Wisdom Arises Through Understanding

Monday, March 29, 2010

Victim begets Victims...

Recently, I received a call from a friend who asked me to do something urgent. The tone of voice plus the way the request was made gave me the impression that the person was portraying helpless and I would have to fulfill the request no matter what. In an instance, I observe anger had arisen and also my tone of voice had become unfriendly. All this happened in less than 2 minutes of conversation and of course the thoughts that arose were of persecution and illwill towards the person and also the request.

Feeling uncomfortable is normally the signal for me to pay attention and be aware of what's going on beyond the story and the drama that is unfolding with regards to the situation. Actually.... I felt like I was victimized!!! I came to the realization that when someone plays the role of a victim in hope of getting help or getting their way or to portray their helplessness, they are actually victimizing others too. Because the automatic reaction of others is to feel that they have to help or else they will experience a lot of guilt for rejecting someone who is helpless. So when the person "helps" it is coming from a space of anger or resignation and not from the space of joy and willingness.

This would result in the giving being insincere and the receiving being unfulfilling. Thus, the whole process of request and fulfilment of the request would be tainted.

I remember reading the book Non Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg. He mentioned that when we make a request of a person, we must be prepared to hear a "NO" answer. But how many times we have an expectation that when we make a request with the magic word "Please" in it, others must fulfill our request. When a request is heard as a Demand, the other person only sees 2 option, submit or rebel.

So a good request is one that is specific, expressing our feelings and needs, it must be do-able by the person and the person has an option to say "No" .


  1. wah like that don't want to ask oledi loh, if the answer is no :p