learnings: how to be a victim

Blame Game
Not my fault. So not my fault. Can you believe how he’s reacting? Did you hear what she did to me? That jerk just cut me off! I can’t believe she just ignored me and didn’t even say hi.

There’s been a lot of this happening around me lately. And I’ve been noticing others interpret recent events in my life this way, too. They’re supporting me, no doubt, in all things big and small…by putting the blame on other people, not me, when things go awry. We have a tendency to do this, us humans. Me too.

The Power is Ours
Yoga helps us learn to notice our own inner reactions, and how they influence our interpretation of any action. And I was reminded recently, by one of the “live your best life”-themed media I visit, that when we put all the blame on others, we make ourselves the victim. We say, “Here ya go! Have the reins, just drive me wherever you’d like me to go, even if it’s into, like, a really murky stinky swamp. And hey, while you’re at it, could you stamp this ‘my ass is grass’ sign on my forehead?”

I guess we have a choice:
1. We can leggo our ego, and admit we played a part
2. We can lay all the blame on other people

What I find so absolutely amazing about choice number one is that when we fess up, when we admit our faults, our mistakes, expose our insecurities, we gain power. “Ah, yeah, well, erm…I could probably have delivered that news a little differently.” “…maybe I didn’t really make it clear to her that I don’t like that.” “…I might have been in that car’s blind spot.” “…why didn’t I say hi to her?” We gain the power to change how we feel about this situation, and how the next one plays out. We’re no longer victims, we’re no longer at the mercy of the people who are pissing us off, making us sad, or just taking us to a restaurant we’ll complain about later. We’re in the driver seat of what happens in our life, and we can make damn sure we keep heading down the lifestyle path we’d really like to be on.

Vroom.

Related
learnings: stinky but sweet
powerful vs. positive thinking

Apr 15, 2009 · Comment (1)
 

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“we’re no longer at the mercy of the people who are pissing us off”–good point, and I find it’s particularly apt in the no-consequences world of the internet. Again and again in internet forums, or in the comments on blogs, I see people getting pissed off by people whose favorite pasttime, clearly, is to piss people off on the internet. In fact, people write whole blog posts about the commenter who pisses them off–clearly not getting that this is like handing the person an award, and putting oneself completely at that person’s mercy. Then, that’s not to say I don’t fall for that kind of thing myself. Ultimately, it seems the ego always insists on retaliating, though inevitably that’ll only mean being attacked some more, and breaking the cycle is harder than it sounds in theory. But, that’s why they call it “practice.”

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