Playing the victim, or taking responsibility
Don Miller, always good for a thoughtful post, was talking about being a victim recently.
I can do 'victim' pretty well. Not complete victim, you understand. It's like in Tropic Thunder, where Robert Downey Jr counsels Ben Stiller to never 'go full retard'.
You never 'go full victim'. Otherwise people start jumping in and solving stuff for you. Or you get put into hospital.
No, the partial victim is the way to go. You get to have a grievance and talk about it. You get to have people feel sorry for you. And you get to go to bed and moan a little bit so that everyone will know just how bad the situation is.
If the time comes to actually get around to solving the problem, always pick an adversary that's too big to touch, or too hard to change. Or make sure the circumstances of the problem are all tied up together. If I change this, that will go all skewiff and then I'll have to deal with this other thing over here.
Oh yes, going partial victim is a great way to live. Until you think about it.
Miller quotes two of my favourite writers, Henry Cloud and John Townsend (they of Boundaries fame). Apparently they "efine a real victim as a person who is completely and utterly powerless.
Don says: "That’s a tough definition, because it means you and I aren’t often victims. We almost always have some power in a situation. If we are a victim to a person, we can move away from them, even though it will cause a great deal of tension. We can quit our jobs, we can create better boundaries, there’s more often than not something we can do. We just don’t want to. We want to remain victims, because truthfully we are getting something out of the role, even if we don’t admit it."
I can do partial victim, and it's true, it does give me some level of 'good' feelings for a little while, but you know what? I don't really want to do it too much more in my life. I don't like the whine in my tone and the way I destroy other people to keep myself looking like I've been wronged.
I want to be the person who takes responsibility and tells the truth in every situation. I want to use my power in whatever situation I'm in. And if I choose not to use it, I don't want to complain about it.
What about you? Do you 'go full victim' or take responsibility - or, like most of us, end up somewhere in between?