Victim or Hero?


Which Role Are You Playing?

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.


As women, we frequently like the fairy tales where the princess is rescued by Prince Charming.  While it’s fashionable to bash these damsel-in-distress stories, there is some biological basis to them.  As women, we want community and connection, and we want a man to provide for us.

In many ways, our culture supports us in identifying ourselves as victims.  While it’s out-of-vogue to use the word “victim,” it’s very much “in” to talk about your past trauma, your current drama, and how you were messed up by your dad or mama.

But, who are you rooting for in an action movie?  The hero or the victim?  The hero, of course!  

“Wonder Woman” was a blockbuster hit in 2017.  Nobody’s waiting for “‘Why Me?’ Woman” to come out!

If you have suffered a major trauma, then it’s time to deal with that.  And it’s unlikely that you can process it and heal without professional help.  Get a therapist, get a support group, get a coach - whatever it will take for you to put the past behind you.

For many people, the problem isn’t past trauma, it’s how we traumatize ourselves NOW.

How do we do this?  We approach our lives with the idea that Prince Charming (or someone else) is going to swoop in and save us. 

Guess what, ladies?  Nobody’s coming to save you!

In case that makes you feel a little scared, the good news is, you can save yourself!

How do you do that?  Boundaries and standards help a lot.

I had a few experiences in my younger days with men who were quite abusive verbally.  I would get quiet and try to appease them, which really only made them more angry because I was teaching them that they could behave like that with me.

Fast forward to a more recent dating experience, where the guy said some unkind things to me and I put him in his place straight away.  He was apologizing and backpedaling faster than a shamed politician.  This ability to stand up for myself actually raised my value in his eyes because he saw me as someone he could respect.  Which made it more disappointing for him when I dumped him.

If you find yourself talking about how your boss “made you” do something, or your family “won’t let you” do something, you’re playing the victim.  

I love the scene in Wonder Woman where Diana is leaving Themyscira, much to her mother’s dismay.  Her mom tells her she may never return home, and Diana replies, “Who will I be if I stay?”

The only way Diana could be Wonder Woman was to disappoint her mother, her tribe, and sometimes, her leading man.

Quit waiting for others to step up and take care of you.  It’s YOUR job to take care of you.  Get into the role of heroine in your life.  This doesn’t mean being a jerk, but it does mean being clear about what you want, need, and will and will not tolerate.

I recommend watching Wonder Woman.  Diana is fierce, yet kind.  Strong, yet feminine.  Clear, yet respectful.

Maybe you can’t be Wonder Woman, but you CAN be a One-Derful woman!

You may not be feeling One-Derful if you’re recovering from a broken heart.  If that’s you, check out the ABC’s of Healing - we’ll have you on the way to your One-Derful Life before you know it!

Question: Are you ready to be the hero in your life?

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