The Victim

There is a particular brand of women I don’t tend to be friends with in real life.  I have no patience for them.  I don’t want them around me.

funny pictures melodrama cat The Victim

Yet I find it harder to escape this type when I’m online.  Social media tends to breed them.

I’m talking about women who are The Victim.

These are women that have a pervasive ‘woe is me’ attitude… about everything.  And they’re too busy crying about how life has done them wrong to change anything.

I know everyone goes through their ‘things’.  People are entitled to bad days, bad weeks, even bad years.  Sometimes shit happens.  Even I’ve had my fair share of downer moments on this blog in the past few years.

But it’s when you’d rather sit around feeling sorry for yourself, wallowing in your own self pity, that I tend to tune out.

My friends in my day-to-day world tend to be women of strength.  Women who, in some cases, have been dealt a pretty shitty hand lately.  And they’ll talk about their frustrations and what’s bothering them.  Sometimes they even have a good cry over things.  Then they pick themselves up and move forward.  Because life does not stop.  They are women who choose to focus on what is right in their lives and make the best out of what they can’t always control.

Then you have the other category of women.  I sometimes wonder how much of their constant personal drama is locked into a cycle because they feed off the attention of others.  They surround themselves with people who will pat them on the head, tell them how life has dealt them a raw deal,  and constantly confirm to them how wonderful they are, over and over and over and over,… and over and over and … yeah, well… If you’re that type, I probably stopped reading and commenting on your blog about 5 ‘overs’ ago.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I never expect people to agree with me on everything (just like I don’t expect everyone to agree with this post).  My friends regularly have discussions on differing opinions.  I love that.  I feel it helps me learn, grow, view the world as I might not have thought to.

By surrounding yourself with people that will only agree with you, and attack anyone who says the least little thing outside of the acceptable rote responses, you are locking yourself into victim mode.

What I’ve been considering, lately, is how much I contribute to this by not saying anything.  By not commenting that ‘hey, I’m sorry you’re having a rough time, but look at your wonderful healthy kids, your great job, your nice house,’ am I just as bad as those people who smother The Victim with the protective shield that drips with venom for the naysayers?

And I guess that’s why I don’t speak up.  I don’t want to become a target for the whiners posse who are posed to attack anyone who doesn’t agree fully with everything The Victim says.  I don’t feel like causing huge internet drama through one comment.

And so, the next question becomes, as my hand hovers over the unfollow and delete buttons, why don’t I just eradicate these people from my online life like I would my real life?

Possibly because I have learned that in this day of social media that a simple unfollow, a quick delete, a removal from my blog roll (blog rolls are meant to be dynamic, people. Sheesh.  Who I read changes on my mood), can cause just as much drama.  Because for The Victim, anything that can cause drama means more attention for them.  Booyah!

So either way I’m left feeding the addiction for these people.  And I do believe it’s an addiction.  To attention. To blog stats.

So what to do?

Cause drama, or sit back and watch it?

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43 Responses to The Victim

  • shit, i’m glad you wrote this… we’ve discussed this extensively and my questions are the same ones you mention above.

    that being said, i’m still glad you wrote this post.

  • Becky says:

    ooh that’s a tough one. you know me. i’ll sit back and not say anything before creating drama. i just don’t like conflict. period. i don’t like when people are always the victim either. my sisters and i were all raised in the same house and yet all 3 of us have a different outlook on it all. i’m trying to make lemonade out of it all while one is totally oblivious and the other is “woe is me”ing about it everyday for YEARS. it gets old. fast. plenty of shit has gone down in my life but i try not to dwell on it…TOO much anyway. sometimes i will and i might call a friend or email a friend to complain. i don’t like to bring everyone down in my major drama. bad day at work? sur ei’ll bitch about it on twitter. bad day with hubs or friends? hardly. you’re a strong woman and i value your opinion. you’ve always reached out to me when i HAVE bitched i think because you know if i’m bitching or sad…it’s legit.

    xo

    Jenn Reply:

    @Becky,

    But that’s just it, Becks. You don’t go on and on and on about… whatever. You bitch about it and move on. So of course I’m going to give you a hug on the days you need it. And you always return that favor. You? would never be Victim material. You enjoy life too much for that.

