The Quiet Victim Thinker

Victim Thinking

Stuart emailed us saying, “QBQ! totally changed my life.”

I wanted to know more, so I typed, “Wonderful, Stuart! How did our material specifically make change possible for you?”

He told me: 

“Even though I was in a leadership position at work and, in the opinion of those around me, succeeding, I was quietly struggling with victim-itis. It was all internal. No one knew, except maybe my wife.”

The Quiet Victim … sounds like a movie or book title, eh? Let’s call this person a “QV.”

It’s my guess — and it’s a fairly educated one after studying my own thoughts and feelings for many decades—that the QV struggles with at least 10 unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns. Let’s explore them now.

The Quiet Victim 

  • Easily angered when somebody “wrongs” them
  • Maintains a self-image that inhibits admitting mistakes
  • Frequently hosts Pity Parties for only one guest—self
  • Consistently asks the Incorrect Question (IQ), “Why me?”
  • Perplexed as to why people fail to understand them
  • Blames people with “If only others would … ” thoughts
  • Rarely reveals and shares real emotions/feelings
  • Often wounded by the words/actions of people
  • Privately resents the wins and victories of others
  • Holds grudges for, like … forever.

In chatting with Stuart further, this came out:

“Quite honestly, John, the whole victim thing was eating me up inside. There’s just nothing good about playing the victim.”

Anyone mind if I shout AMEN! from the rooftops? 😉

As we’ve said in this space before, playing the victim serves no one—not even myself. How am I growing, learning, and changing when I wallow in victim thinking? How am I serving humankind?

Answer: I’m not.

Back to Stuart … who told me he’s a recovering alcoholic, sober now for 8 years.

Applause for Stuart!

What turned his life around, he shared, was 1) a deepening faith and 2) eliminating that famous “stinking thinking.”

When I asked how he accomplished the latter, his response was, “The radio guy, Dave Ramsey, mentioned the QBQ! book one day so I bought it. The moment I started asking QBQs, everything was better.”

Yep, change is possible … even for a QV. 😊

I can ask, “Why me?” forever and get nowhere. Or, I can ask QBQs such as, “How can I change my thoughts?” and “What can I do today to be my best?” This is when great things happen.

What stinking thinking have you eliminated from your life? Have you found changing yourself is not impossible?

We’d love to hear all about it. Comment away!


One Response

  1. John; As always you post some interesting and challenging thoughts. Thanks.
    I am a recovered/recovering QV. But then at 82, I hope that I’m clearing the slate.
    Here are some tips that have made a difference in my life and those (executives/physicians) that I coach. Back in 1983, I discovered a book: Taming Your Gremlin by Rick Carson. It went out of print and then came back. Thank GOD!! The first thing to recognize is that your Victim is Not You. It is that Gremlin sitting on your shoulder; Whose sole purpose is to tell you; YOU CAN’T etc.

    If you were to ask me what’s the number one thing that keeps executives (regardless of level) from succeeding it is Negative Internal Self Talk. That’s why answering the Question Behind the Question is so helpful. However: It’s so critical to know how to ask your SELF the question. If you ask a WHY question your mind goes into Defensive Posture and is designed to protect you; i.e. coming from your Amygdala (your primitive or survival brain.) Even if you can move to the Prefrontal Cortex (where logic and reasoning takes place you are still subject to the Amygdala Hijack as defined Daniel Goleman. If you ask HOW DID THAT OCCUR or That’s fascinating, Where did that come from? You mind handles it quite differently.

    Since victim thinking begins during childhood we are subject to the Programs from our Formative Years. Here’s the clincher; start using the phrase: “That was then, this is now!! I am a wholly resourceful human being and have available to me ALL of the necessary information to transform my SELF.

    Frequently I will tell my Executives that “The manner in which you are leading/behaving today, has more to do with your ‘Formative Year Programs’ than the report (etc) that didn’t get in on time last week. Take a look a your formative year programs that served you well then; but are not appropriate for you now that you are a resourceful adult. Mom and Dad did the best with the way they had it figured out. It’s time now for you to figure it out for your SELF.

    I once asked my daughter what I did or said that was most helpful to her as she grew up. This was it! When she came to me in middle and more importantly high school she would begin by asking, “Can I …”. My response was consistent. Annie; “What would a young adult do? Now if you want my opinion, that’s a different thing. But, what would a young adult do? Then do that.” Each time I tried to give her a window so big that she couldn’t be wrong. Try this with your teenage children. They will thank you later. That’s another thing. Eliminate Right and Wrong from your vocabulary. Try APPROPRIATE. Was that Appropriate at the time/situation etc. Your mind will process it differently. If I am right then you must be wrong. Right and wrong are down positions that lead directly to QV thinking. Also, delete should a; would a; could a thinking. You can’t should a, would a, could a anything. That’s past!! Unless you want to live there too!
    Oh, and it’s OK to give your SELF permission to Wallow for ten minutes. But do it from your Conscious Self, not your automatic self programs. Then get on with it!

    I’ve been blessed in that God has given me “stuff” to take a look at. I hope this has been helpful.

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