Every Victim Brings a New Lesson
Nothing sets my teeth on edge like someone who exhibits a victim mentality. I enter judgement mode without a nanosecond’s thought when someone launches into a diatribe about how co-workers, higher-ups, and everyone else they interact with in their work environment picks on them, holds them back, or otherwise abuses them. It doesn’t matter how many times they change jobs, the story remains the same.
It’s not only their jobs, but anyone who doesn’t give them what they want whenever they want it. Ultimately, this personality type will find someone who believes all their stories, and sympathizes no matter how outrageous and repetitive those stories become. The person becomes, if not an ally, a co-dependent dumping ground for all the woes they invent to support their own inability or lack of motivation to excel.
I realize it’s my own fault when I engage with them, whether I sympathize or judge. I spent a lot of years playing both parts, though without the afore-mentioned supporter. When I was the victim, I suffered alone, in a brooding silence which ultimately made people see me as angry and unapproachable. If others are a mirror into our own psyches, there’s clearly an element of that old victim mentality lurking inside me, waiting to be exhumed and exorcised. Meeting and reacting to someone else with those qualities is clearly a reminder to dig a little deeper, and make a few more incisions to ensure the demons of victim-ness are adequately expunged.
Another Narcissistic Game
Looking back, I can see how I allowed myself to act like a victim to offset the anger I felt but
couldn’t express; anger at myself for not achieving more, but also anger with my parents for encouraging the belief I wasn’t enough. I didn’t know how to express the anger in the right direction, nor did I know how to change my own perceptions. That took time, experience, and some major internal excavations before I found the answers. My judgemental reaction to those who follow the same path is evidence I still have a lot of work to do.
What I’ve finally learned to do is two-fold. First, I put the perception back on the one playing victim, forcing them to choose, even if their choice is to do nothing. Second, I resist prolonging engagement when their ire over being thwarted spills onto me. I also learned I have to refrain from sympathizing when they, or their supporter launch, once again into a litany of the mistreatment and unfairness they’re suffering at the hands of co-workers and, in fact, the rest of the world.
Sadly, the behavior is somewhat insidious, and reminiscent of narcissistic behavior when it involves someone they’ve managed to lure to their side. It reminds me of the years I actually believed my alcoholic ex’s lies about his ex-wives, co-workers, and bosses which even included my own father for a time. I supported him, and believed his lies far longer than I should have. When I finished my degree and started getting better jobs I ultimately woke up to the dangerous game he was playing with my psyche. Even so, it took me years to start repairing the damage, and begin moving forward again.
Switching from Judge to Observer
As I watch people playing that game with others, I have to tell myself to lock down my judgemental tendencies even tighter, especially when the supporter is someone I care about. I know they wouldn’t thank me for pointing out what’s going on, nor would they believe me any more than I would have taken such information myself when I was in the mental and emotional clutches of, not only my ex, but others before him who recognized my need to please, nurture, and feel valued even if I didn’t. It’s a lesson each of us has to learn on our own, and in our own right timing.
Thus, my intolerance was born from learning to recognize the hidden agenda beneath the victim mentality. I learned the hard way that someone playing the victim can be one of the most self-serving, insidious creatures on the planet, and their prey of choice is Empaths who have not yet figured out all the tricks and ploys a Narcissist will enlist to have someone in their power.
In a weird way, most Empaths need to go through this rite of passage. We have to learn how to recognize the red flags that alert us to another Narcissist trying to suck us dry. The experience is never pleasant, and often brings out our own worst tendencies in the process. That isn’t such a bad thing, though. How else are we going to clear our own mental, emotional, and often physical closet if we don’t bring things out into the open to sort through, and discard what’s no longer needed?
My patience is taxed when I encounter another person who’s a victim in their own mind. Perhaps therein lies the lesson I’m supposed to learn as patience has never been my strong suit, even if I’ve learned to exercise it more in recent years. I know I have a long way to go to perfect the quality.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in this journey called Life is every experience that upsets or irritates me contains a lesson I need to learn or perfect. As long as things keep bothering me, I know I have more internal work to do. As long as I have more internal work to do, I know my job and purpose are not yet complete, so I appreciate the reminders that I have a long way to go.
I may not always enjoy a leg of my journey, but I’ve learned there’s a reason behind each one. They all become clear if I keep moving forward, even when forward is a series of switchbacks, and even a few setbacks before my path gets smoother for a little while.
Grateful for Opportunities to Learn
My gratitudes today are:
- I’m grateful for the twisty, turny paths my life has taken.
- I’m grateful for the journey, even the unpleasant parts. Every step has taught me something useful.
- I’m grateful for supportive friends and family who have made my journey more pleasant.
- I’m grateful for the roads I’ve yet to travel, and the mysteries and surprises I’ll unfold along the way.
- I’m grateful for abundance; lessons, challenges, setbacks, successes, friendship, love, joy, happiness, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, peace, balance, health, prosperity, and philanthropy.
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income.
If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward