing content and absolutely incredible guests. Be sure to tag me over on Instagram at @emilygoughcoach so that I can thank you in real time for listening and connect with you. We’re back every Tuesday and Thursday with new episodes and I’m looking forward to growing with you


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