I have lived on all sides of addiction (alcohol & drugs) and so have much personal experience with life on the victim triangle or what we call victim consciousness. I’ve found that moving out of victim consciousness requires that we move into its opposite, observer consciousness.
A primary requirement for accessing observer consciousness is the knowledge that our thoughts and beliefs generate our feelings, and prompt our behavior. In other words, our reactions and feelings about others and our life situations determine our state of mind, NOT those people and situations. When we respond from that understanding we do not feel the need to personalize what people say and do. We understand that our life situations do not cause our reactions – our thoughts do.
That simple shift in understanding moves us from the victim viewpoint that says, “they are doing it to me,” to a more reflective one, “I am unhappy because of what I think/believe – not because of what they say or do.” From this place of self-responsibility, we are self-determining, rather than at the mercy of others. We observe our own thoughts first, rather than to automatically blame them for what we feel.
From observer consciousness we learn to look closely at what we tell ourselves about our life situations, rather than look outside ourselves for evidence of how we’ve been mistreated – the way we do when we are in victim consciousness. Rather than to react in negative painful ways towards the other person, or our external situation, as we do when we are in victim, we, as observers, learn to address our feelings on the inside by finding the thoughts that generate our unhappiness and questioning those thoughts/beliefs.
When we are in observer consciousness, we separate our thoughts from the external situation. We see the external action, (husband telling me how to cook eggs, for instance), and we hear the inside scoop, i.e., what we are telling ourselves about the action, (“He’s trying to control me.”). We know that the action, and our beliefs about the action, don’t always match. We can be wrong in our thoughts/beliefs about what happens in our life.
When we are in observer, we no longer blindly believe our negative thoughts about a situation, the way we do when we are on the victim triangle; instead we stand back from our thoughts, and question them.
For instance, from observer we might notice particular negative feelings and thoughts regarding our spouse’s behavior, but instead of automatically believing those thoughts and reacting accordingly – by telling him off, perhaps, or by lecturing him about it – we question our assumptions about his behavior instead. “The Four Questions and Turn Arounds” packaged by Byron Katie ( www.thework.com ) are a concise set of questions that are powerful because they move us out of victim consciousness and into observer consciousness.
When we access observer consciousness consciously and consistently, we find less and less external reason to see ourselves as a victim of someone else’s behavior.
Hope you find this to be helpful.