  • cindy w says:

    Oh man, I’m not sure if it’s who you intended, but I thought of a group of bloggers immediately when I read this, because all of them are very good friends with each other and they all do the “woe is me” thing CONSTANTLY. And yeah, lately it does have me rolling my eyes more often than not.

    I hate that kind of Internet drama too. I got sort of inadvertently sucked into it once (I thought I was trying to help someone, turns out they’re just the type of person who feeds off that attention & constant drama vortex), and I hope to never repeat that experience again, EVER.

  • Lisa says:

    I try to steer clear of internet drama and definitely am not interested in starting it either. I find, for me, the best approach for those who crave the attention they get from the “woe is me” thing is to just not respond, or read, or comment, or whatever. It’s like you said, everyone has their days, weeks, months, where it seems like everything is going to crap and venting about it can be good, but then we move on. Dwelling on it doesn’t do anyone any good and at some point it just seems like the person is doing it for the attention, or drama, or readers/followers they get from it.

  • Heather says:

    On whiny posts, I usually point out the blue sky…not the black clouds. Also, sometimes I despise the Internet.
    Back to my cave…

    Jenn Reply:

    @Heather,

    I think I’m going to send the whiners over to you and tell them to live a week in your shoes. THEN they’d have something to complain about.

  • hm…this is good. i know that i’ve definitely whined some on my blog, but by golly i didn’t have a choice but to pick myself up when i was done. there was no point in a poor, poor pitiful me party. i hate attending them, and i am damn sure not going to throw one. (and since i started all my stuff myself i figured there was really no one else to blame!)

    and i totally agree about the ones who have all the drama feed on it. i have had friends who seemed to have constantly had some problem with someone else, and it was never their own fault. i say examine your own life when everything always seems to be going wrong for you. see what you could be doing differently. reflect and then make some changes! be a learner for goodness sakes and quit bringing everyone down with you.

    all that being said i am a very loyal friend. i will cry with you, help you to your feet, and do what i can to lift your spirits. that’s what friends do.

    Jenn Reply:

    @midlifenatalie,

    Oooo…now that’s a good point. If your life is going to hell in a handbasket, maybe… just maybe… it’s not everyone elses fault.
    I think we could all put in a little more time for self reflection.

    As far as your blog goes, though, I don’t think I would ever qualify you as the whiny type. You talk about what’s going on, why it’s happened, but you also talk a lot about why you’re making the changes in your life that you are. And I think that’s an important dialog to have.

  • Libby says:

    I think the net breeds drama queens. Women who are perfectly fine in real life, but don’t know what else to say when staring into the void of the online world.

    I still try to avoid them

  • Colleen says:

    <3

  • Cara says:

    As per usual, Jenn…you’ve hit the nail on the head once again.

    I wonder how long it takes before some of these whiners find their way over here & have something to say about all of this?

    I think there are quite a few out there who are feeling the same way & I have a feeling that there is at least one particular group that the majority are feeling this way about.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Cara,

    If they do they probably won’t recognize themselves in the post anyway. Such is the nature of drama llamas

    thepsychobabble Reply:

    @Jenn, drama llamas. I love it.

    Chibi Jeebs Reply:

    @thepsychobabble, *cough*drama-llama-ding-dongs*cough*

  • drlori71 says:

    I don’t understand the drama that goes on in the blogosphere and Twitter. I just don’t get it. I’m here just to have fun but it’s getting harder to have fun when Debbie Downer is whining and bringing everyone down. Everyone is always talking how wonderful this blogging/Twitter community is, but as you mentioned, if you unfollow/delete someone, this “community” will turn on you like that *snaps fingers*.
    In real life, I’m the type of person who sits back and observes drama while I keep my mouth shut. Guess my online life isn’t much different.

