At some point in our lives, I think we have all heard the saying that we are NOT supposed to yell “FIRE” in a crowded theatre. In fact, the origin of this comes from a court case that questioned the parameters of freedom of speech. In this case, it was argued that a person could not yell “FIRE” in a crowded theatre if there was not a fire. That, although there is indeed a protection of freedom of speech in the USA, the health and safety of individuals supersedes those rights.
I do not have a large laundry list of pet peeves, but there are indeed a few things that drive me crazy. One of these things is people crying “WOLF”. I have come to realize in my almost old age that I really do not enjoy drama or people in my life who seem to consistently breed drama. It appears that it is always the same people who are telling me about horrible situations they are facing or warning me about some impending calamity of sorts. While these individuals want to be comforted, I do not believe they really want the chaos to end. They like crying wolf, in fact I would venture to say that they LOVE crying wold – they THRIVE on the attention they receive.
I have known and worked with many individuals who seem to relish in their victim roles. They are constantly telling others how miserable they are because they always get the short end of the stick, are treated unfairly, etc. What I find so interesting about the individuals I know who cry “wolf” and claim victim, is that they cannot step back and see the larger picture. The larger picture is that most people do not feel victimized to the same degree and it appears the only correlation between victimization is the person who claims to be a victim…. in other words, they could play some part in the larger picture of their miserable life. While they do not really want to believe it, they are most likely creating to and exacerbating their own misery. My advice when you encounter someone like this who is in complete denial??? RUN LIKE MAD!!!
I believe that life is too short to waste it on individuals who are not healthy (or at least not willing to try to get healthy). We can be victims and focus on the negative, or we can find the wonderful things that are happening around us and focus on the beauty and kindness of our world. We can cry “wolf” of we can scream, “thank you!”
I personally prefer to choose the path of gratitude.
Today, 287 days ’til 40, I will challenge myself to keep my motives and my feelings in check. I will make sure that I am focusing on all the wonderful things in the world that surrounds me.
May 10, 2012 at 00:05
Is this post about my mom? 🙂
May 10, 2012 at 08:14
This made me laugh…. something tells me you won’t be the only one asking this question! 🙂
May 10, 2012 at 00:12
So very true, it is easy to fall into that kind of victim mentality, but it can also be your choice to not go that route and get help if you need it,
May 10, 2012 at 08:14
May 10, 2012 at 00:16
I see a lot of this attitude in the line of work I am in as well. The whole “it isn’t my fault that I am totally unhealthy and out of shape and I expect you to fix it for me” mentality.
May 10, 2012 at 08:15
Yes, it is so sad because in the end they harm themselves the most.
May 10, 2012 at 00:19
Seeing the good and feeling the gratitude can be done in ANY situation. That being said, for some people, there’s always an excuse not to. Good for you, learning this lesson and learning how to avoid people who won’t.
May 10, 2012 at 08:16
Yes, so very true…… and those of us who have learned this lesson will often still need to remind ourselves!
May 10, 2012 at 00:26
BAM! You hit this one right on the head! I attribute the need for drama to insecurity, and, as you say, a need for attention.
And, I agree 100% with the look-at-the-good-stuff approach. We have so much to be thankful for, we shouldn’t have time to even think about the bad stuff!
And, the following poem is hypothetical! I am good to go, and all is well in my world!
May 10, 2012 at 08:17
Thanks for the comment and the link to your poem – I enjoyed reading it and I hope other readers here follow your link.
May 10, 2012 at 00:42
anyone in particular you are speaking of, family, friends, bloggers?
May 10, 2012 at 08:19
hahaha – ah, yes it is true that art imitates life (or in this case, blogging) and vise versa…. but I never reveal my sources of inspiration!
May 10, 2012 at 02:17
Some people who are like you describe..I cannot run from. They are part of your life and so you listen and try patiently to choose your words carefully to help make them aware sometimes of what they are doing…and in order not to injure them emotionally .. or to strain the relationship even more… Diane
May 10, 2012 at 08:21
You are so very correct… like you I have people who fall into this category that I cannot run from… they are a part of a circle that I cannot control. But, as you say, you can then be very careful. In these situations I try to limit contact and remind myself to not get “hooked” emotionally into their dysfunction.
May 10, 2012 at 03:10
Amen to that. i hate drama. and i have very limited time and patience for people who live there – whether health drama or relationship drama or work drama or…well you get the picture
May 10, 2012 at 08:23
Yes, me to. I find that as I get older and wiser (well, at least wiser in my own head) I have even less tolerance for people who play these games.
May 10, 2012 at 04:05
Good post! My daughter recently housed (for three weeks) a homeless woman who had a sad story. She’s early 50s and has no intention of changing her lifestyle even though she has been exposed to better. She has the victim mentality and will not take responsibility for herself, and there’s no amount of talking that can convince her otherwise. Too, she wasn’t even grateful for a safe place to sleep. Yes, RUN LIKE MAD!
May 10, 2012 at 08:49
Wow, what a crazy story. It seems that your daughter had to learn the hard way with this woman. Yes, it is crazy how with the dysfunction comes some very very bizarre sense of entitlement.
May 10, 2012 at 04:23
You made some great points here. Victims look for someone to blame and can’t take responsibility for themselves.
May 10, 2012 at 08:51
Yes, it is so very sad.
May 10, 2012 at 04:26
I also choose to scream thank you :). Nice post!!! Thanks for sharing
May 10, 2012 at 08:51
You are welcome! 🙂
May 10, 2012 at 05:24
for the record, you are not almost old because that would make me already old…lol and second of i agree there is a comfort zone in misery, and our attitudes have a lot to do with what we create!
