Victim or victor?

Minor caveat: This is a little bit of a rant… So forgive me please.

I was having a chat with a mate about something at the weekend – actually not something, someone – and their approach to a situation and how by not taking control of it that they had became a victim of it, and ultimately themselves.

The words victim and victor have the same root origin. The prefix vict comes from latin and means to conquer. Of course, the victor is the one who does the conquering and the victim is the one who is conquered. Strange how two words can be so similar in origin, but so diametrically opposed in meaning.

We all know people with a victim mentality. This state of mind is usually characterised by a sense of helplessness. They feel powerless to change their situation. They engage frequently in the finger pointing /  blame game. Since they are powerless and have no control they couldn’t possibly be responsible for anything that happens to them – could they? No, it must be someone else’s fault. Natch.

They actively search for reasons why they are in the state they are in. It’s because of their race, gender, their economic status, or sexual orientation. Or it could be because of their faith, their appearance, or any number of other things; but they can always find a way to justify the blame.

Victimhood does exactly what the victim thinks it does. It holds the victim back. It prevents them from making progress. However, in many cases, it’s the belief in the victimisation itself and not the perceived victimisers that keeps people in their place.

By its very nature, victimhood is the polar opposite of victory. The victim is the conquered so it shouldn’t be surprising that they don’t share many traits with the victors. In the mind of the victor, blame is replaced by ownership and responsibility. Instead of wasting their energy trying to find someone to blame or searching for reasons why they haven’t moved forward, the victor takes responsibility for their situation and spends their energy looking at how they can change a situation. They don’t look for excuses; they look for ways to take action.

I get very frustrated by people that act the victim. It makes me sad that they appear to see life as a losing game, a source of oppression, and as if everyone is out to get them. They’re really not btw. These people stand little chance of having a fulfilling, happy and contented life. Ok, ok, ok. No one is happy and content all of the time, but how is happiness even possible with a negative outlook?

At the end of the day, whether victim or victor, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s the Law of Attraction in action. The person who thinks constantly about defeat, injustice and blame attracts more defeat, injustice and blame. A setback for a victim who attempts to move things forward is seen as the final straw. They give up.

Whereas the person whose focus is positive and proactive, well they generally attract more positivity and action. Even when they fail, they don’t look for blame, they look for the lesson to learn and they get back up and go at it again. No wonder they end up winning a whole lot more than they lose.

I’ll let you work out how that applies to running. And for the record I am not a victim.

Here’s my training log on Dailymile.

15 thoughts on “Victim or victor?

  1. I work on the basis there are 2 types of people in life…..drains & radiators & I much prefer the positive warmth of a radiators than the energy sapping drain!!

    Btw you are not only a victor you are also a radiator 🙂

  2. I love the radiators and drains description of people – I first heard that from @AnnieAkers and have kept it for use ever since.

    This is a great blog and one I think everyone can relate to. What intrigues me is that the victims I talk to often don’t recognise they are doing this to themselves – even with this level of description. They read it and say, “oh yes isn’t that terrible” with no lightbulb moment of realising that’s exactly what they do. A few coaching sessions later and they start to get there.

    So the challenge for us is to encourage victims to recognise their self-fulfilling prophecy and make a change – ideally a bit quicker, but it takes a while to change the habit of a lifetime.

    • Helen – thanks for your comments. I totally agree with you. The inidividual in question does exactly this, and then in the next breath they are proactively searching for the next thing / situation / person to blame for their personal circumstance.

      Pragmatically we all have the odd *victim* moment, nobody is immune from this. However for those where being the victim is the default setting what is demanded is shift in their behaviour which takes time, effort and discomfort to establish.

      Additionally we need to be aware of the fact that a victim compels others (us) to rescue them by holding us hostage to their alleged circumstances. We can help kick start their shift in behaviour by not rescuing them, but then the ball is in their court…

  3. What a great rant, I wish I could rant with such clarity of thought!

    Thank you for sharing Mel, and thanks to the other ladies (?) for adding to the conversation with insightful comments (I never seem to have much to add). Damn, must stop being the victim and focus more on being the radiator to mix a metaphor.

    • Thanks Sara. Happy to share. And yes the other *sharees* were female too!

      My rants are usually a complete mucking fuddle (pardon my french) hence the blog is used to try and make some sense of them. This particular rant appears to have struck a chord with a few people… And crack on mixing metaphors. Its the way forward 🙂

  4. Pingback: font {size: red;} » Blog Archive » What’s our vector, Victor?

  5. I was really pleased to find this website. I wanted to thanks for your time for this great read!! I surely enjoying every single small bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to have a look at new stuff you blog post.

  6. Nobody is a willing victim. Usually circumstantial, and beyond the victim’s control. Victor isn’t diametrically opposite victim. Abuser is the diametric opposite to victim. Victor is the victim triumphing over the abuser.

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