Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The Doctor Is In - Playing the Victim
I knew a man who had a great job, a beautiful wife, a house in the suburbs, a nice family, nice cars etc. He also was an alcoholic. Many a confrontation with law enforcement, bashed in walls, drunken tirades later, his wife left him. He fell into a deep depression and He lost everything. "Do you know what I lost?" he would say. "How could she do this to me?" he would cry. A Victim? No. To you or I we would say he brought it on himself but he would rather place blame than accept responsibility. He "played the victim." Poor me. Look at what I lost. I found an article online by a Robert Najemy. He tells a little about people who play the victim and how you should talk to someone who has successfully trapped you into buying into their victimhood. The role of Victim (poor me) is a favorite with many of us. There are so many "benefits" we can ensure by playing the role of the victim. 1. We automatically gain self-worth. Follow this reasoning closely. As a victim, we are the one to whom injustice is being done. Thus, the others are unjust, incorrect, not okay, wrong in what they do and consequently we are just, okay, good and right. We are worthy and they are not. Many of us, who lack sufficient self-esteem, find this as a way we can establish our self-worth, by being the victims of others' wrong doings. 2. As victims we can play on the others' pity and guilt. When they are angry with us, we can diminish their rage and aggression by appearing weak and abused. 3. When we want something from some one, we can play on their guilt, by making them feel responsible for our unhappiness or our problems. 4. We "as victims" are not responsible for our reality and thus not to blame if we or our lives are not as we would like them to be. We have an excuse for not being okay or manifesting our potential. Thus, as victims, we gain what we want from the others, by making them feel responsible for our reality, and by believing that we are weak, incapable and in need of help. When confronted with loved ones who are playing the role of victim, we need to free ourselves from the illusion that we are responsible for their reality or that we can create their happiness, health or success in life. We can love and support them with all heart, but we cannot create their happiness, health or success. Only they can do that. We need to express our love to them in ways that they can feel it, without getting caught up in feeling responsible or guilty for their reality. This requires a combination of love, effective communication and clarity of mind. We need to help them find another way of getting what they need. Away free from self-pity and unnecessary suffering. When we serve someone a fish, we feed them once. When we teach them to fish, we feed them for a lifetime. Thus the greatest gift we can give is our faith in the other's ability to solve his or her own problems. A possible honest communication with a Victim might go something like this. I message to a Victim "Dear, I want you to know that I love and care for you and want very much for you to be happy and healthy and satisfied in your life. I want that very much and have been trying to create that for you. However, I am beginning to realize that I cannot do that for you. "I realize now that I have been feeling responsible for your reality and some times guilty because you are not as happy and satisfied as we would both like you to be. "I now realize that I do not help you by feeling responsible or guilty. These feelings just make me angry with you because you do not do what you could be doing to create a happier life for yourself. Also you often do not see how wonderful your life really is, because you frequently focus on what you do not have, rather than all the wonderful things you do have. "Thus, I am no longer going to try to create your happiness or get your approval through your expression of satisfaction. I am going to love you and offer you whatever I can, without doing more than I believe I should and without getting feeling guilty or getting angry with you because you are not satisfied. I hope you will be able to feel my love in this change. This has nothing to do with my love for you, but about an unhealthy codependence, which has developed between us, in which I am seeking my own self-worth through your happiness and satisfaction. "Is there something you would like to share with me concerning this?" There are of course situations in which someone may actually be unable to help themselves and sincerely in need of our help. In such cases we will serve them joyously with love. Wow. Does that say it? If you know someone who has successfuly entrapped you by playing the victim....break the codependence. You both will be better off.