Victims vs. Leaders

Meet and greet

We often hear the following statement:

“Are you a victim or a victor”

  • but what is it that sets the two apart ….?

Here are some points I have drafted to illustrate the difference between a Victim and a Leader for my oldest son.

 Victims: Leaders:
Are at the mercy of others and circumstances – like puppets Take charge of their relationships and circumstances
Are inconsistent & unstable Are steady, stable, consistent & reliable
Are like a can of coke. When shaken, they explode all over the place Are like a bottle of still water.  When shaken, there are a few bubbles but calmness quickly returns.
Wait for others to take responsibility or tell them what to do Take the initiative to do what needs to be done or to do what they need to do
Blame others Take responsibility for their actions
Are easily offended. They try so hard to please & don’t feel appreciated Ignore insults. Are people and task centre. Act out their own inner strength and core/essence
Take everything personally Exude a sense of maturity. Reflect/mirror what is happening in the other.
Are defensive & feels victimised / easily hurt Detach & reflect  what is happening in the other
Set others up to show anger to reinforce their position as the victim Are calm, still, focused and in control Exude an aura of authority
Are easily angered. Show no control of their tongue or situation Give themselves time to think before they speak or act
Are Passive or Aggressive or Passively Aggressive Identify and acknowledge their anger which they channel constructively.
Act and speak impulsively Give themselves time to think decisions  &  consequences through
Whine and complain Show resilience. Bounce back when something bad happens
Hide behind noise, chaos and confusion Are quiet and organised
Have an unforgiving spirit, Harbour bitterness,   Nurture grudges Set appropriate boundaries
Want someone else to take care of them & make decisions for them Take responsibility for themselves & make their own decisions
Avoid taking responsibility, Avoid making decisions Are responsible and accountable, Take responsibility for their decisions and the consequences
Avoid commitment Keep their word
Don’t seek counsel Surround themselves with wise associates
Adopt the attitude of “Life is about me” Adopt the attitude of “Life is about me & others”
Are selfish and demanding Are considerate, respectful & helpful
Are ungrateful Show appreciation freely
Accept others conditionally Accept others unconditionally, Holding the necessary boundaries to protect themselves
Feel sorry for themselves. Try to get others to feel sorry for them Show empathy to others by reflecting their feelings & giving support, Share their story with trusted others
Use & take people for granted Respect and appreciate people
Either only takes or  only give Know how to balance giving and receiving
Are attention-seeking Share the attention with others
Run away from problems Face problems
Suffer from feelings of confusion, insecurity & anxiety Are insightful and calm
Need to be needed Are aware of the difference between caring for and carrying others
Are involved in other people’s affairs without giving them a chance to explore their own responsibilities Take responsibility for themselves – their own actions, thoughts and feelings. Give support & encouragement   to others to carry their own load
Control others emotionally Have no need to control others
Are  self-centred Balance caring for self and others
Don’t identify their hopes, dreams  Identify their hopes, dreams, visions &   longings
Regard the fulfilling of duty as a great gift to others “who don’t care or appreciate them” Use their gifts and talents joyfully in service that grows and guides others to maturity and leadership
Focus on the negative, Assume the worst, Misery loves company Focus on being constructive and positive, Check the facts, Move on
Are resistant to personal growth Are committed to consistent ongoing personal growth
Often exhibit immature & inappropriate behaviour   Are emotionally immature Consistently exhibit mature & appropriate behaviour   Are emotionally mature
Are prone to jealousy Are confident & clear about who they are: their strengths & weaknesses
Are competitive in relationships Are supportive in relationships
Are rebellious in relationships Are co-operative in relationships
Have difficulty with setting & Holding boundaries Set & hold appropriate and healthy boundaries
Play power games, Are manipulative & Are self-interested Are authentic, real, genuine, truthful & transparent Are disinterested
Don’t have a sense of their self-worth, Are strangers to themselves Have a true sense of their identity, Are at home with themselves
Think they need to prove themselves Have no need to prove them. Act out of their core essence
Have undefined & unrealistic expectations of others. Ask for what they need
Assume others will automatically  take responsibility for meeting their needs Take responsibility for asking for what they need
Are re-active, Re-act to what is happening around them Are pro-active, Choose what they think, do and say
Wait for things to happen Make things happen
Want to do all the talking and have the last word Are skilled and disciplined listeners Are close & critical observers
Are often disconnected from themselves, others and by   implication God Himself Are integrated, unified and focused
Are spectators, Take very little or no initiative.   Criticise the initiatives of others Are participants, Take initiative and calculated risks. They push through with what they need to do
Undervalue who they are so people undervalue what they do & say Value who they are so people value what they do & say
Make excuses when held to account. Take responsibility when held to account.
Don’t identify their vulnerability (feelings) & limits which then have power over them Identify their vulnerability ( feelings) & limits which then don’t have power over them. “The vulnerable become the invulnerable”
Have deep-seated feelings of inadequacy and fear Have a sense of competency and trust


On a continuum, both victims and leaders can fall off the edge and both need to grow towards something more balanced.
There are shades of grey between each end of the continuum.
The victim role is immensely subtle.
Often there are no obvious elements.
It is often only when a person experiences irritability, anger, guilt & even hurt that he realises he has been caught by the victim.
Leaders in their confidence & strength can become unteachable.
The strength of character of the leader must not become
∆          overbearing
∆          bullying
∆          too demanding
The goal is to move towards a balanced approach to life.

I hope these notes assist you as well as it did for him.

To your continued success,


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