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Personal Growth: Beyond Victimization

Personal Growth

Are you always the victim? Awful things can happen to anyone at anytime; however, are you a misery magnet? Is perpetual victimization your destiny?

I believe you know the type. Bad fortune is their constant companion. Whether it’s financial calamity, health issues, relationship problems, severe episodes of depression or anxiety – whatever – if there’s injustice lurking about, they will be the recipient.

Is this you?

Now, please understand, I know being victimized is a horrible thing. And to anyone who’s endured a traumatic event, and was left to manage the emotional, mental, and physical fallout, my respect and empathy are 100% yours. This article is not directed at you, flippantly and insensitively telling you to get over it.

No, this piece is for the person I described at the beginning – the one who believes they’re destined to be the victim at all times and in all places.

The very first question I’d pose to said person would be, “Is that mindset (and it’s definitely a mindset) logical?” Oh, I’m sure he or she would attempt to provide proof by offering-up a list of their miseries over the years. But I’d only follow with, “Is that mindset (and it’s definitely a mindset) logical?” Consistent, aren’t I?

Continuing on with said person, I’d tread very lightly as I served-up this morsel of perspective…

“Is it even remotely possible that your history of being the victim is grounded in personal choice?” (Ouch, right?)

Now, chipur readers, how could that not be true? But don’t you see it’s actually wonderful news? It’s simple, if one is willing to accept the concept of personal choice, one becomes empowered. And, in this case, one no longer has to stand for perpetual victimization.

As we move toward a change of mindset, I’d like to share a couple of things with you. I was reading an article last week and came upon something really neat. And I swear, if I could find the piece I’d give the author credit and provide a link for you. At any rate, what jumped-out and bit me on the nose was this…

In the midst of distress, we frequently lament over what’s happening to us. But substituting the word for for to can be absolutely life-altering.

Can you see how that little technique can have a huge impact upon one’s view of self as the perpetual victim?

One other bit of insight. Gracie Allen was an early 20th century actress, singer, dancer, and comedienne. She was George Burns’ wife and comedic partner. In her last letter to her husband she wrote…

“Never place a period where God has placed a comma. God is still speaking.”

I don’t pretend to know whether you believe in God, and it really doesn’t matter. The point is made, regardless. For those who believe being the victim is his or her destiny, Gracie Allen’s statement speaks to the prospects for coming change – and for the temporary nature of our distress.

So I’ll ask again – are you always the victim? Are you a misery magnet? Is perpetual victimization your destiny? If you’re answer is, “Yes!,” I say it’s been a matter of choice.

And coming to know that gives you the power to facilitate change. It’s the very essence of personal growth.

What do you think, chipur readers? Your comments are important to all of us!

  • karen

    I think most of us know an awful lot of victims by choice. i find it very hard to be patient with those people.(I’m talking the co-workers or family members that you can’t avoid, or chose not to confront lightly as in your example) Suggestions?

    • One heckuva dilemma, isn’t it, Karen? Sure is difficult to be patient with victims by choice, especially when you’re around them all the time. And I think we all know that confronting them lightly (or even with a 2X4 upside the head) will have very little impact (except for the dent at the temple). My suggestion is to draw very clear boundaries around ourselves when we’re in their midst. And that means not buying into the routine, even when we’re the recipient of some sort of appeal. It’s a matter of mental and emotional discipline on our parts, and the willingness to deflect the fallout from our unwillingness to engage. And I’ll tell you, victims by choice will often move onto other targets when they realize they aren’t going to get a rise out of us.