May 10, 2012 at 08:52
That is funny! I cannot have my own perceptions about age influencing others about themselves!!! 🙂
May 10, 2012 at 06:02
It’s seem to me the old saying; what can the damned say to the damned, does not apply anymore in our everyday lives. A study conducted in Europe in regards to suicide rate and the well-being of those surrounding the suicide victim seems to go hand in hand. While countries who have higher standards of living also have the higher suicide rates, the opposite was for countries with low standards of living. The conclusion was that when people who live in high standards countries, yet they are going through so many difficulties in life, feel marginalized and thus commit suicide as they find no comfort in the people around them, as they compare their lives to that of others. While in countries with lower standards of living people “rejoiced” at being miserable together.
This brings in mind a relationship I had back 2008 with a guys who always complained, bitched and moaned about life giving him leftovers and not being able to get out of the abyss. One day (and this happens rarely to me) I was feeling good, actually I was feeling more than good, and when he came over with the same baggage as usual, I tried to make him feel better, by being funny and talking about things which had nothing to do with everyday life, but things which would lift anyone’s spirit if they really paid attention to it and enjoyed the moment. What transpired later on was that my than boyfriend did anything in his power to drag me down in his sinking ship with him, instead of taking from me the positive attitude I was offering, and I’m sorry to say he achieved it. It was then I realized you can’t change a person ever, you either ride the miserable wave with him, or swim alone. It was an easy choice to let him lose and move on afterwards.
May 10, 2012 at 08:54
Wow, your comment is so interesting (and sad). Such a good point you bring up too about the fact that miserable people can often bring us down – sometimes we do not even realize that it is happening…… and once we finally escape that grasp it can take ourselves a long time to recover (I had a relationship like that once with a person who was very bitter and angry and I lost myself in the relationship…. it took years to recover after……)
May 10, 2012 at 17:02
Problem with me is that I never got a chance to recover, cose I always ran from one damned relationship to the next, and closing myself off the world like a mad monk didn’t help out once I got back out into the living world.
May 10, 2012 at 23:18
Yes, this can be a hard habit/ pattern to break 😦
May 10, 2012 at 12:57
This with being a victim – come from having a “dull” life – nothing exciting happens in their lives and need attention. Something happens to us all during our life that can make us victims – a crime – illness – loads of reason – broken heart .. lost of a dear one – and in all honesty I don’t really think that any of us want to stay in the “victim” roll, but some of us don’t have the strength or support to get out of it and then things just build up on top of that. My illness made me a victim and in a way I still are, because I’m so afraid that the cancer will pop up again. This morning I found out that one of mums and my closest friend has got cancer back for 3rd time, this time in her liver. Bitterness it comes from anger and I’m very bitter on life just now, but it doesn’t mean I will be bitter or angry on people around me. We all have the same choice every morning when we step out of our bed – we can have a good day or a bad day – it’s all in our attitude – we make that choice and nobody else.
May 10, 2012 at 23:20
Yes, sometimes I wonder the same. Sometimes I think there are true victims that were hurt as children and just learned that their pain was the only thing that got them attention, but more of my experience is like you say – most people who were gravely hurt want to pack up that hurt and walk away from it and live their lives to the fullest.
May 11, 2012 at 01:13
It’s a part of life .. and I think those that really has something to cry over – just goes on with it and adapt their life around it. But there are people that don’t want to move on because they are afraid for what may happens – they are safe where they are.
Paws To Talk
May 10, 2012 at 22:54
We just avoid wolves period. They scare us.
Bella and DiDi
May 10, 2012 at 23:17
May 11, 2012 at 13:58
Amen! Life happens, and there’s no point in wallowing in self-pity for the parts of life we’d rather not have happened. I *love* your point about examining one’s own role in any situation; it’s something I try to practice myself, and am trying to teach the tribe, to boot.
May 12, 2012 at 00:26
Yes! Unfortunately, those who really need to examine their own role in a situation are often those who lack the capacity to be able to….. 😦
May 11, 2012 at 21:42
This is so right on “point.” “The me I see is the me I’ll be” is an expression that is alive and well. I have written extensively on this theme the past several months. In life, one must get “Ollin” to become the highest and best they can be. No exceptions!!! If you haven’t read my last post, let me invite you to visit “thewalkbook.wordpress.com.” I would appreciate your comments.
May 12, 2012 at 00:22
May 12, 2012 at 07:19
You have hit the nail on the head in terms of the problem that lies there with so many people. The difficulty is knowing which one’s you should run like mad from and which one’s actually genuinely need to be shown what they’re doing. But then again, there is a need to protect ourselves from people who will just bring us down all the time. I think one of the huge problems is that these people ruin it for people who could genuinely do with our assistance. It’s so hard to see who would actually benefit from our help if we stuck around long enough. I hope you get what I’m saying. It’s certainly no criticism of what you’ve said, just a problem I see in the whole thing – who gets missed in the process.
May 12, 2012 at 23:45
Yes, very true! The key here is definitely the discernment between those you need to leave and those who you can help.
May 14, 2012 at 12:17
‘ in my old age’. Are you serious? LOL? I’m not far behind you in age. Cut it out! Great piece, by the way. Aging definitely does something to your BS tolerance level.
May 14, 2012 at 22:58
Yes, old age!!! 😛 Yes, you are correct, aging does indeed change tolerance levels (even for those of us who are old, but not THAT old!!!!) 😉