Whenever I discuss my perspective on this subject with others, it stimulates “but what about” questions. “But what about the holocaust?” “But what about Cambodia in the 70s?” You get the idea.

My retort to those people is always the same; their reaction to my retort is always the same; the ensuing discussion is always the same. An abbreviated version goes something like this:

Them: “So Rand. You take a dim view of victim-hood. Aren’t there extreme examples in which people are really victimized?”

Me: “Look. Of course the recipients of torture and genocide are victimized. On a less destructive level, every person gets taken advantage of at one time or another. There is a huge difference, however, in being the recipient of treatment intended to victimize, on the one hand, and regarding one’s self as a victim, on the other.”

Them: “I don’t get it.”

Me: “Some people … MANY people marinate in a cauldron of psychic dysfunction. They whine about the way the world is. They complain about how ‘put-upon’ they are, by others. They continuously, boringly and irritatingly place the blame for their circumstances on everyone but themselves, and at some level, they like it! Here’s what they say: ‘I can’t get promoted because my boss is a jerk; my parents didn’t love me, so naturally I have no self-esteem; if that bartender hadn’t served me that tenth drink, I wouldn’t have hit that school bus; if the burger joint would only cut out the trans fats, I wouldn’t weigh 400 pounds; my business wouldn’t have gone bankrupt if it hadn’t been for (fill in the blank with one of these or choose your own similar answer: regulation, competition, legislation, prices, Bangaloor, third-world slave-shops, recessions, expansions, sinus headaches, male pattern baldness, the full moon).'”

While there may be an element of truth in some of those assertions, these people lay (and re-lay and re-lay) the foundation for living as victims. Here’s what happens: First, by defining themselves as victims, they automatically imply that someone or something else has imprisoned them. So, it only follows that they cannot escape from that prison; they must wait until they are freed by that someone or something else.

What an elegant scam!!! They can stay stuck where they are forever without taking action because in their minds, action would be fruitless. Then they can complain forever as their (so-called) victimizers do nothing to relieve their misery.

Second, they imply that their plight makes them unique. My response to that: “C’mon! Every human being has to deal with ‘stuff.’ It’s not your ‘stuff’ that determines your success. Everybody has ‘stuff.’ It’s what you do about it that determines your success. Get over yourself!”

Third, many victims are on a recruiting mission. They want to geometrically increase the membership of their two clubs: The Loyal Order of Irritating, Recreational Whining Victims of America, and its sister organization The Submissive, Indulgent Enablers of the Loyal Order of Irritating, Recreational Whining Victims of America. The former group retains the services of a slew of personal injury lawyers, ready to extract large sums of money from those they believe are to blame for their malaise – everyone but them. Members of the latter group (which is the farm team for the first group) listen and bob their heads in agreement as the whiney victims do their whiney thing. Both clubs meet at water coolers and in rest rooms of America’s leading companies and institutions.

So, here’s the bottom line: Whiners and victims are psychic vampires. They will suck the life out of any room they enter and suck the energy out of the people in it! Stay as far away as possible from these people. Instead, seek out members of the “I am Responsible and Accountable for Everything in My Life Association.”

Their motto: “No excuses, ever!”

I am not implying that we can all control all of the outcomes in our lives. I do believe the following without equivocation:
• Most people can influence their outcomes to a far greater degree than they do.

• Personal accountability stimulates better planning and execution in business and in all the other arenas of life. It also stimulates reflection in the aftermath of life’s events that leads to the development of wisdom – a prerequisite for learning from experience as well as the RESULT of learning from experience.

• Blame, excuses and victim-hood are toxic and diversionary.

Remember this: What you think about, believe about, feel about and act about, comes about! I call it (in baseball parlance) the “four-bagger.” It’s true in all aspects of life. If you dwell on the inherent unfairness of the universe and how you have gotten a bad deal, get a check-up from the neck-up! The reason: You cannot be or become successful and fulfilled if you blame anyone or anything for your circumstances – ever!

Own your life – totally!

Copyright 2017 Rand Golletz

Author's Bio: 

Rand Golletz is the managing partner of Rand Golletz Performance Systems, a leadership development, executive coaching and consulting firm that works with senior corporate leaders and business owners on a wide range of issues, including interpersonal effectiveness, brand-building, sales management, strategy creation and implementation. For more information and to sign up for Rand's free newsletter, The Real Deal, visit http://www.randgolletz.com