    Jenn Reply:

    @drlori71,

    I think that’s why a lot of people have stepped back from twitter and blogging lately. The drama just gets to be exhausting.

    Oh, and you can unfollow me if you want. I’ll just start stalking you instead ;-)

    drlori71 Reply:

    @Jenn,

    Ooh, I’ve always wanted my very own stalker! BWAHAHAHAHA!

  • Lesley @Avalea says:

    Well I don’t have a blog, but I sure read a few.

    I think “The Whiners” don’t realize what a disservice they are doing to the rest that typically don’t moan and groan.

    Because there are so *many* whiners, it’s hard to really feel empathy for someone who truly is having a hard time or a bad day. I fully admit to suffering from whine fatigue and my eyes glaze over tweets/posts with “woe is me” in them.
    Unless I know that person and communicate with them frequently.

    I don’t want to become so desensitized to the needs of others if they are reaching out, but The Victims make it hard.

    It’s funny you wrote this today. I don’t tell “my business” via social media. Yet, this morning was tough for me. So I reached out and was ignored by the majority. Tho’ it was hurtful in that moment, I just shrugged and thanked those that took a minute to reach out.
    Sheesh sorry for the novel. :)

    Jenn Reply:

    @Lesley @Avalea,

    OMG. I was howling outloud at ‘whine fatigue’. That describes it SO well.

    And I’m sorry I missed out on the stuff that went down this morning. Quite often it’s not ignoring…it’s just so many people tweeting at once I miss tons.

    Hugs lady!

  • Lesley @Avalea says:

    Right?! Especially us Moms who hear child whining all day, we don’t want to read adult whine during our “me” time, unless it’s truly needed. I know the flip side is “who dictates who truly needs it”. And the answer is a personal judgement call.

    Oh heavens, don’t even worry about not commenting. I was using myself as an example as a non-whiner and my outlook on the lack of reaction. But really… we all know I just gave you whine fatigue. Heh heh!

    Becky Reply:

    @Lesley @Avalea, I saw your tweets this morning. Hugs to you sweets :)

  • punkinmama says:

    I am quite often surprised at the level of whining and complaining that goes on and the amount of support that it draws on twitter. Not to say I don’t whine, because… yeah, I do… but mostly just to get it out of my system and move on. I’m don’t get the whole mentality of “let’s boost up this person who is constantly in the same situation but does nothing to help *herself*”.

    I don’t know if something specific happened earlier today, as I’m not referring to any one person or situation, but I see it A LOT.

    I wish there was an “ignore” button for these people – that way they’d not see the unfollow – therefore not contributing to more drama.

  • I know this is one area I struggle with. Sometimes, I feel like I only write when I’m venting/bitching/whining/whatever you call it. It’s not that I mean to do that, it’s just that the urge to purge my thoughts isn’t that strong when they’re happy thoughts! lol

  • Ruby says:

    <3 So well said. I have no room in my real or blogging life for drama junkies and that is what they are. Junkies.

  • I don’t think it’s necessary or appropriate to take action or to comment on these “whiners’” posts or tweets as a way of helping them… No matter how much they share of their life online or how much we think we know or how often they seem sad, we don’t really know everything, do we? I’ve put my foot in my mouth more times than I care to count, thinking I had things figured out when really I had no clue. And if I had even the slightest, tiniest notion of what was really going on in their life… wow. I would have never been so self-righteous. Lesson learned. (But that’s me.)

    I guess that’s why I’m pro sit-there-and-do-nothing. Unless of course it bothers me (or anyone) so much I just can’t stand it, well then, lucky there is an unfollow/unfriend, red “x” in the corner of your browser option so that if someone doesn’t suit your fancy then you don’t have to read… Thankfully the internet is big enough for everyone, even the brands of people we don’t tend to hang out with in real life.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Undomestic Diva,

    I understand and respect where you’re coming from. And while I agree that we don’t know what’s really going on in peoples lives based on a snapshot that a blog post captured, I have to disagree that it’s not ‘appropriate’ to comment. Isn’t that at least part of the reason why people put there lives out there in a public forum, is for feedback?

