Did you support the magnificent fundraising efforts of Comic Relief’s ‘Red Nose Day’ on Friday last week? Since its launch in 1988, Red Nose Day (https://www.comicrelief.com/red-nose-day) has become something of a British institution, when people across the land get together and do something funny for money at home, school and work, raising money to help people living tough lives across the UK, Africa and beyond. The total raised so far this year is a staggering £73million and counting.
Whether it’s through organising, taking part, or by simply pledging a few pounds to a local or national fundraising event, we are a thankfully generous nation when it comes to taking action to support a good cause, such as helping the genuine victims of some of life’s horrible and challenging circumstances.
But how do we stand when it comes to supporting those people closer to home – family, friends, colleagues – who are self-imposed victims? We all know them. You may even be one of them yourself!
Those with a victim mentality tend to be experts in justifying their low standards of behaviour when it comes to their relationships, their jobs, their health – pretty much everything. They absolve their responsibilities to others, and become experts in justifying why they can’t or won’t take steps out of the comfort zone they have created for themselves. And yes, it is a comfort zone – ‘a situation in which you feel comfortable and in which your ability and determination are not being tested’ (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/comfort-zone).
I have experienced many clients like this: Some articulate their victim mentality from the gentle ‘poor me’ standpoint; some have a more aggressive ‘blaming and bitching about everybody else’ standpoint. Some take comfort in endless TV and social media, fast food and duvet days; some spiral deeper downwards into binging and addiction.
They can be most effective at bringing other people in to their world to share their b*llsh!t and stories with. If they know that their friends, families and colleagues will put up with their stories, then why will they ever need to change? Better still, they might be able to set up their own community of equally disengaged people who can support and join them in their behaviour – which makes it tougher for people who really care about them to challenge or stand up to them.
Yes, we all know people that we care about who have a victim mentality. And I reckon a lot of us are red-faced about them – embarrassed or angry by their behaviour, or by our own lack of action to support or challenge them to change.
If you’re privately thinking they should ‘get a life’, ‘pull themselves together’ or maybe just disappear altogether, you owe it to yourself to act now! The painful truth is that by feeling sorry or by putting up with them, you are guilty of colluding with them.
You may well find it easier to ‘show that you care’ by pledging a fiver to help victims that you don’t personally know, than to show that you care for victims that you do know. But please, pledge to make a difference to them today.
By helping them to look in the mirror, by sitting down with them and having that awkward conversation, you can help shape their destiny and be part of their solution. The first step might be to go for a walk or undertake some exercise with them, to cook a healthy meal and to drink some water with them, to accompany them to a job centre, citizen’s advice bureau, lawyer, counsellor or doctor, or to rehearse with them the sort of conversations that they say they’ve ‘been meaning to have’.
When it comes to challenging the unwanted attitude and behaviour of those you care about, please don’t choose to take the path of least resistance, or you’re likely to remain red-faced when you bump into them on it.
I would love the opportunity to support you in becoming the architect and builder of the most fulfilled and happiest life you could wish for yourself and for those you care about.
That’s why I have devised the Improve Your Life Now! programme which is full of tools such as 14 days of FREE video coaching, a FREE workbook and goals chart, all geared towards creating the life you deserve. All details are on my website www.paulstalker.com
Love the day.
Paul ‘Stalkie’ Stalker
The Mindset Man.