Society's Victim Mindset

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posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 11:12 AM
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I do think there is a very strong subjective element to this whole discussion though. As laudable as I think the sentiments are, and how much better both we as individuals and the world in general would be we/it strove to uphold it's principles, each case can only be taken on its own merits and its own context. Some people are simply not as strong, resourceful and optimistic as others.

I'll clarify this in that a few years ago, after almost five years of bad luck misfortune and stressful situations one after the other I ended up having a mental breakdown. I believe now the reason was my own attitude of plodding on saying, mustn't complain, I wont let this beat me, worse things happen. If I had acknowledged how I was really feeling, admitted I couldn't cope and reached out for help I may have avoided a terrible time in my life when I spent almost a year feeling worthless about myself and about life in general. That stupid male thing of giving in is weakness and self indulgent, conversly made me weak and indulgent.

There is a fine line between inner strength and denial, we all need to realise it's ok to be vulnerable at times. It's something I still struggle with even now.




posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 11:23 AM
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You have voted Benevolent Heretic for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.

Excellant thread heretic! I really wish people would drop the victim mentality and adopt a survivor mentality instead.



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 11:29 AM
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Chissler and Uber,

I agree completely and would simply interject this..

What I was referencing was a lifestyle. Not a specific instance or situation. When I was shot, I was a victim and appreciated all the help that came my way. I accepted that help, got back on my feet and went on with my life...

The "victim" lifestyle IMHO is the refusal to move on, perhaps more accurately taking an entire life and turning it into a series of "OH feel sorry for me because my ancestors were slaves" or "I killed those people because I was abused as a child."

Perhaps it is as simple as taking responsibility for our own actions...

Semper



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 11:51 AM
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Originally posted by semperfortis
Chissler and Uber,

I agree completely and would simply interject this..

What I was referencing was a lifestyle. Not a specific instance or situation. When I was shot, I was a victim and appreciated all the help that came my way. I accepted that help, got back on my feet and went on with my life...

The "victim" lifestyle IMHO is the refusal to move on, perhaps more accurately taking an entire life and turning it into a series of "OH feel sorry for me because my ancestors were slaves" or "I killed those people because I was abused as a child."

Perhaps it is as simple as taking responsibility for our own actions...

Semper


Absolutely agreed with and understood.



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by chissler
An underlying message that needs to be clarified from my own post is that victims are entitled to their own window of resolution.


I can't say enough good about this post. WATS. That's really important to remember.


Originally posted by ubermunche
There is a fine line between inner strength and denial, we all need to realise it's ok to be vulnerable at times. It's something I still struggle with even now.


I absolutely agree! You and chissler bring up very important points! Thank you!

After my mother's death, I was the picture of strength all through the funeral and visits from family I took care of everything with a smile. And I felt quite proud for "taking it" so well. Two weeks later, at work, I completely broke down and had to start the grieving process all over again.

We can move in and out of victim - and feeling like a victim isn't a "bad" thing. It's (as Semper said) "living in victim" and refusing to budge that can ruin one's life.

I LOVE this discussion and thank you all for participating! It really helps me to remember what's important!

Thank you, XphilesPhan! I really appreciate the WATS and your views.


[edit on 18-2-2007 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 12:47 PM
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I worked with a group of battered women years ago and was delightfully surprised to see genuinely victimized people standing up for themselves. Some timidly and gingerly at first but they came to that support group because somewhere deep inside them they knew it was wrong to be victimized. They didn't want to be victims. Some were looking for validation of their new-found survivor mentality and some just needed to vent their anger. I didn't look at any of them as victims even though they had been victimized. They were all survivors. Only one came in who whined that she "didn't have a choice" which made everyone angry. You always have a choice. Sometimes they're all crappy choices but just pick one and get on with your life.
I had a victimizing experience at a young age that colored my thinking for 30 years until one day it dawned on me that I was still being victimized by someone who had long ago forgotten all about me. I was still giving them power over me and it wasn't benefitting me or them. It stopped that day.
Some people need the attention that being a victim affords them and it's easier to get that attention by being a victim than by earning it through merit of effort. Hypochondriacs are a good example. We all get sick from time to time and can sympathize with those who are also suffering from some physical ailment but some people make an avocation of it. Not being a terribly therapeutic person when it comes to whiney behavior, I'd like to know if anyone has any suggestions for how to deal kindly but firmly with what I see as passive-aggressive behavior in these so-called "victims".



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 01:26 PM
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Originally posted by whitewave
Not being a terribly therapeutic person when it comes to whiney behavior, I'd like to know if anyone has any suggestions for how to deal kindly but firmly with what I see as passive-aggressive behavior in these so-called "victims".


