Relationships | Mental Health | Self
Come out, come out, wherever you are
A person who acts like a victim is very powerful.
Sometimes their behavior is hidden and sometimes it’s not so subtle.
A person who has a victim orientation uses it because it serves their needs. They’re getting something out of it. It might be attention or sympathy and support for their situation. It might also be financial.
In the past, I lived as a victim in my life. I didn’t realize there was another way to behave in relationships. By playing the victim, I denied my own power and creativity.
It was easier than taking charge and making actual decisions. Denying your inherent inner power creates a victim, no matter what has happened in your past.
Choosing to be the victim of your circumstances creates a lot of drama in your life.
When I realized I could choose something else, I started getting curious. It made me wonder why I was choosing to act like one.
When I felt myself doing the ‘poor me’ dance, I would stop and ask — why do you want to be a victim here? What are you hoping to get out of it?
When I realized I was the one creating drama in my life, I could see there was a way to choose out of it, one situation at a time.
I suck at validating people who act like victims.
When someone shows up in their Eeyore suit; with a ‘poor pitiful me’ orientation, I recognize they are choosing to wear it. I’m not very good at being the validation they’re seeking.
I’m not talking about someone who has a serious problem or is the victim of a crime. I’m not talking about someone who is being abused or trapped in a bad situation.
I’m talking about someone who is whining about something they could change, but they’re choosing not to
First World Problems, right?
Instead of seeing a victim, I see a powerful being choosing to pretend to be helpless. They are choosing to suffer under the circumstances.
So, where does compassion fit into this scenario?
Compassion can be pity in disguise and that’s not helpful.
Victims often want you to empathize with them and feel their pain. They’re asking you to roll down into their cesspool of pity and lie there with them. They’re unhappy when you won’t climb down and join them. They want you to share their victimhood.
I sometimes wonder why they won’t climb up to share a life of joy and aliveness instead?
They have a story and are looking for characters to play roles in their story.
The victim might be looking for a hero to save them. They might be looking for a fellow victim to compare notes with.
If you don’t validate a victim’s stories, they may get very pissed off. They may judge you as lacking in empathy or kindness. Often they’ll decide you are wrong and will cast you in the villain role.
Try playing the Exaggeration Game.
When my partner and I decided to break the habit of playing at being a victim, we invited each other to play The Exaggeration Game. We would moan and wail and be dramatic in our victimhood until it made us laugh.
It’s fun to turn it all the way up, exaggerating the ‘poor me story’ until you’re lying on the floor laughing at how ludicrous you sound.
It’s also difficult to do if you’re locked in the role. It’s embarrassing to see how much drama you’re making up. Be kind to yourself if this is the case. It’s ok to feel embarrassed. Sometimes change is painful, but you are on your way to real growth.
Sometimes this kind of exaggeration lets you release the thing you’ve been holding onto with a leather grip.
When you call yourself out this way and point out how much you’re playing the victim, you are offering yourself a different point of view. You have the possibility of looking at things in another way.
A new perspective can change your entire life path.
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