Being an Emotional Victim

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None of us like to think of ourselves as victims. The term “victim” brings to mind a pathetic image of a person who is powerless. Therefore, It comes as a shock to most of us to realize how often we allow ourselves to be emotional victims. Having counseled individuals, couples, families and business partners for 35 years, I know that many of us are victims much of the time without realizing it.

We are being victims anytime we give another person the power to define our worth. We are being victims anytime we make approval, sex, things, a substance, or an activity responsible for our feelings of happiness and lovability. We are being victims anytime we blame another for our feelings of fear, anger, hurt, aloneness, jealousy, disappointment, and so on. Whenever we choose to define ourselves externally, we are handing away power to others and we then feel controlled by their choices. When we choose to define ourselves internally through our connection with our spiritual Guidance, we move into personal power and personal responsibility. The moment we sincerely want to learn about our own intrinsic worth and what behavior is in our highest good, and we ask Spirit, we will receive answers. Most people do not realize how easy it is to receive answers from a spiritual Source. The answers will pop into your mind in words or pictures, or you will experience the answers through your feelings, when your sincere desire is to learn.

We always have two choices: we can try to find our happiness, peace, safety, security, lovability and worth through people, things, activities, and substances; or we can feel joyful, peaceful, safe, secure, lovable and worthy through connection with a spiritual Source of love and compassion – taking loving care of ourselves and loving others.

Whenever we choose to find our happiness and safety through others, then we have to try to control them to give us what we want. Then, when they don’t come through for us in the way we hoped they would, we feel victimized by their choices.

Here is an example: Don and Joyce are in a continual power struggle over how to handle their children. Joyce tends to be authoritarian while Don is fairly permissive. When Joyce gets frustrated with Don’s parenting, she generally yells at him about his permissiveness. Don often listens to Joyce rant and rave at him. Sometimes she goes on for over an hour and he just listens. Then, when he tries to talk with her, she refuses to listen. Don then feels victimized, complaining about how Joyce yells at him and refuses to listen to him.

When I asked Don in a counseling session with him why he sits and listens to Joyce, he stated that he hoped if he listened to her she would listen to him. I asked if she ever does listen during these conflicts, and he answered “No.”

“Why do you need her to listen to you?”
“I want to explain to her why I did what I did with the children.”

“Why do you need to explain it to her?”
“So she won’t be mad at me.”

Don allows himself to be yelled at by Joyce as his way of trying to control Joyce, hoping to get her to approve of him. Then he tried to explain to further control how she feels about him. When she won’t listen, he feels victimized by her yelling, blaming her for being such an angry, controlling person.

If Don were willing to take responsibility for approving of himself through his connection with his Higher Power, he would not listen to Joyce when she was yelling at him. Instead, he would set a limit against being yelled at, stating that he would listen to her only when she spoke to him with respect and only when she was open to learning with him. But as long as she has to approve of him for him to feel secure or worthy, he will not set this limit. Until Don opens to his spiritual Guidance for his security and worth, instead of handing this job to Joyce, he will be a victim of her unloving behavior.

Taking responsibility for our own feelings of worth and lovability through developing our spiritual connection, instead of giving that job to others, moves us out of being victims and into personal power.


Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including “Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?”, “Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By My Kids?”, “healing Your Aloneness”, “Inner Bonding”, and “Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God?” Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or mailto:margaret@innerbonding.com

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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