The Comforts of Being a Victim

May 19, 13 The Comforts of Being a Victim

Posted by in Featured, Mindfulness, Psychology

Recently I have been having some very interesting conversations about what it means to feel victimised and act from this perspective until you become convinced you really are a perpetual victim and the whole world is out to get you. I have thought a lot about what it means being a victim and, more specifically, what payoffs lay hidden in this status that, overtly, nobody wants. I have hardly ever heard anybody boasting about feeling a victim, yet I have seen people, myself included, stubbornly hanging on to this state of victimhood and finding countless explanations on why this is inescapable. “I have had a hard life”, “I still pay the price for my parents’ mistakes”, “I have bad luck”, “I am surrounded by heartless people who disappoint me constantly”, “I just know that more misfortune is coming my way – this is my destiny”, “Nobody appreciates my efforts – why are they all so ungrateful?”, “What else can I do – life is unfair”, “I have sacrificed everything for you and here’s what I get in return!” – all these are variations around the same theme. When I asked myself what did I have to gain from being a victim I found answers I really didn’t like at first. The very idea that I might be feeding and perpetuating my state of helplessness was disturbing. Yet the truth struck me in the face with a force I couldn’t ignore. I finally had to confront the chilling reality that I had much to gain from being a victim. Victimisation made it easy to feel sorry for myself. I had an excuse for my failures. I could blame others for my dissatisfaction. I always had some explanation for bad decisions, bad relationships, bad feelings – others were to blame – if only they changed, if only they stopped disappointing me, I would be happier. In fact, as I discovered, being a victim was quite pleasant in its own, twisted way – I got rid of...

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The Quest For the Treasure Within

One of the reasons I love my training and coaching profession is that it gives me the chance to know people, to marvel at their thinking, to discover their motivations and to rejoice in their wonder as they discover themselves.  Although I think there is nothing more fascinating than other people’s minds, I sometimes can’t stop noticing that this very same fascination can turn to dread when faced with people whose thinking is more scary than captivating. The idea of this post came to me in a discussion with a participant in one of my seminars, let’s call him Robert, who worked in sales and thus had extensive experience with a wide variety of customers, with all their good and bad behaviors and reactions. We were discussing the issue of trust and finding the best in others, when Robert told me the story of the most awful sales meeting he had ever taken part in. During that meeting with the potential customer he was shocked at, what he believed, was an utter display of obtuse thinking and lack of manners on behalf of the client. “Why are some people so aggressive?” he wondered. “Why do they feel like displaying their power and influence and revel in treating others like a rug they can wipe their feet on without any trace of remorse?”.  “I had proposed to meet the client to sell him a new software system that would improve the efficiency of his team, but all he wanted was another method of control” he told me. “This guy”, he added, “was reveling in the fact that he always came up with some new way to make sure his team could take no step without him knowing it”. “He made his call center team take timed bathroom breaks, he timed their calls to the second and fined them if any call took longer than planned, and he organized all sorts of competitions for who got the best call indicators! No wonder people couldn’t care less about customer satisfaction...

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