Victimhood, finger pointing and blame game – the mother of all failures.- Emeka Anyanwu

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Emeka Anyanwu

Do you know from the beginning, God has been trying to put us in a position of responsibility?

Emeka Anyanwu

Nothing is ever done without leadership. No job would ever get finished unless someone with a sense of commitment carried it through. This applies in workplace, families, communities and nations. Victim mentality is not only dangerous but also holds people back from achieving their goals, and objectives. What victim culture does is to gradually rob people of the inner most power they possess to move from ignorance to knowledge, fear to courage, paralysis to powerfulness, victimisation to responsibility.

People who accept victimisation pay a serious price for accepting to be a victim at all the times. This victim mentality kills off self-esteem and self-confidence and in the end affects people’s social standing in the world. When people fell into pattern of blaming others for their problems, they are worse off. They begin to think like followers, not as leaders. They never rise above their circumstances. This thinking and perception sabotages anything people stand for. Many people tend to get angry and defensive-even accusatory when confronted with issues of responsibility and accountability. In businesses, you see CEOs who are not operating ethically and honestly and when confronted become defensive and feel victimised.

This is not to disregard stereotyping where individual people and whole groups are singled out for blame. People succumb to the attitude of victimisation and vulnerability when they start to make excuses, blaming others, pointing fingers, denying and pretending not to know, citing confusion and covering their backs with flimsy excuses..

This error of thought results from lack of self-awareness, which allows you to do more of what you are good at and less of what you’re not. When you play victim you hand over your power to others. You are paralyzed by fear, unable to set priorities and making good decisions and eventually lose the power of competitive advantages. One startling fact is that people who have victim attitude always lose sight of their vision. A vision gives you something to work towards. No one is harder to reason with than the person who project victim attitude.

People fall prey to the virus of victimisation mainly because they don’t want to take responsibility and to be accountable. They forget that irresponsibility leads to slavery, many have fallen into the mental trap of assuming that other people are responsible for their predicaments. This a wrong mindset.

The following factors provide environment for spotting out victimhood attitude and behaviours in workplace, families, communities and nations. Learning how people exhibit victim mentality can help one navigate away from this culture that can rob people of their power and freedom.

Finger – Pointing.
The culture of blaming others can come in different forms, it occurs in families, communities and companies. I have never seen anything that withholds progress in families like one sibling blaming the other. It usually comes as sibling rivalry but ends up in sabotaging every effort towards a positive direction. Finger-pointing derails marriages, causes divorces, even results in killing. Failure to take responsibility reveals the heart of mistrust. The,‘Don’t blame me,’ sets into motion the idea of pointing of fingers and score settling.

There was a couple in my community, they just married 6 years ago with two kids, a girl and a boy. They became so unhappy and quarrelled everyday. On this occasion, their son who was 5 years, contracted diarrhea but this couple failed to look after their son. He was not taken to hospital, the child became a pawn in the game that was going on between husband and wife. The boy’s situation deteriorated so much at home that he went into unconsciousness. The husband and wife were busy pointing fingers at each other. They failed to take the decision on a simple matter. The husband was saying, “ Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” They could not take the boy to the hospital on time. They failed to leave their egos behind and face the challenge. Not taking responsibilities and blaming others kept the situation worse and the boy nearly died. This attitude ends up hurting everybody, the entire family. Some people blame their fathers for their predicaments, even though their fathers are late 20 to 30 years ago, they are still pointing fingers at them. At what time would one stop blaming people in their lives and start owing up their mistakes?

Are we hardwired to take credit for success while denying responsibility for failure? Is it something that has to do with the brain? Some believe that our brains distort our perceptions and behaviours leading us to give ourselves more credit for success than we are due. People like to downplay their responsibilities for failure.

Pointing fingers and blaming make some people to work unilaterally when they’re suppose to work as a team. On several occasions we have a team in which individuals point fingers on individual team members. This can frustrate their boss in a company and may lead to dissolving the group. Sometimes this finger pointing is based on criticism and rejection coming from an individual who has been bruised, envious or jealous. The danger is that, if you look at criticism, the person who moans has not offered a viable alternative. Buckminster Fuller put it succinctly: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
People who complain and moan over things never change anything. People who want to change things do take personal responsibility and change them without making fuse about them.

Living in denial:
Another way in which people make themselves victims, is in denying and ignoring that the problems exist or affect them. You can’t change what you tolerate or deny. Some people kind of pretend that the problem does not affect them. For instance, if one has HIV and they deny it, then the possibility of seeking for treatment at the early stage is ruled out. In business, if your competition is innovative and creative, they attract more customers. As a business owner, you are in denial of such progress, that means, you would not plan because you have not been honest to yourself. You won’t know that the ground has shifted beneath you. Business leaders take decision only if they have recognised the changes going on.

Currently the world is unable to address climatic issues, because some countries are in denial of the effects and rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
No solution exists if people deny the reality. These are the nuances and subtleties of not being accountable and responsible. People deny the realities. Man is the cause of poverty and all forms of irresponsibilities in the world. God made us sovereign and told us to dominate the earth. We cannot afford to continue to live in the world without taking responsibility. People should be held more accountable but where these ills are denied or ignored, solutions to their problems would not be met.

We have to be honest and look deeply in the culture of victimisation and vulnerabilities. They have limiting effects on families, communities and races. The reason people love victim mentality is because to be in slavery is easier than to have freedom. In slavery, you don’t take responsibility but freedom calls for responsibility and accountability.

Wait and See:
Aims at making someone escape-goat. Sometimes people see evil things or mistakes in their families, communities and workplaces they remain passive or silent. They adopt a ‘wait and see attitudes.’ Sometimes this attitude is rooted in envy, hatred, fear and ignorance. Until one speaks up and takes a stand, they would not take responsibility for their error.

Adopting ‘a wait and see’ culture is a dangerous thing. It is a form of giving life to the past. Probably because of one’s experience they have created lense from which they view people’s activities. Don’t forgotten that God said: “My message is new every morning.” Being proactive in this case is a better thing to do, instead of sitting on the fence and wait till someone fails and then they see it as opportunity to make mockery them. Wait and see can be associated envy.

Desiderata said: “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter.” Comparing yourself with another person affects your concentration, and don’t forget, each individual is unique and has a different purpose in life. You can learn from people but never become them. Their expectations and standards are never yours. Their race and finish line are different. Never judge anyone because you will never get enough information about them and their purpose. All you get in comparing and judging others is anger and disappointment.

No more excuses, time is ripe to do the right thing: Taking responsibility and being accountable to your actions are the best ways to deal with the future. You must take the necessary decision today and follow it with action. Show clear and confident leadership instead of thinking that you are the victim of circumstance.