I am also not terribly compassionate when it comes to "whiners", but one thing I have used in my life to influence other people in any situation is to put myself in their position and find their value in overcoming their situation. Too many times, we think that other people are like us and find the same value in things as we do.

Fo example, if someone is bored and they hate TV, it's not going to do much good to suggest that there's something good on the old tele. But if you know they like art, you can think about something artistic to suggest to them. That's not a very good example, really.
But the point is to find what THEY think is valuable or something they respect and work on that angle.

Ask questions and really listen. Who do they respect? Why? Who would they like to be more like? And then use that information to find their value to overcome. Make it really attractive for them.

If they respect Rambo because of his perseverance and would like to be more like Arnold Schwarzenegger, because he's so strong, you can then point out the feeling of power and control that is to be found in forgiving the past and moving on to a new future.

I admire the work you do. Thank you.



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 02:30 PM
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Thanks for the advice BH. It's a question I've struggled with for years. In dealing with hypochondriacs and passive-aggressives, I've come to realize that their real need is not the thing they're whinning about but a need for attention and validation of their worth. In my profession I rarely have time to sit and listen to them like they need/want but I do try to offer an encouraging word of self-validation that has nothing to do with their alleged problem. I don't like to "feed" the problem or focus attention away from what I see as the real issue-insecurity. There's a lot of lonely people out there who feel isolated and unsupported. Sometimes just a word of acknowledgement and appreciation for our fellow beings can go a long way.
We've all been the victims of one thing or another and some take longer to heal than others (god knows I took my time!) so people do need to have a safe environment in which to deal with their grieving/healing process.
The down side to being "helpful" is that these people tend to follow you around like puppy dogs or try to drag you into their drama. The hardest thing I have to do is say, "no. you have to stand on your own 2 feet and deal with it yourself. I'm not your savior."
Thanks for bringing this issue to light and I hope that by doing so you will have planted a seed of consideration that may lead to an epiphany and hopefully self-affirmative action on the part of those living in a victim mindset.



posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 08:33 AM
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Originally posted by whitewave
The down side to being "helpful" is that these people tend to follow you around like puppy dogs or try to drag you into their drama. The hardest thing I have to do is say, "no. you have to stand on your own 2 feet and deal with it yourself. I'm not your savior."


I know exactly what you mean here. I used to view myself as the world's free counselor. I was always there to listen and try to help. It benefited me in a way, thinking I was "'giving of myself" and helping people. But then, like you said, some of the more "needy" and/or "drama addicts" would latch onto me. At first, it's ok. I'm thinking they need someone and it might as well be me.

But these people tend to not have anything to contribute to the friendship. They're so needy, they're like a black hole, in that they suck up everything available, but have nothing to give back. Eventually, for my own mental and emotional health I have to say "No more." And that's REALLY hard! Especially when I know that if I let go, they may fall... I don't 'attach' to these people anymore.

I am no longer a "victim enabler". One who gets a feeling of self-worth by enabling victims to stay in their victim mentality.

The following is from a person who makes the differentiation between "true victims" and those who are mired in "victim mentality" with the use of a capital V, Victims being those who hold dear the victim mentality and wear their victimhood like a badge.



Enabling Victims

I'm thinking my dad has probably seen his fair share of victims in his line of work. But he's probably seen a lot of Victims, too. People who think the world OWES them because someone once Done Them Wrong.
...
Unfortunately, there are also people out there who wish they could be a Victim, but life just hasn't handed them a raw deal. There seem to be a lot of these people in Hollywood and government. They become Victim enablers... constantly telling the Victims that they're right, and someone SHOULD have to pay for what's been done so wrong to them.

The way these people see it, nintey-eight percent of the population has been done wrong somehow, and the other two percent should be more compassionate toward them... and they DO NOT accept saying, "I'm sorry that happened, but you're going to have to learn to deal with it," as compassion.

With so many Victims and Victim enablers running around out there, a lot of victims [small v] are paying the price because no one wants to get suckered into another Victim's soap opera, and it would take some time and involvement to be able to tell whether or not that's what will happen. That's a risk a lot of people just aren't willing to take anymore.

I expect all this to offend some people. In fact, I hope it does... that'll just make me feel like I've touched a nerve for a Victim or Victim enabler. Feel free to copy it and send it to anyone you think needs to read it.


Source format edited for readability.



posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 09:10 AM
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It is a very interesting concept BH.

In my field, it is a very fine line we are forced to walk. At what point do we say, "That is enough!" At what point do we have to take care of ourselves, in order to properly care for the individual? When is our "care" actually being manipulated into "enabling"?

It is like the airplane that is going down, and the mother and child in the seat. Our instinct is to throw ourselves under the bus and go for the child first. But if you think about it, you can do nothing for the child if you can not breath yourself. So to properly care for any person or victim, we must care for ourselves first. It is not selfish, it is an honest approach which will ultimately lead to our goal.

