How many times have you been victimized or witnessed it happening to someone else? No matter what the particular situation, someone is the victim while the other is the victimizer. This can develop into a mind-set called “victim consciousness” that can become a pervasive trap that is difficult to escape. It can result in a life filled with fear, anxiety and pain devoid of authentic love.

Each person has a unique experience of where and when victim conscious first began. Whether it was from lack of parental support, “down grading” from a teacher, an abusive companion the result is still the same: poor self-image, fear, and insecurity.

Victim consciousness can make a person say, be and do everything to please others, without regard for their own needs. Living with the sole purpose to give to others leaves a person without their own needs being met. Even though the person thinks they are doing the right thing by serving others, they have abandoned themselves. This abandonment can then lead to an inner desire to lash out and hurt others in both covert and overt ways. It is at this precise point that the victim can switch roles and become the victimizer.

Acts of aggression are not just the normally thought of physical or verbal lashing out, but also include non-physical or non-verbal acts. These non-physical and non-verbal acts are examples of “energetic aggression”. Energetic aggression can actually be as bad as, if not worse than, overt physical or verbal acts of aggression. Energetic aggression can be felt, but can’t be seen. It is when someone hits another person without uttering a word. It is simply done through feelings, feelings of aggression toward another individual. Even though people normally think others can’t feel these energetic acts of aggression, they are mistaken. People can feel it and they do know what another individual is feeling about them, even if it is not being openly said. They know it because they can feel it and on a subtle and sometimes not so subtle level.

Victimization has become a way too common scenario in life. A typical example may include the following:

• A wife does everything her husband demands regardless of her own desires and then wonders why she is depressed and feels worthless.

• A mother is manipulated by her nasty, condescending daughter to do things she doesn’t really believe in and then finds herself feeling guilty about wanting to seek revenge.

• An employee cowers inside as she interacts with her boss as if everything is wonderful, even though she is filled with fear that he will disapprove of her. But, at the same time she viciously gossips about him to fellow employees at every chance she gets.

• A friend or co-worker is outspoken and aggressive and you close down every time they confront you on an issue instead of opening up your mouth and saying what you feel. You then develop feelings of hate toward them.

Both parities in victim/victimizer relationships suffer from poor self-image, feelings of unworthiness and undeserving of better. Both parties end up filling each other’s gaps and it seems to work even though it is destructive. That’s what makes it such a veritable trap for so many.

There is a way to get out of this victim trap. Although once out of a victim predicament you must always be on guard for future abusive situations. One of the keys to recovery is to speak your truth and do things you really want to do. In other words, learning to say no when you really feel no. Stop going through life saying and doing everything to please someone else and in addition, stop caring whether they like it or not. I call this newly empowered self “victim in recovery.”

Another remedy for this situation is for each person to really begin to connect and communicate on a deep level so that they are really there for themselves. When this happens they are no longer abandoning themselves and they can truly come forward in life as compassionate and loving individuals without a trace of aggression. Change toward wholeness and positive feelings flourish when both victim and victimizer begin to realize how precious they are as individuals and that they deserve to receive what they need. More importantly, is the realization that this will only happen when they begin standing up for themselves and asking for that which they need. It is essential that we learn to love ourselves and share love with others, being not only good to ourselves but to each other.

The following steps are useful in your quest for victim recovery. Each person realizes and manifests change within their unique time frame. Please take gentle steps one at a time. Maintaining a victim-free life is a daily challenge even after it is achieved.

• Realize & accept that you are a victim and/or victimizer
• Replace fear with love, peace, and understanding for yourself
• Surround yourself with people you feel safe being around
• Speak your truth to yourself and to others
• Be kind and be there for yourself
• If you find yourself angry or depressed look inside and see what you are giving yourself
• Stop doing things to please others at your own expense
• Figure out what pleases you and just do it
• Say yes when you mean yes, and no when you mean no
• Create healthy boundaries around you
• Take back your power and don’t give it away anymore
• Acknowledge yourself for the true gift that you are
• Laugh at yourself for being so silly for so long Living a life filled with self-acceptance, self-worth, and love for yourself creates peace and healing not only within your self, but others. From a global perspective, when each person takes care of themselves in this way it releases aggressive behavior and thus creates healing and peace for our planet. Letting go of your victim and standing up for your self in life is an excellent step toward this goal.

Author's Bio: 

Shoshanna Katzman is author of Qigong for Staying Young: A Simple 20 Minute Workout to Cultivate Your Vital Energy, Avery/Penguin Group USA, October, 2003 along with a companion DVD and video produced by Swing Pictures, LLC. She has been a Tai Chi and Qigong practitioner since 1974 and Director of the Red Bank Acupuncture and Wellness Center ( since 1988. Shoshanna is Ambassador and the first woman President of the National Qigong Association ( She is also Secretary of the New Jersey Acupuncture Examining Board, producer of annual women wellness conferences (, and co-author of Feeling Light: The Holistic Solution to Permanent Weight Loss and Wellness Avon Books, 1997. Shoshanna can be reached at 732-758-1800 or visit to view and order her qigong book, DVD, and video.