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Facing The Truth & Avoiding Victims

Facing the truth & avoiding victims
Facing the truth & avoiding victims

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the significance of facing the truth of oneself and how to avoid playing the victim.

First a quick update:

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“Emotional Mojo” – I will be a host with three women on a new TV show geared around self-help, psychology and personal development. The show will be broadcast first run on the Inspiration Network starting in June. Get a sneak preview here.

Now, let’s talk about the significance of facing the truth of oneself and how to avoid playing the victim.

What would happen if you were to accept 100% responsibility for everything that happens in your life? How would your life be different?

Of course, one cannot argue that we create every single thing in our life. For example, contrary to some of the teachings of New Age leaders and ministers, the victims of natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tsunamis and wildfires cannot be blamed or accused of causing or creating those disasters. Teaching people to believe that they create natural disasters does not empower people, but rather, it causes them to engage in self-loathing, guilt and delusion.

Excluding natural disasters, what would happen if you were to accept 100% responsibility for everything that happens in your life?

A new client recently complained that the man she had once briefly dated had turned his female friends against her. She believed that he had made negative comments about her to them and that they believed him.

“Are they your friends?”
‘No’ she replied.
“Does he have that much control over them, considering that they are adults?”
‘Yes” she said angrily.
“Well, if he can control them, why is their friendship that significant to you?”
‘I want them to like me.’

“So you are intent on pleasing them and getting their approval, even though they are not your friends. Therefore, they will actually be controlling you.” I said. “Equally significant – is there any truth to what his friends say about you?”

She paused and refused to accept that there could be any truth to what these women believed about her.

“What would happen if there were any truth to what they say? Would that make you weaker or stronger?”

She paused again but couldn’t immediately perceive the potential benefits of standing in front of the mirror and seeing the whole truth about herself.

By choosing to face even one truth about herself – that she makes herself helpless, miserable and frustrated by seeking other people’s approval and acceptance – she would have the power and opportunity to change her belief and issue and thus to take back her power by not letting other people decide her daily happiness or self-worth.

It’s never comfortable to face the truth about ourselves, particularly when that truth is not positive and when it infers that we must take responsibility for who we are, the way we behave, the things we believe and the way we treat other people. Most of us refuse to face the truth because it signifies that a change must be made; that we must accept responsibility for our life and results.

It is easy to criticize and blame people around us for the way our life has turned out. However, when we blame others we become the victim, we become helpless and we give away all of our power to change our life and world. Suddenly we are saying that all of our happiness and self-worth is determined by everyone else around us – or by a specific group of people to whom we have assigned power and control over us.

The paradox is that when we accept the truth about ourselves, even if it is something we do not want to hear and it means facing aspects of ourselves that we do not like, we become more powerful because we are given the chance to make a conscious positive change in ourselves and in our life. Once we begin to take control and responsibility for our lives, we stop becoming or playing the victim.

Children are the only real victims because they are fully dependent on parents or caretakers for their survival – food, water, shelter and physical love & affection. Adults, on the other hand, possess the power to change their world, or at the very least, change the way they respond to their world.

In another client example, a divorced father expressed distress over his situation whereby his children do not like him and resent him, the result of his ex-wife playing the victim constantly blaming & criticizing him to their children. This is known as “parental alienation” (one parent has been alienated from his/her children by the other parent.)

The question is “Is this father a victim?”

Perhaps he is a victim to his wife’s actions as are her children, but he can take responsibility and thus action to correct the situation and mend the relationship with his children. It was for that very reason that he came to me to find a solution (one of many such clients.) By being open, this father can also explore whether or not there is something that he did that either contributed to his wife’s responses or worsened them.

Being responsible means that you are the author of your life, you write the script by the way that you respond to the things that happen in your life, you have the power to choose in every moment, and only you are accountable for your happiness.  By taking control of your life, facing the truth about yourself – the pleasant and unpleasant – you can take action and change your world, avoid depression and get what you want.  Read my article about the link between “Responsibility and depression”

If you find yourself constantly playing the victim, consider what might be the benefits of behaving this way. What does it get you – attention, pity, empathy or even praise for being a martyr? Now stop and explore the negative consequences of playing the victim and the various ways it stops you from getting what you really want – and from developing real meaningful relationships. One client believed that the only way that she could get attention was to scream and be negative – but the result was that she alienated all of her friends, and ended up feeling very alone. Read my article with strategies and tips about “Stopping the victim game”.

Finally, if you find that there are people in your life who constantly play the victim and are therefore, draining you like emotional vampires, read my article about “Dealing with emotional vampires”

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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