Playing the Victim

As time goes on, we continually question ourselves and try to figure out how to build the life we imagined. There comes a point where things pile up and get overwhelming- then, you are left with the choice of either taking action to make a change or staying in the hypothetical, wondering if the grass is truly greener.

What people are looking at when they intensely staring at their phones.

What people are looking at when they intensely staring at their phones.

A common snippet of a conversation I think everyone has heard and participated in:

"Work and life has just been so crazy, I just can't do anything else right now. But I don't have a choice!"

At my age and in my generation in particular, I frequently hear about how people are miserable in their first and/or second jobs, complaints about a troubled relationship, or how life is just so damn hard. Yet about 90% of the time, no one actually does anything about it to change their situations for the better.

Why?

We love to play the victim. Because there's a secret sense of relief and freedom in believing that what happened to us was out of our control. We'd never admit it but in reality, we handcuff ourselves- with our responsibilities, with our pride. So when something is asked of us, we dramatically shake our shackles at them saying "I can't!" (Insert dramatic wail for effect)

Go ahead, ask a New Yorker in particular how they're doing. One of the first things they say is "I'm so busy!" It's like a gold star that we proudly wear on our chest. If you're busy, that means you're doing something important, right? 

The phrases "I can't" and "I don't have a choice," are an easy cop-out.

Sure, it's a scary thing to take ownership, because then that means it's all on you if something falls to pieces. And of course, people have their burdens and commitments that can pose as legitimate obstacles- finances, family, relationships. 

But that doesn't mean you don't have a choice to at least try to make things better. You can't always control certain situations that happen to you, but you do control how you react to and deal with them.

Life is difficult, and it can feel enormously overwhelming at times. But remembering that it's yours and that you are in the driver's seat makes it more liberating and empowering to take control of the wheel. No one can make you a victim except yourself. The key to your handcuffs is action, and taking action gives you your freedom.