Category: Don’s Blog

The Art and Practice of Victimhood: Step # 10

#10:    GET INTO THERAPY

Finally, the tenth step for becoming a successful victim. If you have been following along up to now then it is time for you to advance as you are ready –

more than ready for professional victimhood. You are now a professional victim and this means you’re ready to take on the so-called pros: Find a therapist. Find lots of them if need be. Join groups. Attend workshops. Get diagnosed. Nothing is more useful for a victim than the language of psychotherapy.

“I’m an Adult Child of Alcoholics.”

“I’m an Adult Child of Normal Parents.”

“I was verbally abused.”

“I’m having a mid-life crisis.”

“I was under nourished in my previous life.”

“I can’t help myself, I’m neurotic.”

Don’t find just any therapist; find one willing to do the work for both of you. With a good diagnostic label, some genetically based notions for whatever your assigned malady, and an over-responsible therapist, you are well on your way to avoiding any viable treatment plan that comes anywhere close to your taking responsibility for – ANYTHING.

If you begin to even suspect your therapist may be working up the nerve to offer some psychological insight, such as:

“You know, Billy (age 47 and still living with his parents), it seems to me that getting fired seven times from seven different jobs in less than three years is a bit unusual. Do you suppose you might have something to do with what you describe as a string of bad luck? I mean, maybe not all of it, but maybe some of it? What do you think, Billy, is it possible?”

Dump this therapist immediately! She’s onto you and it’s unlikely that she’ll ever let up. This one obviously does not need the case flow of people that just want to hang around and practice whining and complaining. So he/she isn’t likely going to let go of this “insight” regarding your lack of personal responsibility.

If need be, explode into a fit of well-rehearsed rage.

You’re just like all the others!” (Meaning those five therapists you’ve fired for saying very similar things already).

“You have no idea what it’s like for me. I’m damaged! All my bosses hated me. My mother didn’t hold me enough/held me too much. My father was a jerk! Too old fashion! Too uptight! Too normal! And now I have this lousy therapist who expects me to be more responsible! You don’t understand what I’ve been through. I’m damaged, and now you’ve made me so upset. It’s all your fault!”

Then, immediately leave.

When you walk past the receptionist, do not let your smile be visible. Wait until you are safely outside before you approvingly notch one more shattered professional into your victimhood belt. You are way more of a professional than this so-called helper.

With these ten steps, when it comes to victimhood, they’re all amateurs – family, friends, work colleagues, ministers, and even professional therapists. You’re the professional!  After all you definitely have what it takes.

NOTE:

I do hope you’ve enjoy this tongue and cheek series, possibly playful approach – this paradoxical tactic – and have even found it to be perversely useful. Obviously real people do have real problems. In no way was this blog series meant to belittle or discount the serious or tragic things that many people must face. At the same time scapegoating, blaming and projecting, on top of our very human condition – our addiction to needing to be right makes it difficult to see the part we may play in our problems and struggles.

None of us get to choose the circumstances of our lives. However we do get to choose how we respond to the circumstances of our lives. And to that end I say we get to have a powerful say in the matter of our lives.

Pogo, the now defunct comic strip once said:

“We have met the enemy and he is us.”

The Art and Practice of Victimhood: Step # 9

# 9: ALWAYS FOCUS ON THE NEGATIVE AND/OR POTENTIALLY BAD IN LIFE

If you have been following along up to now you should already be pretty well versed with this step. And there are always the newspapers, the internet and all kinds of other media available to help you advance your capacity to victimhood. With some diligence you can find the rain clouds amidst the sunshine. It’s all a matter of reframing and being committed to your passion for optimal victimhood.

Start by using whatever comes up as an opportunity to see the bad or negative in it.

“Yeah it’s nice now, but it won’t last. Believe me we’ll pay for it later.”

“Look what we had to go through in order to get here.”

Learn to look for the down side in each and every event. This method is called the “sinkhole” effect, and it is a powerful deterrent for a bright and pleasant day. Say things like:

“People only pretend to be nice because they want something.”

“He only donated to that charity as a tax write-off.”

“This isn’t going to work out well; just you wait and see. Something is bound to go wrong.”

Dig around enough and you’ll always manage to find something to complain about. When things go 99% well, focus on that 1% that didn’t. If you find a dollar on the sidewalk, complain that it wasn’t a ten. Say your “back hurts from bending over to get that dollar”, or that “the money is infested with germs.”

If you really want to set people off here are a few statements that promise to launch most people into a reactive state and cause them to be irritated:

  1. “Are you sitting down? I’ve got something to get off my chest.”

       2. “In my humble opinion…”

      3. “No offense or anything, but…”

      4. “Look, you should know this…” (And then launch into a vicious criticism)

      5. I’m just being honest.” (Actually you’re being frank and harsh)

      6. “I’m the only one who has enough backbone to tell you what everybody’s saying about you.”

