Ep #24: Victims and Villains

Last week, we talked about taking responsibility for our own emotions and being an emotional adult. Make sure you check that out because we’re carrying on a little deeper today with the concept of the victim vs. villain blame game.

Friends, this topic is so fascinating to me because most of us would rather die than to consider ourselves victims, right? We would swear up and down that we absolutely are not one. But let me just throw this out there: Is there anyone you spend a lot of time thinking negative thoughts about? If you do, that’s your “villain.”

If you’re familiar with this podcast at all, you might guess that freeing yourself of your villains and living your dream life boils down to working on one thing – your thoughts.

If you’re still choosing to outsource your happiness to other people, this is going to be a little hard to swallow at first, but stick with me because changing your mindset around this is about to impact your life for the better!

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • How you might be in victim mentality and not even know it.
  • What taking 100% responsibility for your own emotions really means.
  • How we create “villains.”
  • Why other people’s choices are not a reflection of you.
  • How to free yourself from your villains.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 24.

Welcome to The Design You Podcast, a show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth, and joy. Here is your host, Tobi Fairley.

Hey y’all, that’s my new favorite word. Y’all. Okay, so guess what? Guess what I did this weekend? Give up? Okay, yeah, you’d never have guessed this, but what I did was I allowed my daughter to have a sleepover with 13 13 year olds. Yes I did, at my house. It was her entire volleyball team, y’all, and they were fantastic.

No kidding. They were so amazing, and I enjoyed them so much, and we only had one minor casualty. The guest bedspread now has Skittles all over it. They slept on them and they’re melted into the bedspread, but you know what, I’m thinking it’s salvageable. And if it’s not, okay, because I got the joy of hosting those amazing young women in my house and I am telling you, I absolutely loved it.

In fact, at one point, when they were all in my daughter’s room with her built in daybed that I designed as sort of like a sofa with the pullout trundle underneath and then she has a regular bed too, and they were all piled in there on all those beds, all 13 of them watching a movie, I literally thought my heart was going to burst. As a mom and as an interior designer, this is exactly how I envisioned her room working when I designed it.

So happy, happy mama right here, and trust me, a whole bunch of happy 13 year olds too because they spent the last probably 18 hours swimming and eating pizza and like, getting completely overdosed on candy and soda and everything that’s a mom’s worst nightmare and hanging out together. And it was absolutely awesome. And I’m not kidding.

Okay, so, did you listen to last week’s podcast about taking responsibility for your emotions? If not, go back and listen because it’s the exact kind of thinking that allows me to feel exactly like I do right now about the 13 13year olds at my house. Because I could choose to think that they were a nightmare and I could be so upset about the Skittles on the bedspread. Or I can choose to find joy and love for these adorable and amazing young women and it’s totally my choice. And wow, do I ever love choosing joy and love about them. Because I’m telling you, they inspire me. They’re beautiful, they’re talented, they’re athletic, and they’re just phenomenal, okay?

So today we’re jumping into a related topic. Villains and victims. I feel like we should have music like dun dundun. Villains and victims, right? So let’s think about this for a minute. When you choose to delegate your happiness to other people, meaning you choose to believe that other people’s actions, words, behaviors are what your happiness depends on, then you have just become a victim and the person you handed your emotions to, they’re the villain.

Now, this is a very interesting concept because a lot of us would rather die than to think we are victims. We would swear up and down that we absolutely are not one, right? But let me ask you this: who are you allowing to rent space in your head right now? Who do you spend a lot of time thinking negative thoughts about that you could be using that time and thoughts for something positive or productive instead? Who do you hate? Or even strongly dislike?

The answer to all of those questions is your villain or villains. And if you have any, then you are the victim, like it or not. Thinking thoughts of jealousy, anger, envy, or blame about another person regularly to the point that it impacts your quality of life through your thoughts and your decisions means you are in victim mentality. Victim mode. You have just handed your feelings, your emotions over to those people on a silver platter.

And it’s always your villains that would be the last people on earth that you would choose to me in charge of you, right? They’d be the last people you’d elect to hand your feelings over to. But ironically, it’s exactly what you’re doing. If they’re controlling your thoughts and your emotions and ultimately controlling you, then you just did. You just handed them over.

So do you have any villains? Who are they? Your ex? Your spouse’s ex? Your dad? Your mom? Your mother-in-law? A sibling? Your boss? A co-worker? A competitor? A friend? An ex-friend? Someone you don’t even know personally like the president or another politician or a celebrity or someone else that is constantly taking up space in your brain? If there is anyone, even if they aren’t still living, that takes up way too much of your head space, then it’s time you take back your emotions and kick your victim mentality to the curb.

