Ugh. We don’t want to be vulnerable. It’s really uncomfortable to put yourself out there where someone might notice you, or worse, they call you out. It’s even more uncomfortable to tell someone you care about that you have some real failing or weakness, or maybe they have a problem you just can’t get around.
Our gut reaction is to get defensive and lash out. That’s a sure sign you’re playing the ‘victim card’.
The “D.A.M rule” was something I learned from a former Army M.P. buddy, years ago. In true military abbreviation-style, it stands for “D – Deny everything”, “A – Accept no responsibility” and “M – Make counter-accusations”. I guess it’s a rule to keep a person in the clear whether they deserve to be or not, but it certainly fits the victim-role. When someone says something about me, or says something mean to me, my first reaction is to get defensive; I usually brood over it as I disappear into the background trying not to draw anymore unwanted attention to myself. I feel sorry for myself, making myself the victim and making someone else the villain.
All I can say is I’m working on it and trying to learn better strategies for dealing with my vulnerabilities and the victim mentality. Also, feel free to talk about it with me in the comments section, if you like.
But vulnerability is the counter to victim-hood and blame. Being vulnerable doesn’t require that we hang a mill-stone around anyone’s neck, seek revenge or judgement. It actually allows others to say and be who they are without being harangued, attacked or manipulated through guilt. When I get to a point where I can hear the words of someone else – and those words may even hurt me inside, but I can still weigh them for what they are – opinions held by someone else that I can either own or dismiss without any pageantry, bluster or knee-jerk reaction – then I’ll be just a little more emotionally mature than I was before.
Not an easy task.