We all know people that trumpet their woes in life. Shirking personal responsibility, fault is placed elsewhere as these people puff out their dissatisfaction with this or that circumstance, accusing the faceless, nameless “they.”
“They cheated me!”
“Landlords are unfair, they are all alike!”
“They lied to me!”
“They will be sorry they messed with me!”
“No one at that place cares; they are just after my money.”
And on and on it goes; the heart expressions of those with the mentality of a victim. Their sense of reality says everyone is out to get the poor, misunderstood innocent in this evil and heartless world.
The victim mentality is forever seeking an adversary; looking for a fight; determined to validate the unfairness upon which their reality rests. In recent years, this character trait seems to be more and more pervasive. Victims make excuses. Responsibility is avoided by magnifying imaginary blame, and by pointing fingers at the nameless, faceless ‘they.’ And, it becomes a habit.
Lots of people jump into the victim box unconsciously. So addictive is the focus on perceived injustice and the foot-stomping adrenalin produced by the same, that victim-hood becomes a literal ‘drug of choice.’ This just makes me want to stand on something tall and shout to the whole wide world “You are not a victim!”
For in truth, the imagined ‘they’ so targeted for blame are actually just other people doing their best to succeed. ‘They’ have faces and families; ideas, plans, hearts and souls. ‘They’ have decisions to make, and sometimes those decisions are difficult. Here is an example:
Recently, we made a purchase. We paid half down and financed the remainder with a promised 0% interest. Next, ‘they’ wanted our checking account information so the remaining payments could be automatically withdrawn. This is a practice in which we never participate, so a phone call was made requesting a coupon payment book. ‘They’ said that would be fine but would add a 2% interest on the balance. At that point, listen, at that point…I had a decision to make. Was I going to puff and snort, pay the 2% and accuse ‘them’ to any listening ear for the next six months? The victim mentality would have done that. Or, was I going to gently but firmly stand my ground?
“That isn’t going to work,” I heard myself say. “We do not participate in automatic withdrawal with any company, and we also will not be paying a 2% interest.” My tone was soft, kind and determined. I was not starting a fight, looking for an adversary, or displaying an ugly spirit. The truth was simply spoken, and the ball passed to the ‘they’ on the other end of the call. We tossed the ball back and forth a few times as ‘they’ stated their position, and I restated ours. Always my gentle but firm tone was maintained. Then ‘they’ said, “Let me see what I can do and I will call you right back.” The coupon book is in the mail, the worker went home that night satisfied that he had had a good day at work, and we will pay 0% interest on the remainder of the purchase.
What is more important is the fact that no one was victimized. No one walked away with an ax to grind and adrenalin pumping. We both won. The issue was solved for us, and ‘they’ felt satisfied in their customer service. All is well. Here is another example:
As people go through life working for others, they often have no concept of what it takes to own and manage a business. Having never made a payroll, some employees are quick to blame employers for any transgression; real or imagined. When payroll taxes go up and less money appears on their check, it is the evil employer who is ‘cheating.’
Some employees do not realize the cost just to stay in business. The insurance and paperwork involved; the taxes and regulations imposed, and the responsibility for the health and safety of each worker falls on the shoulders of the ‘they’ that sign the front side of paychecks. Employers are constantly looking over their shoulders to make sure every i is dotted and every t is crossed. Running a business is a challenge and a huge responsibility and cannot succeed without loyal and talented employees. But there must also be an element of trust so no one feels like the victim. This mutual trust is a treasure born of mutual respect and effort; and comes from a heart of love, not a mind set on accusations.
The difference between a victim mentality and the mind of a victor is as stark as the difference between light and dark. Each of us must decide to be victorious. Accusing the faceless, nameless ‘they’ is easy. Assuming responsibly for our own behavior, now there’s the proof of character! Maturity derived from the soul-searching intent to give love, respect and trust makes us all victorious.