For instance, are there some coping strategies that people use right at the time when other people are going after them?
To start with, perhaps these individuals are habitually treated as being inferior because they are inferior.
I’ll let that statement sit there for a moment.
If you are a believer in the Law of Attraction you will support the idea that we all create our own reality. If we believe that we are inferior, we are inferior. There is no judgement involved here. How we see ourselves is our reality. Reality should not be confused with truth though. Just because somebody believes that they are inferior does not mean that they are.
When you feel inferior to others, it is easy to slide into the victim mode. A victim sees the events around them as happening to them personally. Most activities in life seem to work against them and cause them increased anxiety and angst. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. They expect the world to be an awful place and well, guess what? The world sends them situations that perpetuate their belief.
The question asks if there are coping strategies to use at the time i.e. when people are going after them? There certainly are.
The first step is a psychological one though. To move from the victim role to a self-assured person, one has to make a conscious decision to do so. I learned a saying years ago from motivational guru Tony Robbins that has served me well. “People won’t make changes in their life until they reach the point that staying the same is worse than changing.” You won’t be able to move forward until you are ready to do so. Moving forward often involves pain and uncertainty. It will be like developing a new personality.
As for coping strategies, the answer lays in self-discovery and education. Way back in the 1700s William Feathers was quoted as saying “knowledge is power.” We’ve likely all heard it. Unfortunately, Mr. Feathers was wrong then and remains wrong to this day. Knowledge is only power when you do something with it.
As a first step I would recommend researching for a self-help program on assertiveness training. The idea is to put the teachings into practice. You actually have to do them. And learn from the lessons. The idea behind assertiveness is getting one’s needs met, but not at the expense of someone else’s i.e. win-win situations.
It would take a lot of practice, but a therapist would likely recommend that the individual confront the individual that is attempting to victimize them. This can be practiced in advance with a friend or colleague i.e. role playing. The basic idea would be that at a time that one is being victimized, you would stand up for your self and say “Hold on a moment, this isn’t right!” “I don’t like it when you do XXXXX to me. And I would like you to stop right now!”
Will it be scary? Most certainly! Is it guaranteed to work? Not necessarily. Part of the problem is that we can only control our own behaviour and to a certain extent our destiny. We have no control over how our victimizer reacts. They may be totally unaware that they actually were victimizing the other and immediately stop it. Conversely, they could choose to ignore the confrontation and continue on as they have. After all it has worked for them in the past, so why change?
Self-help can be difficult to do alone. If one can afford the cost, there is benefit in seeking the services of a trained mental health therapist. They can help you through a guided program to help increase your assertiveness.
Self-confidence and assertiveness go hand in hand. If you are over the age of 18 I would highly recommend joining a Toastmasters club. It the best way that I have found to rapidly increase one’s self-confidence. It has worked for me. Toastmasters teaches public speaking. As you speak more, your self-confidence increases incrementally. As your self-confidence increases you become more open to taking chances and exposing yourself to situations that have been stress producing in the past such as confronting the so-called victimizer.
Another step that was the subject of comedy shows back in the 1970s is that of positive self-talk.
The basic idea is that your mind believes whatever you tell it. If you feed it negative thoughts, you in turn will behave negative. Sig Sigler used to call it ‘stinkin thinkin”
The idea is to stop thinking the negative thoughts and replace them with positive, self-empowering thoughts. In this case concerning be victimized, it might be helpful to think “I’m not a victim. What they are saying is not true. When I am ready I will prove to them that they are wrong. What they say about me does not define who I am.” Or something to that effect.
This won’t help overnight. It has been said that a new activity has to be repeated for some 21 days before it replaces the previous habit and replace it with the new, beneficial one.
The question asked for immediate strategies. I’m sure there will be some that provide some verbal judo techniques that you can use to put the victimizer in their place. That might win the battle but not the war. Unless we change our belief system about ourselves and develop skills to assertively deal with those that would put us down, we will continually be exposed to those types. Take a chance and break the cycle. Take a chance and change your life!
Thanks for your question!
For further discussion of personal development tips, visit the Live For Excellence Book Store for the following publications:
Assert Yourself! Harnessing the Power of Assertiveness in Your Career
Blow Your Own Horn! Personal Branding for Business Professionals
Power Networking For Shy People: How to Network Like a Pro
The Power of Persuasion: Mastering the Art of Influence
Working With Words: Adding Life to Your Oral Presentations
Rae A. Stonehouse is an author, speaker, and self-publishing consultant dedicated to helping others embrace constant improvement and overcome challenges. With over 40 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in psychiatry and mental health, Rae brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for self-development to his writing and presentations.
As a 25+ year member of Toastmasters International, Rae has systematically built his communication abilities and self-confidence to share his insights as an author and speaker. His self-help books and personal development presentations aim to have conversational one-on-one connections with readers and audiences.
Rae is known for his wry sense of humor and sage advice delivered in a relatable coaching style. After four decades as a nurse, Rae has rewired rather than retired, actively writing and pursuing public speaking. He strives to share lessons learned to help others achieve personal and professional growth.