Thursday, December 30, 2010

If You See Yourself As A Victim, Knock it Off

I've decided that I don't like the word 'victim'. I think it should be removed from our collective vocabulary. It's overused and abused; way too many people use the word as an excuse to drop out of life. A victim is someone to whom things just 'happen'. A victim has no control. A victim bears no responsibility for anything, because, well, they're a victim. This attitude is industrial-grade bullshit.

I decided that I hate this word after hearing too many people with the refrain that life "owes" them. These people consider themselves victims, and therefore we all "owe" them. We're expected to give them jobs, houses, cash, etc., because they're victims and can't do things like fill out a job application, attend an interview, or actually DO work.

Then there are the people who see themselves as victims because they have had something happen to them or someone they love. For instance, someone who has a child with a disability might call themselves a victim and wallow in self-pity or blame the child for being disabled. Or someone who has an illness such as diabetes might consider themselves a victim because they can't eat donuts anymore. Or someone is robbed, or beaten, or some other crime that is supposed to happen to other people.

Yes, bad things happen to people. Good things also happen, as well as mediocre things. But a person has a choice in how to respond to all of what happens to them. That you have a choice at all implies a measure of responsibility and control; we can all choose how to respond to the events that happen to us. In other words, even if something bad happens to you, you still have control of how to respond to that situation. If someone points a gun in my face and tries to rob me, I can choose to hand over my cash quietly without incident or refuse to do so. I could also faint, pee my pants, cry, or otherwise collapse into a giant fear noodle. The important thing is that I had a choice, even if that choice involved wetting my pants. A choice is still a choice, whether we like our choices or not. Even if we fail to make a decision, that failure to decide is also a choice that is in our control and nobody else.

So, if you are wallowing in the self-pity puddle, feeling sorry for yourself for whatever reason, stop it. Choose to see yourself as a survivor, not a victim. Take responsibility for yourself and remove the word 'victim' from your vocabulary. You'll be glad that you did.


  1. Grand post. Fellow mom blogger here and your newest follower. How refreshing to meet a writer who blogs, instead of just another blogger who writes:) It's like meeting someone who has something to say, instead of having to say something. World of difference. Anyway, your words reflect my sentiments precisely. I'm 100% with you on this. Knock it off victims.

  2. frankly I loathe weakness in any form and I agree that the word "victim" should be removed from people's vocabulary and is dreadfully over used!


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