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Motivation – Playing the Victim

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Stedman Graham says “People who consider themselves victims of their circumstances, will always remain victims unless they develop a greater  vision for their lives.”

That just hits the spot!  I am so tired of hearing about people being ‘previously disadvantaged’ and the ‘suffering’ and the rest that goes with it.  The racist card is played at every opportunity and the ‘poor me’ card brought out at the drop of a hat and yet we don’t seem to do anything about it.

A couple of months ago I wrote an article for the Business Report in the STAR Newspaper on “Intimate Relationships in the Workplace”.  You can just imagine the responses that I received!

One woman phoned me to tell me that her husband is having an affair at work and then asked me what to do.  Well I am no ‘agony aunt’ and I am certainly not a medical person who is qualified to hand out this kind of advice, but what I can do is voice an opinion on what I would do if I were in the same circumstances.  This woman, (lets call her Jane) was quite indignant about the fact that her husband was ‘lying to his children, imagine’ and yet . . . here she was telling a total stranger intimate details of her personal life.  She laid it on thick, telling me ‘when and where’ he met up with his illicit romantic partner and that ‘everybody’ at his work knew about it and yet they did nothing.  The truth is of course, that it’s not their job to do anything, it’s hers.

You see Jane really got off by playing the victim and the martyr, she could gain everybodys sympathy and this made her feel like a worthwhile person, it also was the only kind of attention that she seemed to be getting.  When she paused for a breath, to tell me some other despicable thing that he had been doing, I asked her why she had not turfed all his stuff out onto the street and changed the lock on the door.  She seemed quite taken aback by the very mention of that.  I told her that she had given him permission to act the way he was acting because of her inaction.  By not doing anything when she found out about the affair, she was telling him that it is ok for him to treat her in this manner – so of course he did, constantly.  Furthermore, she was also lying to the children, every time she made an excuse about where he was at night.

Jane was gobsmacked for a few seconds and could not get the words out to say anything.  I suspect that I had just taken the wind out of her sails and she was taking a good hard look at what she was doing too.  Finally she agreed with me saying that she had never looked at it like this before.

Is Jane still with the wondering husband – I have absolutely no idea.  What I do know though is that Jane stopped in her tracks and probably for the first time in her life understood that she could change her circumstances by changing the way the she responded to things.  Whether she has made the changes in herself and her circumstances or not, is a whole different ball game, but I do know that she is now aware of what she is doing and hopefully she will make the changes that she needs to make.

Going back to apartheid and the ‘previously disadvantaged’ – quite honestly, right now I don’t even have much empathy left, let alone sympathy!  Oh and I know that I am going to upset a huge number of people too and so be it.

For every one person who is still flying the ‘previously disadvantaged’ banner, there are probably two or more who have done something to change their circumstances.  I would rather help these folk and have oodles of time and respect for them.

There are those that have done things for themselves instead of standing around, begging bowl in hand, waiting for someone to do something for them.  I would rather help them turn their lives around and respect them for the changes that they are not only willing to make but are also making.

There are also those who have perfected the art of playing the victim and for them, ‘being the victim’, is their full time employment, it’s their right and quite frankly, it’s probably exactly what they deserve.

So today, I challenge you – if you truly want something to change, then get up off your rear end and make it happen.  If you’re not prepared to make the changes or do something for yourself, then quite honestly – please don’t tell me, I really don’t want to hear it, because my time is better served making things happen and changing the aspects in my life that I don’t want to stay the same.

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