I never imagined that when I asked for "VICTIM" stories I would get such interesting stories, funny comments (esp. you, Miss Lexieloo and Shopaholicdiva1027 and KatyO.), and all around sympathy for my situation. It seems all of us here in blog-land have had our own share of dealing with these special human beings.
The best comment came in the form of advice...I appreciated these words because when I read them I was still feeling the sting from how quickly the situation with my favorite victim turned so quickly into me apologizing to her. The best part of the advice? DON'T ALLOW the victim to get off track...this is what they are looking to do to de-rail your force and focus and turn the conversation back to their favorite topic...themselves and how awful they have it...which then forces you to meekly apologize and then move away (sound familiar, AppGal?).
Before I show you the whole comment, I want to say I think we all should practice this advice. I have always been awful with confrontation and I rarely, if ever, speak up for myself (for fear of being seen as unpleasant). You all will pleased to know that today when my favorite victim started up again after I asked her, "will you be in class tomorrow so I can tell the sub," I firmly restated my question, rather than get into a conversation about why she has her schedule the way she does and how much it is ruining her life. I think she was stunned that I didn't take her bait. She actually answered my question, properly, the second time I asked her. Score one for me, and score one for this advice. So thank you very much, Ms. Anonymous...you have helped all of us. Please come on out and let us know your name so we can thank you properly!!! ;)
HERE IS THE COMMENT IN ITS ENTIRETY:
Victims are all the rage now. The media loves them. Their deflection techniques during conversation can be legendary. They can easily turn their own lack of responsibility into a conversation about YOU being a big old meanie. To them, every problem they have caused for themselves is actually the fault of the person illuminating the problem. They've used these techniques for years successfully through the art of deflection.
What is deflection?
They turn a conversation about something they have done wrong into a conversation about YOU being a victimizer. This makes you defensive, and you start defending yourself. Now the subject of the conversation has been changed.
The key is to stay on topic--They did something wrong. You have to stay focused, and strong. There is at least one of these victims in every workplace, and they are doubly difficult to work with if the Boss buys into their victimhood, or more commonly, the Boss pretends to buy into their victimhood in order to avoid dealing with the problem.
Victims make the silent promise that you will suffer if you push back. Pushing back can be risky at work, especially if you are I (at) the typical workplace, where NO ONE wants to get involved. Why? Because victims are known to be retaliatory. This is why bosses are loath to get involved, and want you to deal with it on your own. There's no easy answer. Sorry you're dealing with this. Unfortunately, many of us are, because the victims often threaten retaliation if you try to make them accountable for their actions. Sorry for the novel. END OF COMMENT...
(To this I said, novel? NOVEL? I am okay with a novel...I LOVE YOUR ADVICE!!!)I hope this helps all of you...we can overtake these people...one at a time. Good luck standing your grounds, ladies!