I noticed something about myself last night. I was out to dinner, and a friend was sharing how she was the victim in a situation. I react strongly to her victimhood status, though not necessarily gentle. Ultimately I felt I had intruded on this person’s right to feel the way she does because of my internal thoughts.
This morning I got a life lesson by realizing that she was my mirror! She was there to let me know how I’m treating myself as a victim. I believe that when I react strongly to someone else’s thoughts or behavior, then I need to step back and see how I’m doing the same thing in my life.
I do play the victim and relinquish my power. How do I do that? In so many small ways:
Another way we play victims is in our relationships. “He said, She said” is the classic victimhood dialogue. How many hours have you spent with friends discussing what your partner did to you? Even after many years of divorce we all still gravitate to the right and wrong scenarios in our past relationships.
As women, I think we garner our victimhood under the guise of “nurturing others.” We feel that we must give to others first before we give to ourselves. Not all women think that way, but a large chunk of women channel their lives through victimhood. Victimhood saps our energy, our creativity, and our lives. We play victims because we don’t want to make the tough decisions to direct our lives in ways that are purposeful for us.
We are all powerful whether we believe it or not. There are situations in which I have no control over, but I always have the choice of how I will react to it and what I will do next in the situation.
Playing the victim camouflages an innate responsibility we all have to live the best life we know how.
As I sit here and write about victimhood and especially the ways I perpetuate it in my life, I realize that I need to focus on “1st things 1st,” and trust the rest will fall into place. Each day I fuel my victimhood in small ways, feeling out of control, not stepping back and looking for solutions and allowing my life to slide by without stopping long enough to decide on where I want to go. Do I want to continue on this path? NO! I’m wise enough to know that a continuous way of thinking doesn’t magically disappear because I want to stop.
What Can Be Done?
Where in your life do you play the victim? Where do you give your power over to someone else? Is it in past or current relationships, at work, within your family, finances or health. Do you feel, as a woman, that you have fewer choices?
Playing the victim is ingrained into our lives, and we need to be diligent to recognizing when we think we don’t have a choice. We always have a choice.
What do you think?
Women’s Group Topics
A power discussion topic around how we play victims in our lives. We can keep each other accountable by holding each person in a place where they are their best selves. Helping each other release the need to be a victim.
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
Choices: Taking Control of Your Life and Making It Matter by Melody Beattie