I was fascinated to hear Herman Cain, Republican candidate for President, clearly state that he refuses to be a victim. Would you agree that the opposite of a victim is a victimizer? It’s true. And everyone is capable of becoming both a victim and a victimizer.
But a third option exists. We always have the choice to respond to people and situations as victims, victimizers, or as problem-solvers looking for a win-win solution.
WHEN WE ACCEPT THE VICTIM POSITION As victims, we Avoid! Avoid! Avoid! Rather than confront and resolve issues, we give up our healthy, independent selves. We believe we need others to fix us or provide for us. So we avoid arguments and confrontation in order to feel safe. We could say that victims respond to people and situations from an under-dog, one-down position.
BUT THERE IS A PROBLEM The problem is that when we play the victim, we eventually find a way to become the victimizer.
WHEN WE ACCEPT THE VICTIMIZER POSITION As victimizers, we Control! Control! Control! “You need me to set things straight. I have all the answers. I know better. I’ll fix you and everyone else. It must be done my way.“ Victimizers respond to people and situations from a top-dog, one-up position. Being in control helps a victimizer feel safe.
THE VICTIM-VICTIMIZER SWING And just as victims swing into the victimizer position, every victimizer eventually collapses into the victim position. I call this swing from victim to victimizer or from victimizer to victim the “Victim-Victimizer Swing.”
WHAT ABOUT THE PROBLEM-SOLVER POSITION? Our solution as healthy problem-solvers begins with our commitment to a win-win solution and to being honest with ourselves. Using Eric Berne’s of “okayness” we might ask ourselves;
• Am I playing the victim: I’m not OK-You’re OK?
• Am I playing the victimizer: You’re not OK-I’m OK?
• Am I acting as a problem-solver: I’m OK-You’re OK?
Let’s hope that Mr. Cain continues to refuse to be a victim. May he stay out of the Victim-Victimizer Swing and always try to take the win-win problem-solver position.
Want to learn more about the Victim-Victimizer Swing? In her book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be The Choice-Cube Method, Dr. Beth Cujé helps you understand yourself. She sets forth tools and steps to give you choice and help you change. Just click here to get the first chapter of her book for FREE.