I haven’t written lately because I have just been SO busy.
I work Full Time. Tend to two children. One husband. Two Dogs. Hundreds of models. 5 States worth of event staff. Girlfriends. Family. Charitable causes. Attempted work out regime.
My kids have been sick so I haven’t slept much. My dog gashed open his head. Traveling for family obligations has been stressful. My friends are pregnant/engaged/divorcing/partying/depressed. I am exhausted and stressed and being pulled in every direction.
Do you feel sorry for me yet?
If you do. Don’t.
I decided to write on an area of abuse I see running rampant in many places of my life (sometimes mine). It is one of the few common personality traits that knows no ethnicity, religion or gender. It does not exclude any age, occupation or socioeconomic class. In fact this affliction may be the most contagious disease I have seen of late (Except for diseases once abolished. Thanks anti-vaxxers).
The “disease” goes by a few terms:
Victimhood. Playing the Victim. Self Victimization. Victim Playing. (Cousins with Martyrdom)
Playing the Victim is useful. It works in most situations. You can use it to win a fight. Elicit sympathy. Gain praise.
I would be lying if I said I haven’t played the victim before. It is usually to throw someone off in a fight (I have married an attorney but my dad always assumed I would be one) or to get out of something I don’t want to do. I think everyone should get a few free victim cards per year.
I am not speaking of the occasional overwhelmed feeling of a person needing a moment of praise. Heck we all need some snaps every once in a while!
This blog is geared to the perpetual victim.
The card toting year around victim who literally feeds off the attention and praise devoted to their plight. You can find the greatest offenders of victimhood in various arenas. These are just a few I have seen this week:
1. The Social Media Abuser – Facebook, Twitter, Victims.com (OK I made that up). Good Lord the victims use social media as a personal soap box for their need for affirmation. These offenders post weekly but most often daily. They share inspirational quotes about how they are wonderful in a passive aggressive way.
They write about being stressed. Over worked. Over tired. Can’t sleep. Trying the best they can as a (insert lifestyle). The posts literally BEG you to say, “You are AMAZING”, “Keep your head up!”, “You deserve the best!”, “It will get better”, “We are in AWE of how awesome you are!”… you get the picture….
I should preface.. the Social Media Abuser probably falls into the following categories as well….
2. The Over Achiever- We all know this person. This victim is cloaked in a shiny coat and often not categorized as a couch fainter. This person pushes to be the lead in everything. The class President. Head of the Pismo Beach Disaster Fundraiser. Cheer President. The Soccer Mom, Carpool director, Team Captain- All in one week. The over achiever is the individual others are immediately drawn to because they appear to “have it together”. Months or perhaps years pass before one realizes the praise of being an “overachiever” is the Heroin of choice for this person. Keep praising or this hidden victim will crumble. This person does not take on one or two areas. They demand to be in charge of everything. They headbutt their way to the top then wait for the praise to flow.
3. The Public figure- UGH probably the most offensive to me. If I read another celebrity complaining about their public comments being taken wrong…. Some celebrities love to talk about how hard it is to be rich and famous. The horrible problems they deal with and how we should pity and celebrate them.
4. The Plight I Overcamer- “Overcamer” is not actually a word but you know who I am talking about. The person who overcame the horrible (insert situation) and is reformed… but not really. They remind us of their past plights constantly, passively begging for us to praise them over and over and over and… well you get the picture. They want applause for becoming better. Unfortunately they haven’t actually overcame anything because they compulsively seek adoration. Daily.
5. The Never Follow Througher- Again… I might be making a new word but this person tells everyone constantly how they are starting (insert plan). It never actually happens but we are supposed to praise them for their thoughts toward awesome. The “never follow througher” is the quintessential beacon of hope wrapped in a soft victim blanket. They are letting us know they have been through EVERYTHING but are still willing to (insert-go to school, run a marathon, build a boat, become vegan, get a medal, host a speech, break up with bad person, start a freaking revolution). Obviously they never actually complete their goal(or come close) but as a victim encourage others to say YAY!! Way to go!! We never see any results because the ego is fed until the next proclamation.
It is fine to play the victim every once in a while. We all need a dose of confidence to remind us we are amazing. Capable. Phenomenal. Awe worthy. However, is this your crutch? Is being a victim your go to? Do you beg for affirmation regularly?
Maybe I am crazy but why not ask for praise when you need it? Or better yet why not count one’s own blessings?
This past weekend I was in my home town and blessed to see my oldest and most dear friend Rachel. She is the same age as I am. She has 4 children and is divorced. As soon as she arrived to meet me her first question was, “How are you?? You have so much going on I need to hear everything”. I rambled for an hour. When I inquired about her and her family she shrugged it off. She mentioned she had been a bit frustrated getting the kids out in the morning but otherwise life was great. She doesn’t have time for Facebook or social media. She doesn’t complain or bitch. She is AMAZING. If she had a fainting couch I would buy her pillows. But she never will. She’s not a victim.
Yet another of my best friend’s volunteers with children. She devotes her time (quietly) to provide positive opportunities for those in need. The stories she has told me of visiting orphanages in Mexico and being a “big sister” to two special kids…. hopefully she will guest blog- Unicorn you know who you are…
Remember when this video went viral?
The people who have the most tend to need more. Those who could actually BE A VICTIM choose different. Some of the most confident individuals I have met are those with little to nothing. More important people who actually need our support don’t publicize it. At what point does the need for praise and affirmation become an actual addiction?