    I don’t claim to know the intimate nuances of anyone’s lives, not even my closest friends. I only know what they choose to share. But sometimes it’s not the content but the form the issue is presented in that evokes the response. I understand that people go through terrible times in their lives that brings them to the lowest low. I also get that blogs are a forum to whine / rant / bitch / and otherwise get things off your chest. That is exactly what this post is, in essence.

    What I was more talking about is this phenomena in social media were we rush to defend people over and over (the other side of the coin you’re talking about). And how, if you do express any sort of concern/dissension/disagreement you are slapped down for saying something that is outside of what is deemed an ‘acceptable response’, which then in turn snowballs into a big drama over … what exactly I couldn’t even tell you.

    I think sometimes we excuse behaviors that happen in social media that we would never let slide in real life.

    Maybe it’s just me, but there are days when I need to be pointedly reminded to be thankful for what I have. It’s easy to take life for granted. I don’t think saying something along those lines to someone has anything to do with being self-righteous. It has to do with dwelling on the negative rather than appreciating the positive.

  • AmazingGreis says:

    I try to stay out of the drama as much as possible. If I’ve learned anything in the 2 years that I’ve been blogging/twittering it’s that Social Media is a BIG enabler. The people that crave the attention will find it and will continue to seek it out as long as it’s there for the taking.

    I’ve definitely used Twitter/my blog to bitch about things, but I try not to dwell on the negative too much. And I definitely skim right over some peoples updates constantly because really it just gets old and I can only take Debbie Downer updates for so long before I need another Twitter break.

  • ally says:

    While I am not a fan of the consto-whine, I do know that I tend to write more when things are bothering me. I’m just no good at coming up with the flitty little fun posts.

    If you look at my last few posts, you get…work sucks, school sucks and my kid is sick. Whine, bitch, moan.

    I tend to do nothing. My guess is that some of these people don’t really have anyone tangible to let these feelings out to…so they have to do it somewhere.

    love you. xoxo

  • It’s the tone and the pattern that clue you in, I think. It’s a fine line and I think where people fall on it is is based on the person reading.

    I think the way it goes with social media is kind of like work relationships. Some people you adore, but there’s always at least one that you merely tolerate. For me it was always the drama whore, because no matter what, his/her problems were always greater than anyone else’s. Circumstances and decency keep you from being a bitch or eliminating the person completely and so you… ::eyeroll:: :)

    Love the post!

    nic @mybottlesup Reply:

    @Andrea’s Sweet Life, totally and completely agreed… it’s the tone and the pattern. some blogs have one overwhelming “woe is me tone” and those are the blogs that, as @UndomesticDiva pointed out above, i stopped reading. that tone turns into a pattern though b/c like @AmazingGreis said, social media is “a BIG enabler.” so you end up seeing these cycles of posts that are (for me) painful to read because all i do is ::eyeroll:: and then remove them from my feed, so in that aspect, i am a bitch b/c i’d rather eliminate myself from reading the constant whiny drama and go elsewhere.

    i’m all for a good rant. we all have shit we need to get out, and most of the time, there is a strong enough community that exists to back you, when needed. i think that fine line gets muddled though when what is one ranting blog post bleeds into the blog as a whole.

  • Kate says:

    This is PRECISELY the reason I stepped away from Twitter… I felt like a whiner, and didn’t want to incur the wrath. :)

  • Lu says:

    I will whine your balls off. But then I laugh about it too, because if not I will die.

    Duchess @DuchessMama Reply:

    @Lu,

    BWAHHAHHDHGSHWGHHA, I will whine your balls off. I now need new underpants.

    also ditto what she says.

