Sunday, May 04, 2008

what are the obstacles facing victims and martyrs?

This post is the second part of this post. Originally, I found this post here. I find these two posts on victims and martyrs helpful on this road of life.

What are obstacles facing victims and martyrs?

A. Victims often:
Lack the knowledge that they are being taken advantage of by others.
Are so used to a certain way of being treated that they don't recognize it as unhealthy for them.
Lack healthy self-esteem or self-concepts.
Have little belief in themselves.
Come from high-stress families where their rights were never respected; therefore, they lack the competencies, skills, and abilities to stand up for their rights.
Lack information about assertive behavior and have no experience in using assertive behavior.
Lack of ``others'' in their lives who can point out alternative healthy solutions to their problems.
Are timid, scared, and suspicious of help being offered to them.
Are skeptical about someone really wanting to help them.
Victims often hold to some of the following irrational beliefs in their lives:
You must be nice to everyone, even if they are not nice to you.
Life is supposed to be filled with unhappiness and uncertainty.
The small guy never wins.
This is the way things are supposed to be.
There are winners and losers in all transactions between people.
My role in life is to be a loser.
Most people are basically selfish, mean, self-centered and disrespectful.
You should never complain.
Take it like a ``man'' (woman)!
Be silent with your feelings.

Victims often do not stand up for their rights because they suffer from the irrational fear of:
taking a risk
the unknown
being overwhelmed emotionally and physically
loss of self-respect
making a mistake.

B. Martyrs often:
Are so caught up in their problems that they convince themselves no solution is possible.
Know they are being abused but are so used to it they can't visualize life any differently.
Lack healthy self-esteem and self-concepts.
Lack belief in themselves or in others.
Had ``martyr'' role models in their families of origin and do not see their own behavior as maladaptive.
Lack knowledge of assertiveness and may be either extremely passive or overly aggressive with their antagonists.
Have exhausted all of their outlets of ``helpers''
Find ``helpers'' hesitant offer assistance; their resistance and ``yes-but'' statements are too much for the helpers to overcome.
Manipulate their helpers. At first they are cooperative, open, verbal, and apparently honest in their assessment of their problems. However, once an objective helper begins to point out the martyr's contribution to the problem, they feign newer, bigger, and more complex problems to keep the helper's focus off of them.

Martyrs often hold to some of the following irrational beliefs in their lives:
You must be nice to people no matter how they treat you.
Everyone needs me and they would be lost without me.
I am depended upon.
It is my role to keep everything together, no matter what price I have to pay.
This is the way things are supposed to be.
I can never win in the situation I am in, but I can't leave it.
I must find a way to pay back those who hurt me.
I never get angry; I just get revenge.
My behavior is healthy, OK, but misunderstood by others.
The louder I complain, the greater the chances of being heard.

Martyrs often do not take the action required to resolve their problems because they suffer from the irrational fear of:
letting go
taking a risk
feeling guilty
being blamed for the problem
being seen as the real problem
being ignored in the future
being happy, peaceful, or content
loss of approval
losing the person(s) who are taking advantage of or abusing them

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