How To Stop Being Drained By people that play the “Victim”
We all have that one person.
The one who always needs to vent about something.
The one who posts very personal things on Facebook, (things that shouldn’t be on Facebook) because they want sympathy or attention.
The one who calls us at inopportune times to complain about their partner, their day, or how exhausted they are because of their job or their children…and keeps us on the phone way too long.
This friend is someone who can “suck the energy” right out of the room with their negativity and outlook on life. Everything is a drama.
If they don’t have anything troubling going on in their life, they find something in someone else’s life to complain about.
But there is something different about your relationship with this “friend”, something that makes it stressful to you.
People always tell you that you’re such a caring person, you’re truly empathetic, and compassionate, but with this person, YOU FEEL NONE OF THAT.
You cringe when their number comes up on the phone, and you debate on answering it, voicemail maybe?
You are numb to their “suffering.”
Why Some People Make You Want To Run And Hide
They rant, and complain because they want you to validate what they’re feeling.
“Can you believe so and so didn’t do this, and now I have to do that?”
You want to be helpful, be a “good person” and listen to them, offer support, but all you can manage is to politely nod and say, “I’m sorry things are bad.” You really want them to feel better, but it seems there is nothing you can say or do that will change their situation, because THEY won’t change their situation.
In the beginning, you felt good about trying to help them by offering them advice and giving them possible solutions, but your advice was met with the “Yeah, but…” response and a variety of reasons why they can’t possibly do the very thing that may help them.
“Yeah, but if I don’t do this, then that will happen…”
“Yeah, but I can’t do that, because this will happen”
“Yeah, I could just say no next time, but I don’t want them to be like ….”
It’s so frustrating! You feel torn and confused but ultimately want to distance yourself as much as possible, even if that means avoiding their calls or avoiding them.
If you feel deeply for others, then you struggle with putting the distance between you. You may even feel guilty for not wanting to talk to them or “be there” for them.
Why do you feel genuine empathy and care for some people, and then others make you want to leave the room?
It wasn’t until I finally understood that people are coming from two different places—from genuinely wanting help in helping themselves, or from wanting someone to feel sorry for them and “fuss” over them.
In other words, the people we want to run and hide from are probably coming from a place of self-abandonment.
What Is Self-Abandonment?
Victims Are Like Energy Vampires, Draining You Of Joy
When people don’t take responsibility for themselves, or blame others for their feelings, they drain you of your energy! They are like Energy Vampires!
If you’re empathetic and generally a caring person, you may try to be caring about solve his or her problems for them. The problem is that the energy vampire is not open to learning how to help themselves.
They resist your help and advice because they are unable to face their own underlying painful feelings and want to project them “out there” onto others by venting, complaining, and criticizing.
They feel better, but you feel drained!
This is the meaning of self-abandonment: refusing to do what’s in one’s best interest or denying, deflecting, or distracting oneself from pain.
And yes, we all have done it at one time or another, because we all have unexamined painful feelings. We do it by complaining to others, or by drinking too much, or by keeping our focus on our phones (social media, games, you tube, etc…)
But energy vampires, or victims, have subconsciously decided to avoid taking responsibility for their pain by making it your responsibility.
DON”T DO IT!
Stay strong and protect your energy.
How? By knowing how to take loving care of yourself rather than consoling the “victim.”
Be Kind But Take Loving Care Of Yourself, First
Let me give you an example of how important it is… When you are on a plane getting the emergency instructions for the “unlikely event of an emergency landing…” They instruct you put YOUR mask on FIRST. Why is that? Is it because if you must be able to have oxygen for yourself in order to help someone else…Think about that for a moment? How can you care for someone else if you can’t breathe?
And yes, I am suggesting that your emotional, mental and physical health is as important as oxygen!!
It means that you don’t put aside your own feelings to take care of another’s feelings—unless the other person is incapable of taking care of their own feelings (such as a toddler or a very physically or emotionally ill person).
In order to take loving care of yourself, you need to accept that you are helpless to help someone who isn’t open to learning about loving themselves.
You can certainly feel compassion for their pain and pray for them to open to learning about loving themselves, but you need to fully accept that you can’t help others who are not willing to help themselves—especially since it’s likely that much of their pain is coming from their own self-abandonment.
If you are unable to do this, because you feel guilty, obligated, or because you like feeling “needed,” it’s a sign that you may have issues with codependence, which is relying on others’ approval for your sense of self-worth.
And if that’s the case, then you have some healing to do on your own self-abandonment.
How To Heal Your Own Self-Abandonment And Stop Being A Doormat For Others
Many people who struggle with their own self-abandonment become doormats for those who want others to take responsibility for their pain.
If this is you, don’t despair. I know it’s difficult to say “no” to people because when you do, you’re wracked with guilt and shame.
That’s because of childhood patterns that started when your parents or caregivers led you to conclude (from direct experience or from your observation of their behavior) that you must take responsibility for another’s feelings.
You can heal from these subconscious patterns and begin to start saying “no” to energy vampires.
Mindfulness. Using mindfulness practices, you’ll learn how to become centered, calm, and kind. You have to learn how to value yourself more than you value their approval.
Take the time to learn how to care for yourself, like you care for others! You must learn how to welcome your own feelings, including the ones that say “I don’t have enough energy for this person!” When you start listening to your inner voice and trusting your own wisdom, you will find more peace and serenity in your life. you yourself don’t become one of these victim types that others want to avoid.
You need to set boundaries with this person. Boundaries are a necessary part of self care that helps us to manage our own feelings when others try to push us outside of what we really want to do. We must say no! when we need our own down time or just don’t have the energy to participate in whatever they are offering, without guilt! Its ok to need your own time to decompress and or do things you want to do! Its necessary to be your own friend, be nice to yourself and say no! If they get mad, they will get over it, the next time they want to vent! 😉
If someone you deeply care about is consumed with being a victim, loving yourself means that you compassionately embrace your heartbreak over how they are treating themselves and your helplessness over their intent to avoid responsibility for themselves.
It’s hard, I know, but this is the reality that we need to accept—that no matter how much we love and care about someone, we have no control over their choice to abandon themselves. But we do have control over the way we feel!
But you do have a choice over whether or not to heal yourself.
Take 10 minutes and settle your mind, settle your body and you will start to feel the power of inner healing begin!
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If you need help beyond this article, call and talk to a therapist now.
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