“I choose not to be a victim!” Those powerful words were shared with me last week by a friend who has had lots of bad things happen to her.
She is currently between jobs, which is why she came to my office to talk over coffee. Because I’ve known her for several years, I also know she is divorced, she’s been bullied at work and, since childhood, she has been preyed upon (and I use that term in its ugliest connotation).
Yet her bold statement—I choose not to be a victim!—got me to thinking.
Does someone really choose to be a victim? Is that a decision one actually makes? Or is a victim created as the result of something bad that happens? Or from the selfish actions of others?
In reality, bad things happen to each of us, so we all might feel victimized in some way. Yet most of us choose to pick ourselves up, or at least to allow others to help us get back on our feet.
Victims, by my definition, are those who choose not to recover. They wallow in self-pity. They feel a sense of entitlement, somehow believing that the world owes them something. Instead of finding solutions, they search for excuses. They blame others for their circumstances. They refuse to take ownership of their reality, and they harbor bitter feelings of anger, despair and revenge.