  • Aunt Becky says:

    I’m not a fan of The Dramaz. I don’t engage in it and I don’t tend to choose sides and get involved. I’m a better clown than a dramaz-monger anyway.

  • Kellee says:

    I think I’m fortunate to not be as popular as the rest of you, so I don’t have to worry about the drama so much. :)

    You raise some good points, though. I think at the end of the day it’s worthwhile to distance yourself from those that cause you drama. It’s worth the little flare of drama now, than to tiptoe around it in an effort to avoid it in the long term. :)

  • Vixen says:

    I was going to say I don’t do drama, I just don’t. THEN I REALIZED YOU HAVE NOT COMMENTED ON MY BLOG IN ABOUT 5 “OVERS” AGO????

    God I’m sarcastic, aren’t I? I can’t help it. I have to be who I am.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Vixen,

    LMAO! Rest assured, I still read and love you. I could never give up your sarcasm. ;-)

  • Maura says:

    Brava. It would be hard for me to find a way to adequately express how much I applaud you for this post and agree with you wholeheartedly.

    Between you and your insightful commenters, I now have “drama-llama,” “whine fatigue” and “whiners posse” to add to my lexicon and will, unfortunately, have occasion to use…probably sooner rather than later.

    The whole scenario you describe is sadly too common on Twitter & I tend to either stand on the sidelines quietly or offer one attempt at “Hey, there may be a silver lining” kind of comment. My inability to constantly enable a Victim or two has “cost” me their presence in my online life. Works for me.

  • Ooooh- tough one.
    I too, struggle with this. For the most part, I think I float along the blogosphere like a duck. Most of the drama just rolls off my back. I don’t have time for the energy suck.
    I prefer to make fun most of the time… of others, and myself.

  • Tricia says:

    Right on, sister. These are the same people, that when hearing about someone else’s crisis, will barely acknowledge it; other than using it to somehow bring the attention BACK on them. I am trying really hard to ignore behaviors that make me want to punch spleen, and remember how sad it must be to live in a life where you are so desperate for attention, you make yourself a human crisis center.

    And when I see true drama, I pretend to be invisible….and walk away slowly.

  • Pocklock says:

    I wrote a similar post a while back. I have no idea why we find ourselves gravitated toward negative.

    Is it cultural? Is it because we’re fed negativity with politics and media?

    Is it learned? We’re our parents a bunch of negative nellies spreading a lot less love than they should have been?

    Is it just human nature? Were we born looking for disasters?

    I have no idea and it’s still a question that puzzles me daily. How can I bring my kid up to not know words like hate and misery and whoa yet teach her that some of these feelings are ok? It’s really, really hard.

  • Duchess says:

    Great post.
    Great points.
    Great comments.

    As you know I have suffered quite a bit of real life woman drama as of late and thus I have no patience for drama at all. In fact I have become quite a snarky bitch about all of it…one might even say I have taken on a bit of a dramatic angered tone *snicker*.

    That being said I used to see a lot of this in the infertility sector of blogging. The “I have it so bad” being replied to by the “I have it so much worse than you” when in reality we were all stuck in our version of hell or reality.

    One of the biggest things I have learned in the last year is that I have to just step back and accept that people’s problems are their problems and I can’t fix/enable/change/lessen them in any way. sure I can laugh and make a quip her and there but if people want to stay ensconced in their pot-stirring-drama-loving-cauldron-of-everything-here-is-worse-than-there lives I have to respect that and then do what is best for me and my whiny ass.

    I guess what I am trying to say is I have started to hate twitter, I love the funny banter and the immediate reciprocation of information but that is about it. I miss blogging but right now I am just trying to survive the impossible task of keeping four humans afloat with nothing more than a bologna sandwich and a bear head. I am all for a bad day rant but when that bad day turns into a cycle of poor-me I’m out.

    *disclaimer* I do not promise that these thoughts are succinct or well thought out. I have only had three hours sleep and someone only left me four ounces of coffee this morning. How is that for bitching?

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