I wanted to write about character building from the perspective of victim versus thriving.
I have been thinking about this for many years now, ever since people started to talk about being a survivor. At first, I loved the term a survivor because it was not feeling like a victim. But then after a while I started to notice that people who defined themselves as survivors kept having to survive. What I mean is they seemed to keep finding themselves in situations that required they stand up for themselves and survive. It was as if they could only feel strong in this specific equation of surviving.
Then I started to look at various terms that were used in this way and I noticed there were six Victim Scenarios: Protector, Survivor, Martyr, Victim, Perpetrator, and my personal favorite Savior. Some of these have more negative connotations, but the thing they have in common is to exist they require a victim for definition. These scenarios of being in the world require victimization in order to be defined.
Can you see how that works? Let’s look at the more positive scenarios: protector, survivor, savior – in order to be these there has to be a victim in the picture either to save or protect or the situation has to be negative and you have to survive it. So although these are focusing the energy in the correct direction away from the negative and with an increased sense of self-esteem – the scenario is still one of victimhood.
I think the thing that we need to be developing is a thriving mentality.
If we could avoid the feeling of victimization through this increased understanding that I’ve been writing about we could sidestep these victim scenarios and move straight to thriving.
Victim versus thriving: feeling like a victim decreases strength and self-esteem and yes feeling like a survivor can increase strength and self-esteem but only for that situation. What seems to happen is that it has to be re-done over and over to continue to feel strong. The strength and self-esteem are tied to the action of surviving rather than as part of the person.
However as a thriver the sense that whatever comes your way you will learn, grow, and build on it, is a sense of thriving in life – it is connected directly to the person as a generalized, increased self-esteem.
Moving from a victim scenario to a thriver is a paradigm shift. You can learn to not react to things that don’t matter, and know what to get angry about and what isn’t an injury. And you can teach this to your children. Spend a few minutes if you can, thinking about how you define yourself, what victim scenario you may be using, and what you may want to do to change that perspective of yourself into a thriver.
I’ve been writing about how to do this and I have more to say on this in future blogs. Stay tuned.
See you tomorrow,