A wise woman wishes to be no one's enemy;
People who feel as though they are a victim of circumstance or situation don't even realize that they are the only thing that makes them into the victim. Being a victim means that the person has allowed the mindset that allows them to be victimized.
The definition of victim is:
1. a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.
2. a person who is tricked or duped.
Do you ever feel like you have no choice?
Do you feel like you must push through for someone else?
Do you feel like stuff just happens to you?
Do you think no one appreciates you, no matter what you do?
Are you a prisoner of your life?
YOU ARE NOT A VICTIM!
You are however, making choices and decisions that are allowing you to put yourself into the mindset that allows others and yourself to take advantage of you. There is nothing wrong with you, in fact there is probably a lot right with you. Women who get into the situation where they are being taken advantage of and are giving more than they receive are often the kind of people who enjoy giving. But often that joy of giving is stems from a reason that can and will lead to you feeling like a victim.
It is very common for a person who grew up in an abusive situation to want to do things for other people, sometimes to the point of being very annoying. When a person sees doing something for someone as a way of gaining reorganization or attention it is wrong. That is a behavior that was created by the abused child who wanted to gain the attention of the parents or other adults. When that behavior continues outside of childhood and is used on friends and other relationships it can very quickly turn those relationships sour. No one wants to feel like they must pay back a favor with attention or some other currency that is known and expected by the person doing the “good deed.” It is very typical for the person who does things for others in order to gain attention to feel victimized or abused if they don’t get what they expected after their good deed is done. They usually fail to realize that they are the one who stepped in, often unasked, and did the good deed, with an expectation of a reward; the receiver of the good deed didn’t say the reward would happen so the expectation that is unmet is their own creation. Which means that the victim feeling is also their own creation.
Feeling like you are a victim is always a choice. No one ever has to put themself in any situation that makes them feel used and abused. If things are going well, then it is time to look at your situation and make some attitude adjustments so that the environment changes. It is not always easy, but it is often one of the most effective things you can do:
REVIEW YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES AND YOUR ATTITUDE!
by Wendy Mae, Ph.D.
What follows is an article from Huffington Post. The article by Cylon George appeared in Huffington Post on 9/25/15. Click here to go to the article on HuffingtonPost.com
10 WAYS TO STOP FEELING LIKE A VICTIM ONCE AND FOR ALL
By: Cylon George
Ever felt like the whole universe is working against you?
Your car won’t start.
You spilled coffee on your favorite shirt.
Your kids don’t respect you.
Your boss doesn’t appreciate you.
Your friends don’t return your calls.
You feel used, abused, rejected. You feel like you deserve to suffer. And you feel like you’ll never enjoy the success, joy, or peace you desire.
You feel like a perpetual victim and you’ve accepted victimhood as an inescapable reality.
But what if you could stop feeling like a victim once and for all? What if you could stop suffering this very instant? How might giving up victimhood improve your relationships, your career, your health?
You don’t need to wait for someone else to release you from your prison. You can release yourself from the chains of victimhood using these 10 steps:
1. Stop blaming others
Blaming others may provide temporary relief from our pain, but in the long run, it will lead to feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness.
Here is a quick tip to help you counteract the tendency to blame others. Looking at yourself in the mirror, ask yourself (regardless of how you feel):
What is my role in this situation?
In most cases, you’ll see that you have the power to choose your response. Will you let go or hold a grudge? Will you be hopeful or helpless?
2. Be compassionate to yourself
The biblical commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” is well known.
But we often focus on the first part of the commandment — presumably because we take the second part for granted.
However, there’s a quiet epidemic of self-loathing that betrays this assumption. Do you struggle with self-love because of a past moral failure or some other perceived shortcoming? Know that you’re not alone.
You can challenge the voices (your own or others) that tell you that you are unworthy of your own love.
Begin the journey of self-love with self-compassion. Karen Armstrong, in her book 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life says:
Begin by drawing on the warmth of friendship (maitri) that you know exists potentially in your mind and direct it to yourself.
3. Practice gratitude
Rumi once said:
Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.
It is practically impossible to feel like a victim when you’re feeling grateful.
The spiritual sages of every tradition teach us that, even in the most difficult of circumstances, we can find things to be grateful for. Indeed, the difficulty itself can be the source of our gratitude for the invaluable lessons we can learn.
Here is a good way to consciously tap into the power of gratitude during difficult times. Ask yourself:
What can I learn from this experience?
The lessons, when truly taken to heart, can be life-changing. Be grateful of the lessons that life teaches us, even the hard ones.
4. Resist self-sabotage
What is at the root of our self-sabotaging behavior?
