Humans seem hardwired to play victim, making us susceptible to asking victim-oriented questions:
Why is this happening to me?
Why can’t I get a break?
Why don’t I have what others have?
Why don’t people do more for me?
Pity Parties are instinctual, natural — and harmful. What do they accomplish? Know this:
When I play victim, I serve no one — not even myself.
In today’s world, people require no assistance in dwelling on life’s injustices and inequities. Already viewing the world as unfair, many routinely find new justifications for victimhood and don’t need others pushing them there. What’s the purpose in doing that anyway? Ambulance-chasing attorneys and politicians do this. Some people believe “Social Justice Warriors” do it, too. Are these groups contributing positively to our world? Are they anyone’s heroes?
After investing decades battling Victim Thinking in organizations, here’s what this author/speaker believes:
Worse than playing victim is convincing others to play victim.
Why would anyone take the low road of trying to cause others to take life’s low road of victimhood? Yes, bestowing compassion, kindness, and empathy upon people is worthy — encouraging people to feel victimized is not. It simply isn’t a helping hand.
Let’s not engage in Victim Thinking ourselves or encourage others to go there. Deal? ??
I like Paul’s instructions in Philippians 3:13, “…forgetting what lies behind, and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize…”
Good scripture there, Jim! Thanks for sharing!
John, you may want to rethink how it comes across when you refer to ‘Social Justice Warriors’ in this context. I hope we are all willing to defend the rights of others – and YES, that can be done, and is being done, without casting anyone as a “victim.” Thanks for considering.
Thanks for sharing, Lora. No, I don’t believe “SJW”-type people are trying to help. Rather, they are trying to convince others to think, feel, and behave like victims – and I cannot find value in that. I’m all for fighting wrong, but there’s usually a political agenda behind SJW’s claims of helping.
On the Board of the Denver Rescue Mission for 5 years, I do understand helping and serving people like the homeless amongst us. But I don’t think the SJW movement does any good. If you’ve been a fan of QBQ! for a while, you know we’d rather see people spreading the message of Personal Accountability which sounds more like, “Let us help you rise above and be your best!” Sure beats holding a Pity Party. Thanks for the conversation! 🙂
John, I do believe that victim thinkers lack choice. They settle into their existence without asking one simple question, “what can I do to be more satisfied” with this or that. But to blame everyone else but yourself is simply not healthy.
After reading QBQ many years ago I decided to stop “enabling” people in being a victim. The 12 step program talks about “enabling” bad behaviors in addiction. Victim thinking/behavior is another addiction with some people and they don’t even know they’re addicted.
My church is doing a series called “Relationship Vampires ” – about people that suck the life out of you ( Yes , somewhat obvious ! ) This message reminded me of something the Pastor said in the sermon.. In providing help to others …are we giving them what they want or providing what they need ?
Adopting victim thinking and/or encouraging victim thinking is nothing but a deflection of responsibility…if nothing more than using one’s creative thinking to consider other options. I’m as guilty as many others of immediately asking, Why? and looking for the cause. Most time it might be better to spend those few moments/minutes/hours/day/weeks, etc., searching first, within and second, without for assistance or support and concentrate on what’s next.
So how do we actually go about not encouraging victim thinking/actions when it comes to others? Some strategies on doing that might be helpful. Thanks – S