7 – Are You a Passive Victim?

In my previous post, entitled “Being a Victim”, I listed what I believe to be the three kinds of victims and went on to explain the first – the “ignorant” victim. In this post, I’ll continue by explaining the second kind of victim:

A Passive Victim – is someone who knowingly or willingly suffers from a destructive or injurious action or behavior. Like the “ignorant” victim, the circumstances surrounding a “passive” victim can also run the gamut. It can be as seemingly harmless as a teenager who allows him/herself to be ridiculed repeatedly by peers in order to feel accepted as part of a group or it can be much more serious, such as a wife who stays in an abusive relationship, despite the fact that her husband repeatedly abuses her. The fact remains, the first time the abuse occurs (on any level), it most likely happens unknowingly (ignorant victim). Depending on the circumstance of being victimized, if a boundary is not immediately created, the abuse will most likely happen again. At this point, the person switches from being an “ignorant” victim to a “passive” victim. The real danger here, no matter how harmless the abuse may seem, is that it can become a learned behavior. Without getting too deep into the psychology of this, let me just say that being a “passive” victim is NOT a healthy place to be. At the very core, the “passive” victim is a sick individual, by the very nature of the word “passive”. To be passive is to not have control, but to allow someone else to do the controlling, whether in a good or bad way. On a personal note, no matter how you look at it, if you are allowing someone else to captain your ship (to control your life), you will never reach your full potential in life. Moreover, you will always live in a state of perpetual frustration. I could write volumes on this particular issue, as there is much on which to elaborate.

For brevity sake, let me just direct my words to you –

If you are a passive victim – you already know it – whether you want to admit it or not. By the very nature of what it means to be “passive”, you are complicit (in agreement) to being victimized, controlled, or manipulated. Choose whatever term you want to use “to be used.” If you want to change, if you want to regain control of your life, there are a couple of important things you need to do:

  1. Admit to yourself that you’re allowing it to happen.
  2. Stop it, stop it, stop it, stop it, stop it!

Sometimes, just admitting to yourself that you’re a “willing” victim is extremely difficult. Most of the time, it’s pretty easy to see. The most difficult part is to stop playing that role – to break that cycle, that learned response that’s been going on for so long. Few people can do it alone, but find that they need the support of healthy, objective friends, a counselor, God or a combination of all of these. Again, I could dig very deep into this particular subject, but I won’t. There are many good books that have already been written about the negative ramifications of being a victim. And there are many other familiar psychological terms that are used in the midst: codependent, addiction, etc. I only mention “victim” here, because I believe that to recognize it and to deal with it is of the utmost importance in living a healthy, balanced and productive life. For one to reach his/her full potential as a human being, there is no place for being a “passive” victim.

My hope is that if you’re a passive victim, that it’s easily recognizable and also easy for you to rectify the situation. If it’s not, feel free to contact me and we can talk. If I can’t help you, I can help you find someone who can.

For now, to move forward, search your heart and your life. Analyze your relationships with those who are close to you. If you’re playing the role of “passive” victim, it’s time for a change. I would also add that you should analyze your relationship with yourself. That may sound strange, but it’s also quite possible for us to willingly be a victim of our own bad behavior, but that’s for another discussion.

Remember, as Christ said: “if you know the Truth, the Truth will set you free.” Right now, my question for you is – Do you know the truth about your own life?

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