So why do we have villains in the first place? Well, as usual, when we’re dealing with mindset issues, if you’ve listened to any episode of The Design You Podcast, you’ll know the answer. It’s coming from our thoughts, right? Our thoughts about other people and how they should behave or what they should do so we can be happy, or what they should do so we can be comfortable. That’s where it all starts.

But as we learned in the last episode, this is the opposite of taking responsibility for our own emotions. One part of the victim villain dance is the blame game. As painful as it is in the long run to blame other people, in the short run, it’s so much easier just to blame your villain than to take responsibility and to go out and do the hard work on yourself or the hard work that would effect real change in the world or make a real difference, okay?

So yeah, it’s easier. It’s easier to procrastinate on that part because that would be hard. It’s so much easier just to blame them. But that makes you the victim. Another part is thanks to our thoughts, we often feel helpless against these people, they intimidate us because the thoughts we think make us feel intimidated by them. We feel like these people have control or power over us. And you know what? They do. Because we’re handing it over to them with our thoughts. They do because we think they do.

We may feel that way because of their money or their position, but again, it’s only our thoughts that cause us to feel this way. And I know this because I know our thoughts cause all our feelings 100% of the time. We may feel like these people don’t have to answer to anyone, and that they just do what they want in life and we may feel some sense of justice that we need to uphold to make them toe the line. But here’s the thing, y’all, that’s not our job or our place.

That’s overstepping a boundary. We all get to act the way we want to and that doesn’t mean there aren’t any consequences. It just means it’s not our job to worry about their consequences. It’s sort of that old adage that our parents may have preached to us. I know mine did of, “Don’t worry about them, just worry about yourself.” You know, that’s exactly what taking 100% responsibility for ourselves actually means.

And if we’re jealous that they live the life they want, that they don’t answer to others or it seems like they don’t, you know what? We can do that too. It’s our choice. We’re afraid to take charge of our own lives so we’re envious that they have the courage to do so. But that’s not their problem. That doesn’t mean we need to go make them toe the line. That means we need to make us step into our potential.

That means we need to create the life that we really want so we’re not jealous or envious of theirs because ours is exactly the way we would design it, okay? And we also may think that something they did means something about us. But it doesn’t. So again, if you feel this way, if you feel like well, they did this thing and now it makes me look bad, that’s coming from your thoughts. And you must remember that anything that anyone else thinks, does, or feels is 100% on them. It’s not a reflection on you.

Even if it’s your spouse or your mom or your kid, it is a reflection on them. It was their choice. Your thoughts may be telling you that it makes you look bad, but realize those are just thoughts and you can change your thoughts any time. So if we are living in victim mentality, if you’re saying, “Yeah, that’s me, Tobi, I see it,” then what exactly are we to do about it?

Well, a few things. First, decide to make yourself happy and free from your villains by doing what I talked about in the last episode, and take complete responsibility for your emotions. So if you want to deep dive into this, go back and listen to episode 23. But it’s about deciding that we don’t care what they or anyone else thinks about us. Not being rude. Not at all. We love them. We love other people in our lives. But the only person that needs to approve of us and our choices is us.

And if you were taking 100% responsibility for your own emotions, then you will become to believe this. That yeah, everybody’s not going to be happy with my choices, but that’s okay. As long as I’m happy with my choices, that is what matters, okay?

So the next thing after this one, which is a little harder, is to believe that everyone is doing the best that they can even when we don’t agree with their actions. Yeah, hard, right? I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who I really, really like, but she vehemently disagreed with this. When considering her villains, the ones that were both personal and then even like, the president or some celebrity that just really makes her crazy, she just swore that those other people weren’t doing the best they could do. She just could not get her head around this.

And I get it’s a hard concept to understand, but realize this: when we’re thinking about it from our perspective, if we would be doing our best if we were showing up like that, that’s a completely different thing. That’s putting our own filter of our beliefs and our morals and our work ethic and all of that stuff about us, that’s putting that on them. And it doesn’t work that way. We’re all different.

And as hard as it may be to understand, I believe that it’s very unlikely that other people, even people you despise wake up every day and say to themselves, “Let me go out and do a half ass job today. Let me just suck at life today and try to just screw up the world in every way I possibly can,” right? They’re not thinking that. I believe that whether we can understand their beliefs or their thoughts or their position or their actions doesn’t mean that they aren’t still doing the best they can do. In fact, I believe everyone is doing their own best in any situation on any given day with what they are dealing with in their life at that time.

