Victims: The People Leaders Deal with Everyday
Self-destructive responses to life multiply like flies on roadkill. The worst response is pervasive and sinister. It’s the lie of victimhood. This lie, like breathing, usually goes unnoticed.
The worst thing about victimhood is there’s truth in the lie. You are a victim. Life is, for the most part, beyond your control.
Rain on your wedding, the time the mail comes, and an undetected tumor in your bowel are all beyond your control. You can’t control people, including your teammates. It’s a good thing you can’t. Everyone would be less than human if you could.
The one thing you can always control in a world gone wild is your response to it. Response is where the subtleties of victimhood take root, grow, and strangle your potential.
Things victims don’t say:
Victims don’t say, “I was late because I slept in.” Who hasn’t blamed traffic?
Are you a victim of heavy traffic? Absolutely! You can’t control the idiot who is texting while driving and rear-ends the car ahead of him.
Politicians are professional victims. Republicans blame Democrats and Democrats blame Republicans. The current administration always blames the previous one or two or three administrations.
Comfort in victimhood:
Victimhood is a cozy fire in a cold world.
Things outside your control are freedom from responsibility. “But he hit me first.”
You aren’t accountable for something you can’t control.
- Victims subtly proclaim innocence.
- Every claim of victimhood affirms helplessness.
- Helplessness is always frustrating.
From victim to victor:
- Choose to do something different next time.
- Shift direction instead of spiraling.
- Forgive and move on, even if you can’t reconcile.
- Explore instead of looking for sympathetic partners that affirm your helplessness.
The only thing you can control – for sure – is your response to things you can’t control.
What expressions of victimhood are you seeing in others? In yourself?
How might leaders defeat the enemy of victimhood?