These "black-whole" relationships are something I am sure we all have. The person who talks, talks, and talks and is looking to sponge every lick of energy we have. When they finally finish kitchen sinking, we are left to pick up the pieces of ourselves. We can not allow this to happen to us, and we have to remember it is not selfish. These "black-wholes" need to understand that at some point, our enabling is going to end and they may have to empower themselves.

But like I said, it is a very fine line. When is too much? When does care transform to enabling?

Are we actually prepared to put a time frame on this for a rape victim? After six months we are no longer going to enable the victimization of yourself? Is that reasonable? I think if we as the "care giver" are falling to pieces, we owe it to ourselves to separate from the process. We owe it to ourselves, and the "survivor" to insert some separation. If not, we are going to be a detriment to them and ourselves.

Defining ourselves by our own misfortune

Rape victims, HIV/AIDS carriers, Cancer patients, etc., are all people who may, or may not, begin to define who they are by what has happened to them. Studies have shown in the past that an alleged carrier of AIDS will certainly define who he or she is by the disease. In time if it was proven to be a false diagnosis, the individual tends to be disappointed, rather than rejoicing. Why? Because they no longer are, who they are. They defined themself under the disease, and now that they no longer have the disease, they are unsure who they actually are. With rape or any other heinous crime, we may begin to stigmatize ourselves with this for life. To face our demons, or attempt to alleviate this pain and suffering, well that would redefine who we are. Some of these "victims" do not want to alleviate this pain and suffering.

When tragedy struck my family, I did not want to alleviate it. I wanted to inflict more of it. Like I have said, my own misfortunes began to define who I was.

Looking back now, defining myself by the tragedy that struck, was a bigger tragedy in and of itself.

Now I am in no way, shape, or form saying that it is a bad thing for an AIDS victim to define him or her self by the disease. AIDS tends to be viewed as a conclusion, so it may be more appropriate to define one self. But to define ourselves as a "rape victim" is something that is causing just as much harm as the rape itself.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I am no longer a "victim enabler". One who gets a feeling of self-worth by enabling victims to stay in their victim mentality.


When in the moment, this may come across as very cold-hearted and down right cruel. But it really is necessary. We must break the cycle that victims find themself in and show them the route to self-empowerment. When we see the victim getting more from the care and attention we are offering, I think it is suffice to say that it is time for them to face the demons and overcome this adversity.

[edit on 20-2-2007 by chissler]



posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 03:27 PM
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I also think that in a discussion such as this, we should at least touch on the individuals that prosper in the victim mindset..

Take for instance the ACLU; if we had a magic wand, waved it and eliminated all victims, there would be no need for the ACLU and MANY high dollar attorney's would be out of work. I am sure they like their lifestyle, so it behooves them to propagate this psychosis as much as possible.

Perhaps more poignant an example would be those individuals that are making millions off of the continuation of the racial divide. Faracon, Jackson etc. In their seeming crusade against racism, are they not more efficiently "stoking the fire" as it were? I am not sure of the numbers, but who can doubt the money that they have made in their relentless pursuit of equality. If true color blind equality were ever achieved, would they be able to continue in their lifestyle?

Man is far too greedy to allow such a cash cow as victimization to ever be eradicated...

Semper



posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 06:51 PM
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Interesting story about perpetuating the victim mentality. It's a Great Article! It's short. I recommend reading it.



Tennie Pierce, a black 19-year veteran firefighter, recently won a $2.7 million settlement from the Los Angeles City Council.

Here's the story. Following a firehouse volleyball game, fellow firefighters laced Pierce's spaghetti with dog food to "humble" him. Pierce, who calls himself "the Big Dog," took a few bites, saw three co-conspirator firefighters -- two whites, one Latino -- laughing, and demanded to know why the chuckling.

Pierce, after learning that the firefighters -- in an undoubtedly good-natured way -- placed dog food in his spaghetti, called the prank "racist"! He hired a lawyer, found an "expert" witness who associated the consumption of dog food with "300 years" of discrimination against blacks, and successfully settled the case with the city.


The story goes on to say that Pierce was well-known for playing pranks on people (including shaving of the pubic hairs of a fellow firefighter). He urged his fellow vollyballers to "feed the Big Dog" during the game.

Very Important response to this story: A responder to the article writes:



The perpetuation of the victim mentality... does nothing to further long-term the black cause in this country. Quite the opposite, in fact-- like affirmative action, it perpetuates the stereotype that blacks can't make it on their own, but rather need to tilt the playing field and get help from "big brother", in this case in the form of the legal system in order to get anywhere in our society. These absurd lawsuits only polarize things more and anger whites who might otherwise be sympathetic to the real issues affecting the black community-- lack of education, crime, single parent families, horrible neighborhoods,etc.

