Do you every feel like a victim?
When someone is doing something to turn us into an emotional victim, sometimes it can look like a performance, don’t you think? Someone is yelling, arms swinging about, face animated – and there you are, breathless and emotional.
However, being victimized and being a victim are different things. Being a participant of an interpersonal exchange is different from being an audience to it.
Imagine a stage and you and have been selected from the audience. You climb up and join the performer, let’s call him Ron. Ron is a professional fire and knife dancer. You are standing near Ron and flaming knives seem like they are everywhere. He is quite a dramatic dancer and part of you wants to dance with him. You know you would get hurt badly and yet you have the hardest time resisting the urge to participate. Your wisdom prevails and you remain uninjured. You applaud and walk away.
Later at home, you are still marveling that anyone could move that way and work that hard to evoke such strong emotion from their audience. The emotions replay the dance in your mind almost as if you were still there with Ron.
Do you feel like a victim to Ron? You don’t have to.
When you don’t like what someone is doing or saying to you, imagine that it is a performance of sorts and don’t take it personally. You don’t have to be a victim. You have the power. Be a friend to yourself.
Now, if you can’t do this no matter what, if you feel powerless and unresponsive to your redirections, it may be medical. You might be suffering from any number of illnesses that cause personalization, guilt, fear, reliving experiences and so forth. You shouldn’t suffer like that. You were created to feel pleasure.
Self-Care Tip – Applaud and walk away when someone is victimizing you.
Questions: How do you manage to use your power when you are being victimized? How are you accountable for your feelings and behaviors when people are hurtful? Please tell us your story.
- Victim to Emotions Versus The Friendliness In Accountability (friendtoyourself.com)
- Is Forgiveness Possible When It Involves Child Abuse? (psychologytoday.com)
- Verbal and Emotional Abuse – A Primer – Part One (cindyburrell.wordpress.com)
A sound, simple and profoundly solid step to take. Thank you, Dr. Sana. I’m going to remember this the next time something is sticking to me like unwanted fuzz in velcro! 😀
“get off of me!” is so fun to say when some is encroaching verbal boundaries 🙂
Your post made a lot of sense to me. I will try to to view the drama rather than be in the play.
thank u M. let us know how it goes n what u see
Walking away is the best thing we can do for ourselves in many situations…and it often takes great courage to do it.
courage indeed suze
God is rather amazing. I have been asking myself this very question for some time. How do I move past the performance and not take it personal?! I was raised with a performing parent and it has left deep imprints. Lots of abuse, violence and terror. She did things that are against the Geneva Convention and war criminals.
Why can’t I let that stuff go and why do I drag it around all these years later?!! Why do I allow that insanity to color how I view my world and my loved ones around me today? Harville Hendrix (author etc.) surmises that we marry the person who will help us move past our up- bringing. I have married a performer. I didn’t know it at the time, but, wow, its amazing. I am learning after 25 years of marriage and tons of damage to not take him personally. Or anyone. Its hard. These are people who are supposed to love me, and they say things that are so hurtful (personalized, I love that Doc!) Does that make me a victim, do I incite this behavior in others because I am a “bad” person. My mother would have me think so.
When people off load their stuff, its just that “their stuff”. So why do I take it personally? Why do I allow that to happen. THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION. I have been wired that way since I was a kid. Step on her toe and her mouth opens. OMG my Mother used to say that about my step brother and brother, they were teen age boys and they ate everything, or my step father. I have just realized that I have internalized that myself. Step on her toe and my mouth will open. Literally and figuratively. A human garbage can.
As my husband is “performing” I let the kids know to not take him personally. Don’t take it personally. I have said this without realizing it really. Why don’t I apply this to myself more thoroughly?!
I love this image. A circus performer. I guess I have been so ingrained to take things “seriously” its “serious”. When really, what is that serious.
A huge part is brainwashing. I think there was so much “training” and “brainwashing” when we were kids and so much abuse of all sorts that we are just learning to uncross the wires.
