What would you rather do… take responsibility for yourself, complete with your spine and self-respect intact or become a certified weak and whining professional victim?
Many people unconsciously choose to play a victim role, and in so doing they enable many others to mistreat, criticize, take advantage, and be disrespectful.
Remember, the only way that others can mistreat you is with consent… and victims consent all the time. Most victims are volunteers.
Typical behaviors of professional victims:
- Self-pity, feeling sorry for yourself, Poor me, Why me? It isn’t fair
- Being sick often with hypochondria
- Being perpetually financially strapped or broke
- Continually the recipient of abuse
- Being a martyr and/or a masochist
- Being an over-accommodator and people pleaser
- Being lazy, a chronic failure and therefore unwilling to even try
- Staying addicted to drugs, alcohol, abusive people, bad situations, etc.
- Being a chronic crisis junkie, catastrophizer, and awfulizer
- Being an enabler of others to take advantage financially, emotionally, in relationships, etc.
- Medicating with food and therefore hiding behind obesity
- Being unwilling to take responsibility for your future
- Deciding to give up before you start, choosing defeat up front
- Hiding behind a that’s just the way I am mantra
- Routinely saying, I’m unlucky, which suggests that luck has much to do with life’s successes
- Hiding behind religion, particularly the kind that glorifies martyr behavior and giving up responsibility for yourself
- Staying in a bad marriage or relationship because you think predictable unhappiness is preferable to unpredictable happiness
- Hanging on to a job you hate, with the fear that you would prefer the illusion of security to happiness and success
- Continually limiting your options because you are consumed with fear
- Refusing to take responsibility for your life situation, thinking that someone else is responsible and owes you something
- Feeling entitled to be a victim and then complaining about it
To get better and get unstuck with the victim routine:
- Identify the victim behaviors in yourself
- Admit that you are behaving this way and you have been a volunteer for too long
- Decide that you are now done with choosing “the delicious agony of life” so you can have others feel sorry for you
- Get bothered enough that you are now convinced it is time to do something different
- Take responsibility for your life, your behaviors, your decisions, and your contributions to your situations
- Decide to clean up your mess
- Think about several options (three or more) that you could choose… multiple options reduces the threat of losing, resignation, failure, and surrender
- Get started in small steps on one or some of the options
- Learn to say NO, and let others disapprove or be unhappy
- Get on with your life
- Keep going anyway, even when you have setbacks
- Remember, life is about learning lessons, and lessons will be repeated until they are learned
26 Truths for Older Adults
1. Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still be clueless what time it is.
2. What sucks the most is that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.
3. I totally take back all those times I refused to nap when I was younger.
4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.
5. How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
6. Was learning cursive really necessary?
7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
9. I forgot the last time I wasn’t at least kind-of tired.
10. Bad decisions make good stories.
11. It is unclear when it will strike, but there comes a moment when you know that being productive is out of the question for the rest of the day.
12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu-ray? I refuse to restart my collection… again.
13. It seems clearly reasonable that when I am lonely, I can solve that problem by ordering 2 large pizzas, 4 beers, and an ice cream chaser.
14. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know to ignore them when they call.
15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday more kisses begin with cocktails than Kay.
17. I wish Google Maps had an “Avoid Ghetto” routing option.
18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
19. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still failed to hear, understand, or care about a word they said?
20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
22. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I’d bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.
23. As soon as you find something at the grocery store that you really like, they will either move it or the company will discontinue it. Indeed!
24. The driving of all the other people on the road has become markedly worse in the past few years.
25. The first testicular guard, the “Cup,” was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.
26. Surveys say that 75% of citizens think that rudeness is a real problem in this country. It is also clear that 99% percent of us think everyone else is rude. If only THEY would change, everything would be fine.
Life just gets better as you get older…YES?
At your service,
Dr. J. Mitchell Perry
JM Perry Learning