Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Victim Mentality...inspired heading, yes?

I had a completely different post all nice, edited and ready for you; but I’ll just have to save that for a rainy day. So you get an unedited and messy post today instead. But hey, sometimes they’re the best kinds. Though probably not in this case.

Today I want to talk about victim-mentality. I know I have it. Most of us do, to some extent.

We’re all so eager to be complaining about something. If we have nothing to do then we’re bored. If we have a lot to do then we’re overloaded.

I found myself over the last week becoming more and more unhappy as I looked at all that I had to do. And I complained. Oh boy did I complain. And I had thoughts like ‘this is so unfair’ or ‘my life sucks.’ I blamed the world, rather than myself. When really, the world didn’t throw all of this at me. I took it in with open arms.

So many of us want to be busy. We rush around trying to fit in as much as we possibly can. We want to do everything, and achieve everything right this very second. And when we finally start to crack under all of this pressure that we have piled onto ourselves, we never point the finger at the real villain.

As I said, last week I bitched and moaned. And began to freak out when I looked at EVERYTHING that I had to do. But one particularly stressful day, as I desperately tried to study for an assignment that I knew three weeks in advance that there was NO WAY IN HELL I was going to be able to get done, I realised something: I don’t have to do it. No one is holding a gun to my head. And two minutes later I had un-enrolled from the class.

Yes, sometimes if we can’t get everything that we want done we feel like a failure. But isn’t it better than the alternative? To rush through something, worn out and unhappy, simple to get to the end and realise that we didn’t enjoy a second of it? I would rather slowly work at achieving my dreams and revel in them when I got there, rather than rushing into them and burning out within a year.

If something in your life is making you tired, overwhelmed, or just plain unhappy; then change it. Even if it’s scary to start from scratch all over again. And if you don’t change it, accept that it’s your decision. It’s so much easier to get through something if you know that you’re choosing to be there. That you have weighed up the pros and cons and that whatever you’re doing is worth continuing on with.

I know that there are exceptions, there are always exceptions; and keep in mind that I am writing from the point of view of a middle-class girl who always has back-up support, whether financially or emotionally should I need it. So I’m not really an expert on hardship. But I AM an expert on complaining. On playing the victim card. On biting off more than I can chew.

And I have come to realise that almost everything in life is within our control. And the stress and unhappiness that we sometimes feel is often the direct result of our own actions. So here’s to changing that victim mentality to an ‘I am the god of my own destiny mwahahaha’ mentality; and changing what needs to be changed, while holding on as hard as we can to what is really important.

25 comments:

SJ said...

well said. it's definitely something i'm conscious of, complaining about 'middle class white people problems.'

after being treated like crap by a 'friend' while overseas, i realised that i can only control my own choices and reactions to things and that there was no point moaning about it, i should just invest time in people who are good to me.

nancy said...

I am in a similar boat with all my complaining. I've decided to change my headspace and stop the negativity spewing forth.
on a more positive note: realising that you are in control of your life is such a simple, difficult and freeing realision to come to. to paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt; you cannot be unhappy without your consent.
or something along those lines ;)

nancy said...

and of course by "realision" I meant realisation :D

Tuesdai Noelle said...

Good post!

There's a quote that says, "We have a choice: to plow new grounds or let the weeds grow." And when I think I should start to "self-complain," that quote haunts me like the Ghost of Christmas Present hollowing LOUD with, "Youuuuuuuuu neeeddddd TO stooooop tripppppin'...like now." And well whether it's sad by a Ghost or just read through my eyes...I do be needing to stop. So I do. I regroup, release, and recreate! Sometimes we need to pick up our bodily remote and give ourselves a "daily rewind"

demie said...

the problem is to find it you know. sometimes. what is it that bothers you. is it the present? or the past you carry inside... ( talking just in general here )

Hazel said...

Oh I'm so guilty of doing this! I complain so much. Though I really loved what you said about taking your time to enjoy things instead of rushing in and hating every second. That really hit home with me.

Eleanor at Mirror Of My World said...

this is very true. i do this a lot but we really can control our unhappiness sometimes. the way we react to situations helps a lot too.
i also came here to say thank you for your very sweet post this morning which put a big smile on my face. its nice to know people like and appreciate my blog posts. i love your blog too and am pleased we met in the blogosphere!!! xxxx ps isnt blogosphere such a strange word :P

Toni said...

