Sunday, May 04, 2008

ten differences between being a martyr or a victim

I ran across this article on Victims or Martyrs about five years ago. I found this post here.

1. Martyrs are people who recognize they are being taken advantage of and choose to remain in the situation. Victims are people who are taken advantage of but are unaware of being treated as such. Once victims recognize that they are being treated unfairly, they have the choice of remaining in the situation or not. If they stay, they risk becoming martyrs.

2. Martyrs are those who recognize that their rights are ignored and abused but choose to remain in the situation and continue to be treated this way. Victims are individuals whose rights are ignored and abused but were unaware that they would be treated in this manner before they entered the situation.

3. Martyrs are people who let others know how unfairly they are being treated but choose to remain in this unfair position. Victims are people who let others know they have been treated unfairly. They have the chance to leave or change the situation in which they have been victimized. Victims often suffer silently for long periods of time before they are able to verbalize the unfairness of their life situations.

4. Martyrs often knowingly continue to enable or set up situations in which their rights are violated or ignored. This ``setting up'' is like a prediction or prophecy of failure into which, consciously or unconsciously, the martyrs play, fulfilling the prophecy. Victims often unknowingly set themselves up for continued abuse and violation of their rights. They are often confused and bewildered as to why this occurs. They lack insight into the actions that bring on this abuse.

5. Martyrs often seek sympathy for their plight. They seek support, advice, and help from others. Yet they seem stuck in their current course of action and seem to be unable to resolve it. Victims frequently never seek help. They are often frustrated and lost as to what needs to be done to get them out of their current situation. Once victims have been offered help and make a conscious choice to remain stuck in their situation, they become martyrs.

6. Martyrs frequently let the people whom they feel are taking advantage of them know how badly they are being treated. Martyrs often resort to badgering, nagging, scolding, threatening, belittling, antagonizing, and verbally putting down those whom they perceive to be taking advantage of them. Victims rarely let the people who are taking advantage of them know how they feel about this treatment.

7. Martyrs often believe it is their obligation to remain in their position in life. They would feel guilty if they let go of the current situation. They fear taking the risk to change the situation. They are apparently comfortable, habituated, or submissive to the situation and believe a change would be worse for them and for the others in their lives. Victims often want a change and are desperate for a solution to their situation. As soon as a victim gives in to a situation, choosing not to resolve or correct it, they become martyrs. The saying, ``If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem,'' applies to the martyr's state in life.

8. Martyrs have a story line which is stereotypical and habitual. They rarely change their tales of woe. One can meet them several years later and find them still suffering from the fate they were experiencing when you last talked to them. Victims experience their plight temporarily, get help, and are more apt to get out of the situation. If after getting help and changing, victims experience the same problems later, they could be martyrs at that time.

9. Martyrs often mask their behavior with an aura of willingness and desire for behavioral change in their lives. Usually they are only fooling themselves, since the others in their lives can see by their behavior and attitude that there is no possibility of change. Victims usually are open and honest about their discomfort and willingly seek behavioral change. Their sincerity is easily perceived by others due to the actions and behavioral changes that take place.

10. Martyrs are ``professional'' help seekers. They make the rounds of paid and volunteer helpers, advice givers, counselors, consultants, anyone willing to listen to their tale of woe. Unfortunately, they usually ignore the assistance, advice, or direction they are given. This frequently results in their ``helpers'' giving up on them in frustration and discouragement. Victims, on the other hand, seek help in a ``crisis'' only after the pressure of their problems becomes too great for them to bear. They are highly motivated for a ``change'' and are rewarding people to work with as they and their helpers witness the benefits of the help, advice, and direction given.

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