Thursday, December 1, 2022
Home Lifestyle Life How to Deal with Victimhood – Dr. Judith Orloff

How to Deal with Victimhood – Dr. Judith Orloff

As a psychiatrist, I teach my patients the importance of learning to deal effectively with exhausting people. In the book “Emotional Freedom” I discuss one of these types that I call “the Victim mentality”.

Judith Orloff on subtle self-defense against energy vampiresThe victim annoys you with a “poor me” attitude and is allergic to taking personal responsibility for their actions. The people are always against them, and are the reason for their unhappiness.

They pretend to be an unfortunate person demanding to be rescued and make you their therapist. As a friend you want to help them, but you are overwhelmed by their endless stories of their pain. A boyfriend has already left them… a mother who does not understand them, an arrogant boss who is ungrateful.

If you give them advice on how to end their suffering, they say, “Yeah, but…” they will pour over you even more unsolvable complaints. These “vampires” are so sticky that they stick to you like flypaper.

Take the “I am in a relationship with a victim” quiz.

If you usually get carried away with trying to solve other people’s problems, there is a good chance that you have attracted countless “victims” into your life. To identify whether you are in a relationship with a victim, indicate Yes or No for the following characteristics:

Is there someone in your life who often seems inconsolably oppressed or depressed: Yes/No

Do you feel burned out by their neediness? Yes No

Do these people always accuse others of dishonesty or for their bad luck: Yes/No

Do you notice if they have called, or do you say you are dodging their litany of complaints: Yes/No

Is their unrelenting negativity affecting your positive attitude? Yes No

Give each question you answered “Yes” 1 point and count the points. If the number of questions answered with “Yes” is three or more, you are probably in a relationship with a “victim”. Interacting with this type of person can make you feel irritable and drained, making you want to avoid them.

Strategies for dealing with a victim mentality

Set boundaries with Iron Hand and Velvet Glove

In the case of a friend or family

Smile and say kindly, “Our relationship is important to me, but it’s not beneficial if you keep feeling sorry for yourself. I can only listen for five minutes unless you want to talk about solutions. Prepare for the debt he/she wants to heap on you. If the “victim” reacts furiously with:

“What kind of friend are you?” Then don’t succumb to the trick. Just answer: “I’m a good friend, but this is all I can offer you.”

In case of a colleague

Respond sincerely: “I’m really sorry for you”. After listening briefly, smile and say, “I hope you get out. I hope you understand that I have a deadline and I have to get to work. At the same time,

use your body language to show “this is not the right time” by crossing your arms, breaking eye contact, or even turning your back to him/her. The less you concern yourself with this “victim”, the better it is. (Studies show that most employees can barely concentrate for more than 11 minutes without being disturbed by a co-worker).

In case of yourself

The way I get out of victimhood is to think how blessed I am compared to the rest of humanity. I am not fighting to survive genocide, poverty, or daily street violence from an insurgent militia. I have the luxury of feeling lonely without a romantic partner or being annoyed by an annoying person.

I have been given time to overcome negative emotions. Seeing it this way stops me from wallowing in a captive indulgence. So, if you think you’re having a bad day, try to keep this kind of perspective.

Whether confronting an “energy sucker” or transforming your own negativity, empathy is vital. Elevating you into the realm of the heart, empathy allows you to be understanding in a non-defensive way and even merciful to adversaries. Also, you will intuitively understand the feelings behind someone’s words. If a friend complains that you’re being selfish, the deeper meaning could be,

“I’m hurt because we don’t spend enough time together.” Empathy makes you familiar with hidden motives. By seeing people’s weaknesses with compassion, you don’t make yourself a doormat. While you may not choose to submit to them, you should not use this suffering against them. Making someone “the enemy” is a spiritual wrong turn.


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