Victim Cycle Andidotes for Healing

When we get hurt, physically, emotionally or spiritually, we have a tendency to automatically begin healing our pain. We only need to look at the natural responses of any young child to understand these universal patterns.

One of the Leadership Project clients, Doug Talley, made an interesting observation a while ago. As he, I and others in his company were discussing our tendencies toward certain destructive behaviors, he noticed that each of the five destructive victim behaviors had a related healing process. Here is the list that emerged from his insightful observation:

 Destructive Victim Behaviors and their Related Natural Healing Processes

 Victim Behaviors

 Natural Healing Methods

 Blaming  Venting
 Avoiding  Reflecting
 Whining  Crying or Feeling Sad
 Labeling Negatively  Labeling Positively
 Sarcasm  Healthy Humor

These patterns give each of us the opportunity to make an important choice: instead of choosing to behave destructively and make victims of self and others, present and future, we can choose another path. We can choose to pause, to heal and to expand our thinking. Then we can plan our strategies for leading in such a way as to fulfill healthy values. There is no single more important quality of effective values-based leadership. It is the lesson of Jesus, of Gandhi and of Dr. King. It is consistent with leading by example. And this strategy of healing instead of hurting allows us to practice the golden rule.

While there are specialized antidotes to victim behavior and subsequent victim cycles, these natural methods will often be enough to prevent us from doing harm, violating values and perpetuating pain.

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