What I know for sure today is my sisters and I have raised amazing children, and my sisters have older children who are raising amazing children. We have stopped the cycle of insanity and for that I AM BEYOND GRATEFUL!
God is. thank u for sharing your gratitude. we r blessed
. . . . and further more. Part of the performance is the fact that we should be respectful of the performer. We should listen and become part of the “show”. To not take it seriously and by into the whole thing is disrespectful. We are raised to respect others and be courteous.
SAYS WHO?! Why in a rational state of mind would I allow someone to speak and behave and buy into it. If I stand to the side and become objective. I know this, but, I get sucked back into it. I allow it.
I was raised to respect my elders, to do what I was told and listen and not speak. Oh boy, I am talking now. : ) Blessings.
good point. pressure to join the performance. a force important to account for.
All of us have been victims in one way or another at one time or another I suppose. But real mental illness erupts when people become what I label “professional ” victims. There is one thing we can do about this phenomenon : never ;let yourself become an oppressor to anyone so you are not the source of their victimization, imagined or real. .
horrible to find oneself in that possition/awareness of having become an oppressor.
Came by to share this powerful post:
hey Dr. Boucher, this was a wonderful link. thank u for sharing. such courage…
When I was still very much emotionally ill, I traveled to New England to spend a weekend with my mother and sisters. I was scared because I knew, from the work I was doing with my psychologist, that the basis of my illness was my family history. I should have known that it would be dangerous but, like seeing the fire and knife thrower, I love the ocean and love my family and climbed up on the “stage” thinking I could handle it. What I wasn’t expecting was that my sister couldn’t handle it, and, taking me back to to airport, she tore me to shreds about how awful I was being in thinking and, in some cases, saying the things I was thinking and saying about my (our) childhood.
It was an hour and a half drive and I don’t remember saying a thing. What I kept thinking, though, was how impressed I had been, over the weekend, with how good my sister looked and how impressed I had been with the work she was doing at a school for severly disturbed boys.
Just before we got to the drop-off area at the airport, my sister pulled to the side of the road and asked if I was going to respond to her comments. I have no idea where it came from or why it came then, but I found myself, instead of shaking and crying and totally coming apart, telling my sister how impressed I had been with how she looked and what she was doing at her school – and I told her I loved her. She dropped me off and handed me my bag in silence, gave me a hug and drove away. To this day, I don’t believe I have ever felt so strong and so good about myself. To this day, my sister has never said anything, but I know that she called my mother that afternoon, terrified that she had done me terrible damage and sorry that she had come on so strong.
Victim? Yes. Victimized? Not then. Not ever again…at least not with my family. With others since then? Yeah, off and on, and not handled well in some cases but I’ll never forget the feeling I had walking into the airport that afternoon. It was SO healing.
Sorry. I got carried away. If it helped anyone, maybe it was worth it?
great story. we misunderstand and r misunderstood indefinitely. thank u for sharing. your accountability for yourself regardless is inspiring. keep on.
I know I take things personally, but I shouldn’t. The best thing to do is get my mind off of it, and then I forget and don’t feel bad anymore. I have to choose to not let it ruin my day. Luckily, it’s really only strangers that cause me any trouble, so it’s easier to get away. If it involved someone I couldn’t escape from so easily, I’d have to figure out a different method. I’d just have to tell myself that what they say isn’t true and they’re just a grumpy person. It’s probably worse to be them than to be “victimized” by them if they feel that unhappy that they think they need to hurt others. Maybe if you pity the one being nasty, then you won’t feel as bad yourself.
Hello Duck. When I read your blog, I hv never picked up on this Duck-face. I am so glad u hv such courage to share both sides of u. We r all blessed. Keep talking
Wow, yes I have felt like a victim many times. I also think when I am being attacked verbally, it is the person calling to be Loved. It is something that happened to “them” when they were children. I agree that walking away if you are “bothered” by their words or if it becomes other than verbal abuse.
I have seen what verbal abuse can do to people. I just choose “not to participate.”
Thk u Paula. Remembering luv is huge. Get contribution to our discussion. Luv