During a recent conference call with our TED* Practitioners, one made the comment that she dislikes interacting with Victims and sets strict boundaries to make sure she stays away from people who complain and/or wallow in their powerlessness. She said, “I have very little patience with people who play the victim role in the DDT (Dread Drama Triangle)™. I think the best way to deal with victims is to just stay away from them.”
I can understand that comment. Once we commit to living our lives as consistently as possible from the perspective of a Creator, it can be challenging to be with someone who is behaving out of Victimhood. In response to her statement, I shared a way that we can engage with such a person and still see and respond to them as a Creator.
The first step is to acknowledge the Victim’s pain and/or emotion without reinforcing their stance as a victim.
My experience is that we can never argue against another’s sense of victimization. If we react by saying “You are just being a Victim,” the chances are quite high that they will react defensively, thus perpetuating their Victim Stance. Instead, we can hear them out—listen to their complaint or whining about their life situation—and then offer a statement of compassion: “I hear your pain” (or frustration or whatever the emotion and/or sense of loss is for them).
I also like what Thich Nhat Hanh, the revered Buddhist Vietnamese Monk, says about how we can express compassion to Victims in our life. He says: “I care about your suffering.” We may not say those exact words but we can express our care and compassion without becoming a Rescuer and attempting to fix or save them from their pain. We can merely offer kind and gentle words to others and let our genuine compassion be the expression that needs no other action.
Rather than turning away from those who live in the Victim role, try expressing your concern—let them know you care and that you hear their pain. Then step away, not needing to reflect on that pain, or trying to fix or interfere with their victim mentality. Knowing that they are heard, seen and loved may allow them to begin a new way of being. It is for them to choose.
For you, acknowledging your compassion and appreciation for them liberates your energy in the relationship.