Life Useful Bits of Advice

Who Wants To Follow Their Own Advice?


Sometimes I love playing the victim.  I don’t realize it at the time, but that’s exactly what I am doing.  I look at my circumstances or how someone has “wronged me” and I feel sorry for myself.

I vent to my friends in order to validate my own feelings.  I gossip and spin my stories to manipulate the situation.  I want people on my side when things go wrong so they can pick me up, tell me everything will be ok and that I deserve better.  It’s all about ME and MY feelings.

I don’t want to take accountability for my part.  I entered, or re-entered at times, relationships with the understanding of who these people are.  Being naive enough to hope they will change or act the way I see fit.

That’s called being a volunteer victim.  I see countless people playing this role every day.  I despise it, it’s one of my pet peeves.  I call my friends out on it every time I spot the behavior.  Then I turn around and act this way myself.  I’m a hypocrite.

I have lofty expectations others can’t fulfill.  That’s the first problem.  Placing my expectations on anyone else is setting them up for failure.  Any pain and suffering I experience because of the relationship is my fault.

I invest time and emotions into people with poor track records.  Knowing deep down I will ultimately be disappointed and let down.  That was my choice to make.  I knew better and still decided to proceed forward anyway.  I can’t blame others for doing what they always do

It’s the story of The Scorpion and the Frog.  The scorpion asks the frog if he can ride on his back across the river because he cannot swim.  The frog asks, “How do I know that if I try to help you, you won’t try to kill me?”  The scorpion assures the frog he wouldn’t do that because it would leave to his demise as well.  Half way across the river the scorpion stings the frog.  Before the frog dies he says, “You fool, why would you do that now we will both die.”  The scorpions only response was, “I could not help myself. It is my nature.”

I don’t think people realize they are the scorpion.  In past relationships I was unaware I played this role until it was already far too late.  I didn’t mean to sabotage what I had, but the behavior felt natural.  I told myself, “this was what I do, I mess things up.”  It was a self fulfilling prophecy.  It became ingrained in my character to act a certain way.

Occasionally both people are the scorpion.  That’s the problem with being a victim, you never quite understand the other person’s perspective.  You become too consumed with how you feel to step back and appreciate what the other party may be feeling.  The victim can only understand they are hurt and its someone else’s fault.  They are certain they have nothing to do with the circumstances.

It’s difficult to act and feel differently when we have become programmed.  This is not to make excuses for our behavior or say it’s acceptable.  If we want better we have to do better.  Our thoughts, feelings and actions have to change.  It’s incredibly difficult to produce change and make it stick when we are continually reminded of why we guard ourselves in the first place.

We are imperfect, highly flawed and damaged from years of trudging along the tumultuous road of life.  We would rather hurt others first before they can hurt us.  We become selfish and guarded.  From my experience living a safe, guarded life will never produce astonishing results.   Instead, you will get by settling for mediocrity.

People are who they are.  Either accept them for that or move on with your life without them.  Never expect anyone to change or try to change them.  If you feel the need to change them, they probably shouldn’t be in your life in the first place.

I know all of this is much easier said then done.  I’m not that drunk off my own advice to pretend otherwise.  I struggle and fail to practice what I preach.  If I didn’t I wouldn’t be writing about it now trying to figure it out for myself.

I’ve learned when I am able to accept people for who they are, not project my expectations on them and make firm decisions about whether or not I can tolerate having them into my life, everything in my world becomes easier and more enjoyable.  I can live my life without the worry of disappointments I can’t control.  Sometimes people even step up and surprise me with their actions.  I don’t have to play the pathetic victim role because I take responsibility for what determines happiness in my life, which are my thoughts and my actions.

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