As with crime victims I think it's important to view yourself as a survivor, not a victim. As you've said before, it's all in the way we speak to ourselves. Looking at it as, look how much I've done and been through, I can do a LOT! And also recognizing when we've bitten off too much. Love it!

ellie's desk said...

It seems at the moment we are all in the 'red state' of stress with jobs, etc. At work..enough just can't get done. And I find myself having to be the one to fix everything..and I'm not even in charge.

There are just some things easier for me to do than others. Something you might have been trained in computers..doesn't mean its gonna carry over in customer service...or even in those little things like repairing books, dvds or cds.

So best to attack it in small quantities. And get ready for co-workers to tell you what you're doing wrong. & no way will they fix it.

Maybe that's why I let someone persuade me at home, so easily.

keishua said...

I am guilty of this and it is so defeating. I think I am always scared the other shoe will drop or I'm just so use to complaining and "everything being such a struggle". It really does not need to be. Complaining to me is really away to keep us in our place because we have all these excuses and we leave it there. Instead, we need to pick up and go.

Bon Bon said...

Soooo true! You go girl! Be the change:-) xoxo

Deidre said...

Ah yes, I whip out my victim card frequently.

Katie said...

Hmm, thought provoking as always. I've always played with the idea of of giving up complaining for a day or two or three just to see how it would change my attitude. Haha, still thinking about it...

The Book Florist said...

That is definitely true, and hearing it put so plainly and clearly as you have just now makes it all the more obvious what a silly-billy I can be. Thankyou for pointing the spot light a bit. Take care.

Brooke said...

I agree with you; it's about making the most of what's in your control, not sitting back and complaining about things you have the power to change. I haven't been in victim mentality mode since high school haha. I think I've evolved to just being stressed all the time haha.

Mary Grace said...

I could definitely relate to this post. I gotta admit that sometimes I'm addicted to work, and no play. In that way, I feel productive. But then, I would sometimes come to the realization that I'm getting nowhere instead. Ironic, no?

wilybrunette said...

i always find too that the more i accept that i'm not in control of everything the more i have control. and yes, we get to choose our mentality. our words, the words we spew affect us--complaining takes a toll. i pledge to be better this week, to complain just a little bit less.

Ashley said...

very true, my friend :)

I liked this line: If something in your life is making you tired, overwhelmed, or just plain unhappy; then change it.

^
^
You gotta know when to fight, and you gotta know when to give up! There's no shame in giving up if it's the right answer :)

Hazel said...

http://pablosangel.blogspot.com/2011/07/first-award-ceremony.html

I gave you an award!

Mandy said...

I have to agree with the "if you not busy you're bored...or you are way overloaded..." Could you have explained my life anymore? I find that if I have nothing to do on weekends, I FIND something to do. It's horrible that I feel as though I cannot relax without guilt! And most of the time (due to my own agendas) I am way overloaded at both work AND home...something to work on for sure!

iris said...

Ah, I learned this lesson in high school...on the brink of a nervous break down over taking too many classes. Then my parents asked, "Why don't you take a study hall?" It was so obvious, so clear. But before they had recommended it, I couldn't see anything. Sometimes, you just need to figure out how to step back from the stress.

Not quite the same thing, but somewhat related to the victim mentality is "impostor syndrome." It's very common among females in computer sciences, but you may find it interesting.

Poppies and Sunshine said...

Great, inspiring post here! I like the idea of changing something about our life we if we don't like it. It may be hard, like when it comes to a job, but I like the idea!

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

I am a big believer in two things (well, more than two, but I'll only mention two right now): (1) you are the master of your own destiny, (2) there's no point in worrying because you can either do something or not and I always prefer to do something when I can. Over the last year, I've learned a lot from a really diverse group of amazing people, and my victim mentality? Out the window.

becky said...

You, lady, are amazing. Such wonderful, wonderful achievements! I am so proud of you going out there and putting your talent on the line. It's quite a bullet to bite, I think. And praising oneself is something I think a lot of women struggle with (I do, I do) so I really, really admire you putting it out there so frankly and honestly and truthfully. You're such an inspiration! x

Mil said...

So true, as always. I'm a complainer, too. It becomes so easy to fall into that pattern. Congrats for your writing successes! You deserve it. I wish I'd get off my duff and submit some things, too (ooh, victim mentality strikes again). But this year will be busy with going back to school. Keep up with the good work!