Am I a Victim?

Tuesday 15 March 2011: 4 years 6 months on …

Folly of Victim Syndrome

(from Boardroom Basics by Piet Naude: The Herald 15 March 2011)

The victim-syndrome is rife in our country. It refers to people who have endured bad luck or suffering. They then use this suffering as a platform to feel sorry for themselves. The self-pity slowly saps their energy away and then blame sets in.

The blame then turns into anger.

This anger then develops into an attitude of entitlement: “The world owes me” and “I really deserve a better deal” and “look at me in comparison to others”.

This cycle of self-pity, blame, anger and entitlement is a deadly trap.

There is a simple but fool-proof three-step strategy to escape from this cycle:

First, you have to accept history or events that happened and which you cannot influence or change, no matter how hard you try.

Second, you have to consciously decide that your reaction to these facts is indeed under your own control. You can go the route of prolonged self-pity and anger and stay there, or you can decide to chart a constructive path.

Third, you have to take responsibility for the situation as it is and work to improve or change that. 

There are far too few people in this country who take responsibility and chart their own future. Looking back and looking inward can be good, but if your eyes only focus there, you rarely see the future.