Where are the other black leaders in all this? The Jesse Jackson's, Sharpton's and others or their ilk are the worst kind of Quislings-- looking to enrich and empower themselves by encouring blacks to continue their "victim" mentality, at every real or imagined slight.


I'm not trying to make this about race. And certainly race isn't the only area in which people have a victim mentality. But I believe it's one of the more important areas in society where victim mentality is actually a threat to the well-being of a "social group" of people. Namely blacks in the USA. The perpetuation of victim mentality in the black community actually keeps them from getting what they long for and deserve as illustrated above.



posted on Feb, 21 2007 @ 03:00 PM
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I agree about the "Victim Mindset". I have had it, I've know people who have had it. I know of a woman who was abused, who turned it around and learned how to kickbox. This gave her back the mental control of her life that she needed.



posted on Feb, 26 2007 @ 03:04 AM
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Originally posted by Siren
If you are a gentile, it would be hard for you to see yourself as you truly are and what a catastrophic impact has been inflicted upon the rest of the world by gentile mentality.


Someone want to clarify what exactly "gentile mentality" is?

Because it appears to me to be nothing more than abusive rhetoric.

That is all.



posted on Feb, 26 2007 @ 10:13 AM
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Originally posted by wagnerian21
Someone want to clarify what exactly "gentile mentality" is?


I have no idea. But let me say that I'm not at all sure the poster understood the subject of this thread. They were talking about Victimology, which is the study of why certain people become victims of crimes.

That's not what we were talking about.
At all.


We're talking about the Victim Mindset or the Victim Mentality, which, if you've read the thread, has been explained. Several times.



posted on Feb, 26 2007 @ 03:07 PM
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posted on Feb, 26 2007 @ 03:22 PM
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There is also the phenomenon of defeatism.

I believe this can be closely related to what may be perceived as a "victim mindset."

There is a point at which we will all give up. Though some may deny this, it exists in us all. Some may be strong enough to endure past all human expectations, yet there will be a point at which the mind discontinues the struggle to comprehend what is happening to it.

Once in this mindset, even though the negative input is past, the mind remains in a defeated mode so to speak.

One finds this most readily in adult male providers that suddenly find themselves unemployed. Especially after a number of years in the same profession.
It is almost always compounded by embarrassment, shame and misdiagnoses as simple depression.

Just a continuing thought into the subject matter...

Semper



posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 01:56 PM
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about the defeatism.

I see it in alot of people, I'm guilty of it. When you work for a certain unattainable goal. Or you just never seem to be able to get you head above water, some people just give up, and stop fighting.


PS Hey I saw the promo for the new fantastic four, it had the Silver Surfer as a bad guy...what gives Semper?

[edit on 1-3-2007 by Royal76]



posted on Mar, 20 2007 @ 03:14 PM
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I ran across this today and had to put it in here...

It seems that some public schools in Washington and Kentucky have plans to consider the child's race when deciding which school they will attend. There are several reasons this author is against such a plan. But I'm concentrating on one below.

Race Based School Assignments



[T]he inherent costs in classifying children by their skin color and treating them differently on that account are overwhelming, and cannot be eliminated by any amount of so-called narrow tailoring. The high costs of telling schoolchildren that they will or won’t be allowed to attend the school they like, depending on their skin color, include the facts that:

* such preferences are personally unfair;
* they set a disturbing legal, political, and moral precedent in favor of allowing government discrimination;
* they create resentment;
* they teach racial essentialism--that is, that racial identity is very important and tells us something very significant about a person;
* they encourage the embrace and exaltation of such a racial identity, as well as a victim mindset;

* they get government actors involved in unsavory activities like deciding which racial and ethnic groups should be “counted” and how, and how one determines authentic group membership (note that, in these cases, Seattle decided that the two relevant groups were “white” and “nonwhite,” while Louisville decided that the two groups were “black” and “nonblack,” so Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans, Arab Americans, etc. were treated as honorary blacks in Seattle but honorary whites in Louisville);
* and, of course, if race is being used to determine school assignments, then other, neutral, fairer factors are not being weighed, or are being weighed less.


And, of course what caught my eye was that to place a child in a particular school because of his race encourages a racial victim mindset. For a child to be set apart because of his race, regardless of the well-meaning adults, lets the child know that his race makes him "special" somehow. And depending on whether he likes the school he's assigned to or not, can set him up for a lifetime of "they did that because of my race" victim statements.



posted on Mar, 21 2007 @ 05:10 AM
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Again the separation of society and the continuance of the Victim Culture..

More and more it is becoming clear that there are LARGE groups that have no desire to move past our past prejudices...

Semper





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