How Good IS Your Victim Story?
You've heard them. You've told them. You've been a part of them. They are called upon in a moments notice. Sometimes they seem to be everywhere. One could almost say that they are in epidemic proportions at this time. So what exactly are they?
A victim story is a re-telling of an account of an incident or experience where the person telling the story makes himself/herself out to be the one that was wronged. In other words, those tales that we tell to other people so that they can confirm for us that yes, we were the one that was wronged, and we are right to feel hurt, angry, frustrated, resentful, and justified in our actions.
This overwhelming need that we have to be right will overshadow logical thinking, our willingness to resolve the issue, ask for an apology, seek forgiveness, communication with the right person, feeling happy, having a great day, and the list goes on and on.
For some reason we have this huge need to have several people, if not hundreds of people, know that we have been the victim of someone else's behavior. And that we are not prepared to let it go until others know what this person did to us.
I recently had an experience where I said something that offended another person. It was not intentional and there was no malice intended. We were simply having a conversation. This person did not indicate to me at the time or later that I had hurt her feelings by my comment. However, I did find out about a month later from a mutual friend that this person was still sharing her victim story with others. This person has made no attempt to tell me how she is feeling and I have no idea what I said that offended her. In fact, her behavior towards me is pleasant with no indication that there is some resentment or hurt feelings there.
A second experience I had involved my having to respond to a situation where the person had to cancel her attendance to a meeting, on short notice, in which it was important that she attend. In our initial conversation I was quite frustrated and disappointed by her late cancellation and it showed in my communication. The following day this person communicated her frustration with my reaction and we had an opportunity to talk it out and resolve it.
Two weeks after this I had a mutual friend share with me an account of the incident that this person shared with her earlier that day. The interesting part was that the person I offended left out that part that we had talked and resolved the issue. What good would a victim story be if it ended with being resolved?
These two experiences have taught me the following:
(a) One of the things that I have realized in regards to telling a victim story over and over and over again is that we each have an individual need to retell the story however many times it takes until we truly feel heard, vindicated, justified in our actions, and can let it go. The number seems to be different depending on the person. Any idea what yours is?
(b) The retelling of the victim story had nothing to do with me, who I am as a person, my worth, value or integrity.
(c) The retelling of the victim story has everything to do with the person telling the story, their need to feel like a victim, their need to be heard, their need to be justified, their need to be right, their need to put others down in order to feel good about themselves, their need to participate in the negative.
(d) An apology will not necessarily take care of the person's needs listed above and they may still, even after an apology or resolution of the issue, continue to share their victim story.
(e) People will embellish their victim story, leave pieces out, and do whatever is necessary to gain the greatest amount of support and sympathy from others.
(f) Even though others may be nice to your face, they will still tell their victim story behind your back. Again, this is about them and nothing to do with you.
(g) I needed to let go of taking it personally when others choose to tell their victim story that included me.
From the perspective of being the one telling the victim story, I know the following:
Each time we tell a victim story we say stuck in the past, in the negativity and delay the healing.
(i) Staying engaged in the negativity blocks all goals and dreams from materializing, i.e., interferes with the Law of Attraction.
(ii) Staying engaged in the negativity only attracts more of the same negative experiences.
(iii) This keeps us from being happy, creative and productive.
(iv) It fuels the ego and allows that ego voice in our head to tell us more negative lies.
(v) It keeps a vicious, negative cycle going within ourselves that is counterproductive.
At one time my need for retelling a victim story was so large that it took years to retell the story that many times. Every time I had an opportunity to bring it up, I would. I seemed to have a need to continue to relive that experience and all of the negative feelings that went along with it. It became part of who I was. Looking back now I can see how unhealthy that was. However, at the time I didn't know any different.
My goal today is to get to a place where I no longer need to repeat a victim story at all. I am not totally there yet; however, I am down to only having to share the story a couple of times. And I know after writing this article, and having the "aha" moments I have had in the past couple of weeks, it will be reduced to even further.
Reality is that others will say and do things that have the potential to offend us, hurt us, frustrate us, betray us, etc., whether intentionally or not. However, it is up to each of us individually as to how we choose to react, or not, to the situation. The more we each stay out of the negativity, the better chance we each have at creating happiness and peacefulness, and manifesting our greatest dreams and goals.
My hope is that this article has educated you in a way that you will recognize the next time you are telling a victim story and choose to do something different. I also hope that this will trigger for you the victim stories that you are telling right now so you can immediately choose something different.
Remember, the ripple effect of one person's decision and choices can affect many and be widespread. Just think what kind of ripple effect we could create if we stopped telling victim stories all together, if we stayed out of that negativity and refused to feed it. In a sense it would die away to more positive, exciting, powerful and empowering stories. Now there's a ripple effect that's worth spreading!
With love and gratitude,