I wanted to talk about the victimhood mentality that has taken over my generation, the Millennials. It seems like everywhere you turn, Millennials can be seen bitching, moaning, and being ‘outraged’. Combine it with perpetuating fact-lacking propaganda fueled by hormones and a desire to be seen as a ‘revolutionary’ and we have got ourselves a recipe for disaster. The trend of being the first to point out micro-aggressions, shaming, and the demand for safe spaces is how the term ‘Snowflake’ evolved as this group of young people have an emotional state that is seemingly as ‘delicate as a Snowflake’.
Let me make something clear before I move on. I don’t think being a ‘Snowflake’ is as awful as the media makes it sound. To me, it tells me that these people are empathetic, sensitive, caring, and are deeply impacted by events in the world. However, the consequences of these traits paired with attention seeking behavior gets you trapped in a fish-bowl where you are swimming in pessimism, lack, and victimhood.
Disclaimer– I am all of the above traits. I am extremely empathetic, sensitive, caring, and am deeply impacted by events in the world. I hear certain stories and legitimately cry and wish I could do something about it, when I am really passionate about a subject I may go on a Facebook rant about it. However, you can feel certain ways about these things without getting yourself caught in the victimhood talons and perpetuating the victim narrative. Instead of being a pessimist about these ideas and world events, I am the polar opposite– I am optimistic about everything.
I try to look at everyones’ perspectives, I take into consideration others’ world views and psychological makeup. I attack ideas rather than people and that is the primary difference between being empathetic and being a ‘Snowflake’ that is offended, outraged, and the victim of practically everything. If you can’t have civil discourse about things you are passionate about, offended by, or dislike, then you are part of the problem.
Here is my question- when did being a victim become the latest fashion trend?
Basic psychology states that the Ego operates on secondary motivations, aka attention seeking behavior. I personally think that many young people are looking for attention and being outraged and/or the victim of something puts them on the fast-track to what they want- attention.
I am here to tell you that being a victim isn’t a good look–I think it’s quite the opposite.
You know what I think is cool? Being resilient and enduring painful experiences and using those experience to become a better person. You can either fall victim to your circumstances or you can use it as leverage to be a better person. All of the people I respect and look up to have gone through some actual real shit, not simply being outraged because their candidate lost or they are ‘triggered’ by opposing opinions.
One way you can start shifting your perspective is to understand the idea that people operate from their level of awareness and stop making things that other people say or do impact you– aka stop taking things so damn personally! Now I am not saying don’t be an advocate for change, however, actions speak louder than words and social media posts. When you fall into the victim-mentality trap, your ego is being fueled by secondary motivations.
The only way out of the victimhood mentality is to tell a new story about yourself. Don’t say you suffer with this, or this happened to you and poor me. NO. Start looking at painful experiences and what they did to transform your life for the better. How did you leverage that pain? What lesson was learned from that experience, how can you actually ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’ instead of just bitching on social media about how pissed you are?
For example, I could dwell on a lot of things that happened to me in my life, but at an early age, I constantly looked at those bad situations and learned lessons from them. I became the person that I wish I had when I was younger. I broke the cycle of addiction and criminal behavior in my immediate and extended family. I wanted to be a success story instead of another statistic. I realized that if I wanted something, nobody was going to hand it to me and I was going to have to pull myself up out of my occasional victim-hood induced depressive episodes and learn how to roll with the punches.
As a mother, I absolutely have zero time to spend complaining about things that don’t directly impact myself or my children. Again, I am not saying you can’t be upset about world events, all I am saying is don’t let it ruin your day. Stop perpetuating negative narratives and start actually doing something for your cause instead of bitching about it. Go volunteer, go donate time or money to your cause, there are so many ways you can actually help the things that outrage you instead of simply bitching about it all the time.
We need to shift the conversation from a place of victimhood and start talking about what rises from the ashes instead of wallowing in the wreckage; nobody likes a Debbie-Downer!
I highly encourage everyone who feels outraged and offended constantly to do some intense self-examination and ask themselves tough questions such as ‘am I using this incident to be outraged to serve as a springboard for my ego’?
There are causes, events, and things people say or do that I wouldn’t do, don’t agree with, or am flat out am disgusted by….But you know what? I don’t let the words or actions of others impact my emotional state in this way, I don’t take these things personally because they are not about me.
Stop trying to insert yourself into a situation and make it about you, I promise you it isn’t about you. Unless someone directly comes to me and insults me personally rather than my ideas, that is when I would take it personally and we now have a problem.
I can promise you that once you break this thought pattern, you will free up so much emotional space that you will have more time to worry about things that you are actually passionate about or that make you happy.
Focus on your strengths instead of the victim mentality of that comes from a place of lack. Be the change you wish to see in the world and lead by example.
Bitching gets you nowhere– resilience and determination will get you where you want to go and trust me, it’s a much better look and the impacts this mentality will have on your mood and mental health are worth more than gold!