Stop Playing the Victim

Stop Playing The Victim

Stop Playing the Victim

Ever set a goal for yourself, get so hyped up to get started on it, spend a day hitting it hard, only to “fall off” and regress back to the starting line? Yup. We’ve all been there. But why do we do this? Get ready for it…. Because “this happened”, or “life got busy” or “my friends – “. STOP. Just stop. See what you are doing? You immediately begin to blame circumstances or others for the reasons you aren’t reaching your goals.

I am sure you have that friend that annoys the shit out of you because all he/she does is whine and complain about everything that is so “wrong” in his/her life. It’s actually a personality trait. People like this yearn for the attention from others. They try to manipulate others’ feelings and get them to sympathize with them in an attempt to justify their behaviors. They want to control or influence others to feel sorry for them. Individuals like this might even choose unhealthy relationships or situations to further justify their victim personality.

Isn’t it a drag to listen to these types of people? Especially since they actually have the power to change circumstance, but they refuse to because they want to play this role. Ever heard the expression, “You can’t help those who don’t want to help themselves”? BINGO.

The reality is YOU can’t do anything to help these people. In fact, by helping them sometimes you are actually enabling them. You are justifying that this is acceptable behavior and the cycle continues.

The truth is, I used to be like this. I used to allow the voice of ED (eating disorder) to control my thoughts. He forced me to be play the victim, to pity myself, to convince myself I could never change, that I wasn’t worthy of it, that I didn’t possess the strength to do so. I had everyone around me trying to help me – friends, family, therapists, teachers, etc. But after so long, they just kind of “gave up”.  Where there used to be a helping hand, a kind word, a comforting hug, there was now what I affectionately refer to as “tough love”. I think my parents realized quickly that the coddling and the affection were just continuing to enable me. It was as if my parents were saying, “It’s ok, we know it’s tough, you’ll get through it”. But those words are meaningless without a plan or some concrete list of actions.

I used to get so angry at my family when they switched to this “tough love” approach. Paraphrasing of course, but the gist was, “Alright Kristen, let’s get up and get your shit together here. Stop moping around and start making some damn moves for yourself and your future.” It was hard at first, as it is in any lifestyle change. You don’t want to face the truth and hold yourself accountable. You don’t want to face the fact that YOU and only YOU got yourself to this point – through a series of choices that YOU made – and only YOU can pull yourself out.

It’s so much “easier” to play the victim and blame others and situations for your misfortune. But in reality, I think we spend just as much time, if not more, trying to convince ourselves and others that we are the victim, when we could have just as readily been taking the actions to propel ourselves forward.

As difficult as it was for me to pull myself from ED’s death grip, I contribute a lot of my mental strength to this feat. I remember the turning point; I remember looking at myself in the mirror and audibly saying, “Alright Kristen, let’s get up and get your shit together here. Stop moping around and start making some damn moves for yourself and for your future,” just like Mom and Dad said (don’t you just hate when your parents are right?!).

I’ve come so far in my own journey, but I will always have set backs, moments of weakness. It’s in those moments that I have to once again, stand in front of that mirror and hold myself accountable. No one else is going to do it for me. Believe me, I used to sit and wait for something “good” to come along, but hell, I’m pretty sure if I didn’t pick myself up all those years ago, my butt would have been molded to that chair by now!

I noticed these traits in my clients, friends, and family too. In fact, when taking on a new client, I send a series of questionnaires to get to know the client. One of these is directed towards finding out how ready one is to change their lifestyle. I want to know how committed one is, before ever starting a relationship with them. I have so much to share with others, to guide and teach them on their own journeys to becoming the best versions of themselves; but I have learned the hard way that you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves. I can show you the water bowl, but I can’t drink it for you.

I think this is one of the biggest lessons in undergoing any lifestyle change. Sometimes the road to becoming the best version of you can be a lonely one. We can’t expect others to always understand. Of course we want love and support from friends and family, but if it’s not there right away, we can’t allow that to be the reason we don’t go after it ourselves. This journey is all about YOU and finding the best version of YOU. It’s about pushing through those self-made barriers, and emerging stronger and more confident in who YOU are as an individual. You are only ever going to be YOU, so you best start getting used to it.

Remember, YOU are always in control. YOU always have a choice. And everything you ever wanted to be is waiting for you underneath all those bullshit excuses you keep feeding yourself.

So what are you waiting for?