      7. “With all due respect, but…” (Then blast away with disrespectful comments)

      8. “I’ve been thinking about something you said about me a long time ago, and while you might not remember it, it’s been bothered me since then.”

Here are some more great ideas to foster your victimhood:

When you are in a restaurant talk about how the steak on someone else’s plate has cancer causing chemicals. You can also do some comparing by telling the wait staff that the plate of food at a neighboring table looks nicer than yours does.

When someone asks you how you’re doing, launch into a litany of physical ailments – real and imagined – as well as the terrible things that happened to you that day.

 “I had to go downtown today. It was awful; I couldn’t get a parking space; I didn’t have enough quarters for the meter…I worried about getting a ticket for the entire time I was at my appointment. The clerk I had to deal with was so rude and took forever… I was late for my next meeting…I had a headache all day long and I think I’m dying!”  

There are endless things you can banter about regarding how awful they are if you put your mind to it. If you have been able to find a mentor or two you can readily see how effective they are when it comes to spouting negative comments. This has a tremendous effect on bringing down an entire group you happen to be with. If you are really effective you may notice others start joining in and add their own frustrations and complaints. This will surely frenzy up a sinkhole effect of negativity.

And here’s where you can become a great player in the sport called: “Can you top this one?” Whenever people start talking about their various pet peeves, interrupt them with things like:

“If you think that’s bad, let me tell you…” Or

“That’s nothing, wait until you hear this….”

In summary, with a solid commitment for negativity you can contaminate any environment with these various strategies. Any and all of them will zap the positive energy from just about any sort of gathering or event.

Next week: # 10 GET INTO THERAPY

The Art and Practice of Victimhood: Step # 8

# 8:    SELECT A STYLE THAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU

Victims come in all sorts of different shapes and styles. Only you are the one who is best suited to determine what style of victimhood is more to your own liking there are plenty of options available.

What’s critical is that you decide on a style of victimhood that works best with your personality and temperament. One popular style of victimhood is the poor-me approach. This particular one is great for controlling others and it’s done mostly through passivity. It operates to a large degree on indifference and inaction, and with a huge doses of guilt.

“It figures. Nothing good ever happens to me. I’m not lucky like you.”

“I was born at the wrong time, wrong place, in wrong family…”

By consistently using your negative affirmations, combined with plenty of criticism and gossip, the meekly exhibited poor-you approach can generate a circle of people who will gravitate towards you by feeling sorry for you. These people typically start out with strong desire to help you – and if left to their natural tendencies will eagerly take over more and more, thus letting you sit back more and more. Without realizing it they will unwittingly collude in your helplessness and join in your ill-fated victimhood.

Over time these emerging patterns of pitiful victimhood will be cemented into place, and you will never again be expected to pull your own weight. This persona of the pathetic creature that you are becoming will go a long way in creating you as someone seen as a bona fide victim.

While you sit back in your poor-me passivity you’ll enjoy knowing you have provided fulfillment to so many over responsible types. The name for these folks is over-functioners. Over-functioners are people who are compelled to take care of everyone else, and they will sweep in and, if allowed, over-extend themselves further and further. They will take more and more responsibility, as you subsequently take on less and less.

For the more serious and dedicated victim there is the optional rage-filled victim approach. This style is for the more enterprising person – the one with the stamina that’s needed to inflict outrage and indignation into every possible situation. Initially it is a more difficult approach. However, once mastered, it offers several advantages: It endears you to no one; it provides substantially more lasting power; and it is likely to expedite you with serious health problems that can only further fuel your life of victimhood.

The rage-filled victim is someone who is successful at dealing with even the most dedicated helpers – over-functioners – of this world. There is also greater satisfaction from dampening the heretofore-indomitable spirits of those who generally think of themselves as good and decent people. Lash out with random acts of rage and contempt when someone mistakenly presents you with some helpful suggestions to improve your terrible lot in life. If you do this often enough you will provoke these otherwise kindly people into becoming the most unsympathetic people. They will shift into being highly reactive and defensive. This shift in their normal stance will cause them to feel extremely conflicted. This will both surprise and distress them. Show them no mercy. While they are reeling from their own dismay demonstrate you’re most intense and irritated combination of contempt and anger.

“That’s pretty easy for someone like you who was born with a silver spoon in his naive and pathetic mouth to say! You don’t have a clue about all I’ve had to go through!”

If the helper is initially undaunted, continue your attack. Keep at it until they back away.

“You really make me sick; you and your stupid advice! As if you’re so perfect. Try minding your own business for a change!”

With persistence, the most recalcitrant helper will eventually back off and retreat from your side. And they will avoid you now like the plague. Rest assured you’ll enrolled them as your best ambassadors – forewarning all others that you are NOT to be reckoned with!

