You are neither the victim nor offender in your life

Recently, a co-worker shared with me a hilariously accurate Instagram account that posts memes about Zodiac signs. I noticed a trend in these memes about one aspect of Pisces: we constantly play the victim card. I knew about this, but I think the repetitive occurrence of this trait in the memes really ingrained it in my mind, and as I drove to work this morning, my mind wandered as it is wont to do and came up with an interesting idea.ย 

(P.S. I am not talking in any way about victims of traumatic events. I am talking more in relation to everyday settings.)

It’s true that as a Pisces, I consider myself a victim or a misunderstood martyr of sorts at times. However, this may be equally balanced out with considering myself an offender of sorts. I always feel bad. For example, this weekend, I said no to something. I can say no easily. But then I’m tormented by guilt for a good few hours.

This brings me to blood types. In South Korea, there are the Lunar Zodiac signs as well as blood type stereotypes (they do not really do astrological signs). The blood type stereotypes do not have as many memes as it does cartoons.

If you look at this one cartoon below, blood type A, which is also what I am, immediately becomes paranoid and overthinks the situation. Blood type A wonders if she did something wrong to upset AB, causing her to run away (blood type O follows to console AB). This overthinking also happens among Pisces. 

But with all things, none of this is all unique to Pisces and blood type As. We all do this to extent, some more than others. This is what made me wonder this morning in my car: why do we create such narratives that always put ourselves at a disadvantage? In our minds, we, at all times, are either a victim or a perpetrator. We are the ones who are either misunderstood or taken advantage of or outright ignored by others. But when we are not the victims, we are the ones who feel bad and guilty all the time, wondering if we had accidentally said something wrong or we are actually the bad guys (it’s easy to gaslight sensitive types, so we have to watch out for that).

We are rarely in a neutral mindset. We are on either end of a spectrum, and both these ends are negative.

Interestingly enough, both of these aspects come off quite self-centered. No matter what, we make this about ourselves. When we think we are the victims, we are engaging in too much of thinking about ourselves rather than others and their situations. When we think we are the wrongdoers, we are engaging in too much of making ourselves feel bad to absolve whatever sins we believed we committed. When worrying about whether we hurt others, we believe we are being empathetic, which we are, but we are also thinking about ourselves.

Hear me out as I go on a bit of a tangent. There is an article I read in which a woman felt more irritated than ameliorated when a friend kept apologizing for inconveniencing her–it switched the dynamics so it made her feel like she was the one in the wrong rather than the other person. Think of this from an outside perspective. If you were an outsider looking in, you would automatically relate and feel more for the one saying sorry than the one receiving it. You naturally root more for the person who seems to be feeling bad about something. You want to chant, “Forgive her! Forgive her!” and if that person does not do it, that person seems like a stubborn, unforgiving ghoul.

The writer of that article points out that this was really a way for the friend to feel better about what she did than actually to do better or fix the situation–a surprisingly shallow, guilt-freeing, get-out-of-jail-free card. The friend really just wanted to feel better about the situation, whether that made the writer feel better or not at all. Now no one here is to blame. The friend does not really notice what she is doing because society has woven this behavior into her genetic code over the years. She is not necessarily being selfish.ย 

you are neither the victim nor offender in your life // gallantlygal

But that brings us back to the idea of the second point in this idea: feeling like you did something wrong all the time does nothing for anybody. You really just have to move on rather than dwell on it, for your own sake as well as the other party’s. It isn’t up to you, as an intuitive type, to try to predict other people’s feelings and thoughts all the time. (This is similar to a constant, obsessive need for self-improvement; this means that you always think there is something wrong with you, and that any flaw means you are a terrible human being.)

See Also:  8 ways to keep yourself sane in a toxic environment

I am guilty of this. I am always engaged in guesswork because I want to be a considerate human being. But this is impossible. And it is not my responsibility. If someone is offended or hurt by me, it becomes their responsibility–for them and myself–to communicate such feelings to me because I can’t be expected to know or predict all of this at all times. My sole responsibility is to try my best not to offend or hurt others, but beyond that, things are out of my hand. I hate feeling like I’m walking on eggshells all the time and then prosecuting myself for an oversight.

We need to stop doing this to ourselves. We aren’t psychics. We are all human beings. We all can try our best while acknowledging that our best will not be enough all the time.

We also need to stop playing the victim card because, as I have said just before, it is our responsibility to make our feelings heard. As a Pisces, I hold in my feelings quite often because I don’t like unnecessary confrontation or tension and I often have self-doubt about whether my feelings are valid. That’s on me. All I can do is try to communicate my feelings–communication is clearly key here–and if the other person will not listen to me or acknowledge that I feel a certain way, that is on them, and I should feel free to move on–either in that moment or from that situation or person entirely.

Remember this: you are the hero in your own narrative. Create the right narrative. You are not a secondary character in your own story. Click To Tweet

Both feeling like a victim and feeling like a perpetrator take away from us a feeling of control. We remove control from our lives and spiral into a whirlpool of being and feeling rather than doing and living. It is on others to make us feel appreciated. It is on fate or the world to accept our apology and make us feel better about our decisions or behavior.

A protagonist in a book is a protagonist because they take action. Otherwise the conflict would never be resolved. If we truly are feeling like a protagonist rather than the victim or antagonist, we need to behave accordingly and take action rather than fester and ferment in negative emotions that help nobody.

If we do feel wronged, we make it right. We talk to people. We find a solution. We do our best not to be victims again. If we feel we were in the wrong, we make it right. We give a genuine apology. We do a meaningful gesture. We take note not to do it again. Then we move on.

Remember this: you are the hero in your own narrative. Create the right narrative. You are not a secondary character in your own story. Of course there will be times you will be the victim or the bad guy, but it is silly to think you are either one or the other all of the time.

Do yourself a favor. Remember that you are your own hero. You are the protagonist of the story. You hold the pen to your own narrative through the actions and thoughts you take. So try to be kinder to yourself! You are too strong to be a victim all the time. You love yourself too much to always condemn your own soul.

If you are a sensitive soul like me, this is going to be hard to overcome, but always remember to have both respect and empathy for yourself. 

Gallantly,

gallantly gal
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2 Comments

  1. Lani

    September 25, 2019 at 6:11 am

    I appreciate what you blog about, mainly positive, self-improvement posts which is not easy nor fashionable during these times. And this particular topic is a tough one because so much of our lifelong habits and feelings about ourselves are wrapped up in this.

    This mentality is most readily seen during driving. We are ALWAYS the victim. Hahahahha. Never the one who cut someone else off, never the one holding up traffic.

    It can also be tough for folks like me who have a tendency to second guess, but also blab out whatever’s on my mind in an attempt to be funny. What a combo! Now there’s a head-scratcher.

    So many self-help gurus remind us to ‘not take things so seriously’ and I have to admit, that’s pretty damn good advice. And also to understand that everything’s not about YOU. What? Tragic. Hahahaha. Great post.

    1. gallantly gal

      September 25, 2019 at 11:59 pm

      Thank you so much, Lani ๐Ÿ™‚ I always appreciate your kind words and thoughtful comments! That is such a great analogy with driving. We do often think we are the victim to other people’s reckless driving! Haha.
      It is always hard to remind yourself it’s not about you in anyway, but it is a key point to sanity!

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