Playing the Victim – The Most Comfortable Role

“I’m so upset. My daughter gave me a key to her place to water the plants while she’s away. I watered her pelargoniums, and tidied up a bit – the place was a mess, really. She got back from her trip today, and immediately started arguing with me for, as she put it, having messed up with her things and rearranging everything my way. She always attacks me, and I always come off worst,” a women approximately my mother’s age was telling me through tears.

“If you blame others for your failures, you are a victim, and no victim can be a winner.”

“But this is not about my failures! I don’t need to win! It’s just that she’s always rude to me. Sometimes I feel she can’t stand the sight of me. What did I ever do to her? I gave up everything to bring her up properly, and this is how she repays me!”

“What would you say if I tell you that because of personal discontent and frustration you can’t find love for yourself, which is why you constantly and unsuccessfully fight for other people’s love, feeling worthless all the time? Then you regret it and play the victim to justify yourself, trying to squeeze out some love for you.”

The women was looking at me slightly confused, as if I’d just presented a complex theorem to her, and then burst into tears.

This happens way too often – unhappy in life, one can develop a strong feeling of insecurity and get very lonely as a result. What’s the most typical reaction? Trying to bury the feeling, you pursue a career and build social aptitude and routines instrumental in the process. This is how a feeling of comfort is created – you may be in a bad way, but you’ve already got used to it. Frankly speaking, it’s always easier to take the line of least resistance. As time goes buy, you get settled into the wrong routines, sticking to your views even though you know they are nothing but a compromise between the quality of life and resistance to change. Change is always unpleasant, however good it may be. That’s why people tend to rot in silence, pretending not to see. In today’s world, the role you’ve given to yourself to create the most suitable version of yourself is more important than a truly serene and genuinely joyful life.

To make matters worse, without flexibility and change the rigid ego rules, and we come to believe that we are absolutely right, yet mere slaves to the fake images we have fabricated.

The first time we face up to reality, which usually happens in our closest relationship, we play the victim to justify our inability, fear, laziness and, most of all, our selfishness. Let’s not forget the ego’s strongest weapon – denial.

Mere prisoners to our decisions, hardly ever do we notice that by being slaves to them we’ve deprived ourselves of freedom. As Sigmund Freund would put it,

Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.

“Are you saying that I am selfish, even though I’m doing everything for others, and they are angry at me?” the woman said, all flustered, fidgeting nervously in the chair.

“You should be responsible for your actions. Focus on yourself, stop paying attention to others!”

“I can’t do it any other way, I gave her everything!”

“Is it because you gave her everything that you want to charge her for all that now?”

“What do you mean?” she pretended not to understand.

“Stop playing the victim! Shift your focus away from other people and give them freedom, because only by putting the focus back on yourself you can get your own freedom back. Stop being a slave to wrong habits! Take responsibility for your life, and stop blaming others!”

Who else is responsible for the poor quality of your life? Stop being addicted to the image you have so painfully created, or someone else did it for you. Life is not a frozen image, but a fluid film narrative.

It’s necessary to be flexible, but you shouldn’t expect your mind and logic to help you – they’ll only exhaust you. As long as you keep thinking you are right, and others are not, you’ll struggle, because the truth always lies in the middle. You should know that exactly what you deny and run away from happens most frequently.

Whenever you feel anxiety in communication, try to empathise with the other person and understand his or her needs. Everyone’s different. Focus on your life, and you’ll find peace and serenity.

“Let’s say that you are right. Is there anything I could change to solve the problem?” she asked vaguely, as if trying to make some kind of a deal with me.

“Wrong patterns can be changed in two ways, one is trauma, and the other is repetition. You should know that the kind of trauma that can actually change a pattern is often extremely difficult and painful, usually following many minor traumatic experiences. Do you think you can let yourself suffer that much?”

She was looking at me as if wishing to have her cake and eat it, too.

Repetition is always a better option. You should repeat the models opposite to those that create your suffering, transforming bad models into good ones, and practicing them until your mind adopts them.

The laws of individual existence and those of the universe are so precise that if you understand them you can take control of your life. We are so much more than an image, a name, surname and a profession.

You should step aside and become the observer, a non-judgmental one at that. The higher mind, above the filth of the material level, knows no problems. It’s our weaknesses down here that create problems, which is the reason why we have to rise higher, to a spiritual level. First, we must never hold a grudge and judge! All we have to do instead is to send love and forgive.

“That’s all very nice, but how do I make her realise that I just want to help her, and that she should stop harassing me?”

“To begin with, you should leave your daughter alone, and focus on yourself. Be positively selfish and self-sufficient. Get rid of the ‘poor me’ phrase, because what you keep saying becomes your reality. Stop doing what you think is best for others, and respect their decisions, wishes and needs instead. You need to understand that you are different people, with different needs, but what you do have in common is love, compassion and understanding.”

“I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do it!” the woman started bargaining again, clearly loving the role of the victim.

“Then keep suffering if you want, but at least be fair and spare others the consequences of the wrong choice you’ve made!”

I know she’ll try, because every human being is predestined for love and compassion.