When we’re trapped in the world of victimhood, we tend to be more aware of how vulnerable we truly are. We experience a sense of what Brené Brown calls “deep foreboding.” It’s the sense that disaster is always lurking around the corner. And the sensation is most intense when things are going well.
If disaster is going to come, the victim wants to control when that disaster will strike so he will not be disappointed. Therefore, he undermines his own joy and success with self-destructive behavior.
The inner saboteur is a powerful enemy, but you have the power to resist its seductive and ultimately faulty reasoning. Panache Desai in his book Discovering Your Soul Signature says:
in order for the inner saboteur to bring you down, it requires your participation.
Don’t participate. Resist the feeling that you don’t deserve joy and success. Give up the need for control and enjoy all the blessings that are before you. Accept them fully and graciously.
5. Perform acts of kindness to others
Doing kind acts for others — even simple acts — helps us get outside our own head.
When you’re feeling like a victim, you’re likely hyper-focussed on yourself, your feelings, your concerns, and your powerlessness.
When you help another person or do a random act of kindness, you’re empowering yourself but not in a manipulative or controlling way. Your power to positively impact someone will help you realize that you can also positively influence your own life.
6. Forgive and let go
Victims often hold on to feelings of bitterness and anger from past hurts. It colors their experiences in everyday life and cause them to negatively misinterpret even well-meaning gestures from others.
We resist forgiving others because of we think it means being weak, excusing the wrong, or being reconciled with the person who hurt us. It is none of these things.
It doesn’t require an apology, or justice to be served. Because forgiveness is not about the perpetrator.
Forgiveness is all about you.
It’s about your response to the pain inflicted on you. It’s about what you do with that pain to transform it into compassion, empathy, and understanding for the other. It’s about finding the inner strength to move beyond the pain in order to find inner peace and freedom.
7. Build self-confidence
If you’re feeling like a victim, you may struggle with low self-confidence.
You may think that self-confident people are born, not made. Yes, some people are naturally more self-confident than others, but self-confidence can be taught and improved upon in any person.
The best way to do it is to emulate confident people. Dress well, hold an upright posture, speak clearly, make eye contact, and exercise.
Act confident. Your internal state will begin to match your external actions.
8. Find the source of your learned helplessness
Chronic long-term victim mentality often finds it’s source in learned helplessness that was likely experienced in childhood or early adulthood.
Perhaps you were raised in an environment that fostered dependence, rather than giving you the confidence to fend for yourself. Perhaps an older sibling or spouse consistently discounted your opinions and feelings. Or perhaps you were bullied in school.
The process is painful, but taking the time to find the underlying source of your negativity will empower you with knowledge. This knowledge in turn will give you an opportunity to address the source of the pain.
If you’re struggling to get through this step, a good therapist can help.
9. Shift your mentality from that of victim to survivor
There’s no doubt that bad things happen to good people. But the key to not succumbing to victim mentality is to adopt the mentality of a survivor. In her book What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger, Maxine Schnall compares the two mentalities this way:
A victim asks how long it will take to feel good — a survivor decides to feel good even if things are not so great.
A victim grinds to a halt — a survivor keeps putting one foot in front of the other.
A victim wallows in self-pity — a survivor comforts others.
A victim is jealous of someone else’s success — a survivor is inspired by it.
A victim focuses on the pain of loss — a survivor cherishes remembered joy.
A victim seeks retribution — a survivor seeks redemption.
And most of all, a victim argues with life — a survivor embraces it.
10. Challenge your perceptions of reality
Ever heard of Ockham’s Razor?
It’s a powerful principle of reasoning credited to the English philosopher and theologian William of Ockham. In short, it says:
the simplest answer or explanation is often correct.
Remember the car that won’t start? The last time that happened to me all these thoughts were swirling around in my mind:
What if the car really did just suffer a mechanical failure?
It sounds crazy, but we get caught up in these thought patterns more often than we care to admit. We frequently engage in worst-case scenario thinking.
The next time worst-case thinking threatens to distort your perception of reality, use Ockham’s razor to bring you back from the brink of victimhood.
Let go of victimhood so you can be free
What if you could successfully weather the storms of life instead of constantly feeling like a ship about to run aground?
What if you could positively influence your negative circumstances instead of passively accepting defeat?
What if you could experience gratitude, or even joy, in the midst of pain and sorrow?
You can achieve all this because you have more power than you realize. Claim your power by committing to practice these steps every day.
Don’t underestimate your power.
Don’t undermine it.
Forever free yourself from your mental prison.
This post from Huffington Post originally appeared on Spiritual Living For Busy People, Cylon George’s website.
The author of all blog posts on this page is Wendy Mae, Ph.D.
Academy of Spirit
PO Box 82854
Kenmore, WA 98028 USA
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