We live in a world where playing the victim isn’t just commonplace, it’s actually cool. As strange as it might seem, victimhood has become such a pillar of our cultural psyche that we find ourselves using the role on a regular basis, a sort of crutch to having to actually deal with what’s going on in our lives on a personal level. Of course, it is important to note that there are definitely moments where each of us is a victim. The problem is when that moment of being victimized seeps into the rest of our lives, becoming more like a label, a badge of honor, that defines who we are and why we do what we do.
The biggest reason why identifying as a victim is so detrimental to your life is because it takes away your power. Rather than encouraging you to take positive action, being the victim keeps you small, powerless. Even when you do take action in the victim role, it’s often spiteful and vindictive, aimed at making other people pay rather than actually helping you improve the situation and your overall life in general.
When it comes to your romantic relationships, whether you’re married or not, choosing to play the victim starts to feel natural, especially when you’ve been with your partner for an extended amount of time. The more you get to know your partner, the more you start to focus on them — what they say, what they do, their habits, etc. And while this attention could actually be a good thing, the moment you identify as the victim, these observations skew towards the negative, making you feel like everything they’re doing is about you or, worse, aimed to try to hurt you.
While it might seem like a simple switch, moving from a mindset of victimhood to one of empowerment is actually quite difficult because the former has become so ingrained in us. Even as children, the fairy tales we read were filled with victims waiting to be saved. And, today, from workplace conversations to the focus of almost every media platform, stories of victims reign. The key to effectively changing your mindset, then, all begins with you being able to recognize the pattern and, then, understanding that if you allow your mind to shift to auto-pilot it will go along with what the majority of people around you are doing.
Another way to start making the shift away from victimhood is to know why it’s so important, especially if you’re in a relationship.
The moment you start to take responsibility for what’s happening in your relationship, you suddenly regain all of the power. Suddenly, you’re no longer at the mercy of someone else. Taking responsibility is, of course, difficult. It’s especially difficult when you’ve become accustomed to blaming your partner. But the only way to reroute your relationship in a more positive direction is to say yes to taking the wheel. This, however, doesn’t mean taking power away from your partner as you do. When done from a place of love and respect, taking responsibility actually elevates your partner, giving them the space they need to also take charge of their own life. Contrary to what some people may have told you, an effective, healthy relationship isn’t about sacrificing for the other person. Instead, a healthy relationship is built on the motto, “I’ll take care of me, for you. You take care of you, for me”.
The secret to adopting that motto?
It all starts with taking responsibility so that you can begin taking action forward.