Next week: # 9: ALWAYS FOCUS ON THE NEGATIVE AND/OR POTENTIALLY BAD IN LIFE

The Art and Practice of Victimhood: Step # 7

# 7:    MAKE OTHERS RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

This next Step to becoming an effective victim logically follows from all the previous steps. This one is especially designed to have you work smarter as opposed to working harder. In fact it is all about getting others to work harder while you do little to nothing:

Never take responsibility for your relationships with anyone. Instead always make the other person totally responsible.

Say things like:

“She only cares about herself.”

“It’s his fault we broke up. He was such a jerk!”

“He/she never calls me!”

“People are so phony!”

“I am waiting for a full and complete apology before I speak to him.”

If you can say these kinds of things while using a weak and whinny voice, it’s even better. Don’t ever take any kind of initiative, and under no circumstances should you ever call the person in question. Instead wait by your phone, feeling sorry for yourself. While you sit there make a list of all the reasons he/she doesn’t call ill-fated you. This is where your daily negative affirmations will begin to pay off.

“He/she hates me.”

“He/she thinks I’m stupid.”

“I bore her.”

“People do not care about me one bit.”

“I made a fool of myself.”

“People never like me once they get to know me.”

If you, let’s say, do eventually get called just think of it as for some poorly

reasoned out attempt on this other’s part, but not any kind of sincere effort. Rationalize that they are only doing so because of some misguided kindness or insincere generosity on their part, or it’s because they feel pity for me. Create some ill-conceived reason that allows you to further discount any gestures of reconciliation.

“She’s/He’s just doing it out of obligation, not out of any real caring!”

With some persistence you will discourage any continued follow-up, or any further contact by such people. Best of all, you’ll then be able to continue building that air-tight case that you are right about you being a total victim.

Next week: # 8: SELECT A STYLE THAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU

The Art and Practice of Victimhood: Step # 6

# 6:     CULTIVATE YOUR SENSE OF PARANOIA

If you have been following along these past few weeks and are utilizing the various steps offered so far, then you are surely well on your way to a life of successful victimhood. You’re now ready for what may be considered some advanced steps – steps that will take you to even great heights of victimhood. We begin with Paranoia. Paranoia is one of the greater resources you can exploit to make your efforts of becoming an effective victim really leap forward.

Start every day by repeating this complaint. Do it repeatedly and as often as possible throughout your day:

“People don’t care about me and will screw me over at every opportunity they can find.”

Just by saying it often, you will make it into a solid core belief by which to live. Take everything others say to you or about you as a personal attack. See it always as an affront aimed at ridiculing you, and more evidence to support your claim of getting screwed over. Then use your God-given imagination to react quickly with incensed indignation and justifiable defensiveness. Throw back at such people any inconsistencies you can discover or are able to manufacture about other people – all as part of a full proof enraged rebuttal.

With practice you’ll be able to create your very own personal conspiracy theory, or even better, your series of conspiracies:

 “My parents were out to destroy me before I was born.”

“Every teacher I had hated me.”

“Nobody ever wants to be with me.”

“People always try to take advantage of me.”

“My sister was always jealous. She couldn’t stand it whenever I did well or I got something.”

Takes these kind of ideas and look for any instances in your life to draw upon as rock solid evidence to support these notions. By using words like “Always” or “Never” whenever you come across one or two instances of such incidents – or even possible incidents – you will build a brilliant and irrefutable case about how unjustly you are ALWAYS being treated.

From there it is just a matter of building upon these incidents with a paranoid way of speaking and thinking. With practice you’ll eventually develop an air-tight case regarding your version of “Truthiness.” Remember our thoughts become things. Therefore, if you think these paranoid thoughts long enough they will become your reality. It is imperative that you believe every negative thought you think. Sometimes this will require you to block out any alternative thoughts and ideas – neutral ones and/or positive ones – things other people may have offered. Do not let these thoughts penetrate your own thinking. Instead stay steadfast with your victimizations and poor-me notions.

I cannot underscore enough that if you say or think anything consistently and often enough, it will be taken as reality. For a concrete example of how terrific this principle is just remember the slogan: “Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).” This was repeated so often and by so many in the presidential administration at the time when Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, was in power that even when this was proved to be false, there were, and still are people walking around today that believe Saddam Hussein had “weapons of mass destruction.”

This characteristic of human behavior is what you can exploit with ease anytime with any one, and with anything, you wish to manufacture.  Paranoia – like gossip – is very contagious. You can learn to exploit it to your benefit. It’s a matter of utilizing peoples’ open mindedness where they bring a bit of doubt regarding their own ideas. Also there is a part of human behavior where people like to focus on negativity and things that are awry. Therefore you can trip people up with your absoluteness regarding how “the world is falling apart” or how “you always get the short end of the stick” even without proof or evidence to support these statements.

Next week: # 7: MAKE OTHERS RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR RELATIONSHIPS