Join Fred Kofman for an in-depth discussion in this video The victim's questions, part of Powerless to Powerful: Taking Control.
- Being a victim is not just an individual activity it can turn into a social gathering as well. In fact, nothing brings people together like complaining together. So it's not only addictive as an individual to tell the story of the victim, but it's also a way in which we are codependent. We help other people be victims, and we feel victimized, and they help us feel victimized, and take compassion on us, while we take compassion on them.
And then we feel like friends. So I'm going to do something very dangerous here. I'm going to teach you the questions that will bring up the story of the victim in full force. I hope once you see the questions, you'll never ask them again. But the questions of the victim, even though they taste very good will lead people down the path to destruction because they won't be able to do anything about that. And yet, people will feel like you're a true friend. The operating phrase here is your drug dealer is not your friend. So the person that's giving you these questions is not a real friend.
So what are the questions that bring up the story of the victim? And you might have heard these things at work. The first one is, "What happened to you?" So it's the sense of something bad happened to you, tell me how things outside of yourself made it happen. The second is, "Who wronged you? Who did this?" Because there's always someone. There's always a guilty party, someone that did something wrong, and then they created the trouble for you. The third one is, "What should they have done?" See victims live in the world of "should." They shouldn't have done this.
So what should they have done? And you'll see that If you ask this question, the other person will have a hundred answers. "Oh they should have done this duh duh duh." It's always the other person who should change to stop the problem. The next one is, "What should they do now?" And that will be another barrage of answers because what they did was wrong, and they should have done something different, but now at least they should fix it doing this, this, this, and this. And the last one could be, "What punishment do they deserve?" And then you'll see people's fangs coming out. (sucking sound) Oohh, now I get to take revenge because the sweetest thing of being a victim is you feel justified in being mean and having malaise and the desire to take revenge on those who created the problem for you.
So it's very sweet. That's a really fun conversation. And if two of you are watching this together, I encourage you to just speak about any problem using these questions, like, "Who wronged you? What did they do wrong? What should they do now?" And you'll see it's an easy flow, everybody smiles, everybody's happy. I do this in my workshops and people love it. I mean, they can't get enough. But then, stop and realize that by telling that story, you're going nowhere. It's really like a drug. It's disabling you. It feels good, but it totally disables you.