We must realize that we are overstepping our boundaries by wanting them to behave in a certain way or wanting to change those people. It’s really none of our business how they act. And if we do that, we’re doing what I learned is called a manual. When I was in The Life Coach School, when I got my life coach certification, I loved this concept of the manual. And a manual is a spoken or unspoken code or way that we believe that if they would just behave like that, then we could be happy.

For instance, like him or not, this is not a political post, but it’s just a great example. So like him or not, if the president would just do X, then I could be happy. Or if my mother-in-law would just do X, then I could be happy. Or if my husband or my children would just do X, then I would be happy. But the truth is we can be happy no matter what any of these other people do. If we want to be happy, we can be happy.

This is our choice. Because no matter how hard we try, we can’t control other people. So our only option is to be in charge of our own happiness. We can be happy just because we choose to be happy. But as long as we’re committed to hating other people or trying to control other people, we will not be happy. We will also not have the time or energy to make our own lives great because we’re exhausting all the energy we would need to do that with thinking about these other people.

So again, this is not a political podcast. I’m not taking sides on this conversation. I don’t even want to say how I feel because it’s not about that. I don’t care if your villain is the current president or the past president, or if it’s not a public figure at all, if it’s someone in your own day-to-day life, this still applies. Mother Theresa said, “What can you do to promote world peace? What you can do is go home and love your family.” I love this, y’all. I think personally, that the way to promote world peace is before we even love our families is just to first love ourselves just the way we are and take responsibility for our own emotions and let everybody else off the hook. Which in a sense, is loving your family and loving everyone else that you encounter.

And yeah, you may think, “Well, that’s a privileged way to believe, Tobi,” but it’s not. It’s not privileged. You may think, “Well, that’s privileged to just let all those people off the hook and not worry about it,” but that’s not what I think at all. That’s not what I’m saying at all. I believe this is the opposite of that. Why? Because the only people we can control is us. So we’re wasting time that we could be creating a lot of change by worrying about all those other people when we can take that into our own lives and change how we show up. If we all took care of ourselves, if we all took care of our own emotional needs, and we stopped expecting anyone else to do that for us, you know what? I think the world would be a far different place.

And when we are committed to creating our best selves and our best life, I think we are more generous with our time and money. So I’m not saying just worry about yourself and never help anybody else. Absolutely help everybody you can. But you’re going to be able to do that a whole lot more if you’ll stop worrying about what other people are doing and start worrying about what you’re doing.

When we are committed to working in and delivering our highest contribution to the world every day, then we’re going to have even more money to use to change ourselves and our families and to change the world, y’all. This level of taking responsibility for ourselves, I believe, will create systemic change in our own homes, which would spill out into our own communities, which then spill out into the world.

So take a look at your life. Are you handing over your emotions to a villain or to several of them? Take those back right now. Take ’em back. Choose to be happy and loving and positive and successful every day because you can. Those emotions are just as available to you as hate and insecurity and fear and suffering. Release every villain in your life because when you do that, the person you actually release is yourself. And if you do that, you will be free to create the exact life you dream of by just changing your thoughts no matter what other people are doing. No matter if they ever change, okay?

So go make it happen, friends. Your life is about to get so much better. Your life is about to be far greater than you can imagine. And hey, before you go, do one thing for me. I won’t be mad at you if you don’t, I’m not trying to control you. But if it feels good and you really love this podcast, would you take a minute and head over to iTunes and leave me a rating and a review on The Design You Podcast?

If you’re loving my content each week and it’s making a difference in your life, I want to know. And I want other people to know too. So you can either search The Design You Podcast on iTunes and find it and leave me both a rating, which is like how many stars you think I deserve, and a comment, which is what’s called a review, or if you need help, just go to tobifairley.com/itunes and we’ll show you exactly how to do this.

So I can’t wait to hear your thoughts and go kick all those villains to the curb now, y’all, and it is going to make your life so much better. So thanks a million, friends, and I’ll see you next week. Bye for now.

Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of The Design You Podcast. And if you’d like even more support for designing a business and a life that you love, then check out my exclusive monthly coaching program Design You at tobifairley.com.

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Hi! I'm Tobi

I help creative women (and a few really progressive dudes) design profit-generating, soul-fulfilling businesses that let them own their schedule, upgrade their life and feel more alive than ever!

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