How to Stop Being a Victim

How many times have we heard our friends complain about how badly they have been treated by their boyfriends?

Ladies frequently relate to other people by complaining to each other.  We all are familiar with the phrase, “misery loves company.”  So, we whine and complain and our female friends bitch and complain and we feel as though we are not alone in our misery. But besides having a shared bitching session, does it really get us anywhere?

I’m not saying that I have not been guilty of this kind of camaraderie. One day a very clever pal of mine said to me, “Agreeing that you are a victim is like offering an alcoholic a drink.” Initially I was like a deer in headlights hearing this. I don’t think that any of us realize that we are victims, but when someone points it out, it’s pretty potent, if we are able to take it in . Wow!  How would I communicate to my close friends if I couldn’t complain? What a novel concept. And so, I found gratitude.

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I began to create lists, in my head, concerning every single thing I was grateful for. It might have been as simple as, ‘thank you, heart, for being healthy and balanced and keeping me alive.’  I knew I’d made advancement when I became so positive I not only sent love and gratitude to my ex-husband, but also sent it to his current wife.

When I ceased being a victim, it became really freeing to acknowledge my faults. What a burden it is to try to keep up the pretense of perfection. Most of us are on this Earth trying to do the best we know how. Being a victim just holds you down, and keeps you from being your best self. It’s not a nice place in which to exist. And it puts the focus on other men and women, as opposed to yourself. Let’s face it, the only person we really have control over is our self.

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As a therapist, I work with my patients by having them try to discover what they want out of life, as opposed to what they don’t want. This gets them out of feeling hopeless and helpless . Sometimes using art therapy techniques does this. Other times, I use cognitive therapy and have patients make lists about what will make them happy. And there are times when we just brainstorm during sessions.

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It is vitally important to be aware of feeling like a victim. It is so very disempowering. Once you are aware of what you are dealing with, the world will open up to you in ways you never ever thought were achievable.