My definition of victimization is when someone else takes away your power without your consent.
For some, having or sharing the identity of being victimized can be empowering and for some, not so much. My desire is to help people move away from disempowerment to empowerment. We all have had our power taken away, in one way or another. Some of us don’t even realize that this has or is happening.
So you may be wondering how one moves from disempowerment to empowerment? I like to start by utilizing two very powerful words. Yes and No. In ideal situations, consent is communicated and understood as clear as day, without any ambiguity. I like to use the adage “It should be as clear as a high-five and a hell yes”! There is no uncertainty there. I am either all in or I am all out. Yes and no are very definitive words. There is no mystery there. I make my claim to what I want or desire.
So this may seem like a very silly and elementary example but a very practical place to start. The next time someone asks you where you want to go to dinner, and before you reply “I don’t care, where would you like to go?” or “What movie do you want to see?” and you reply “I don’t care, what do you want to see”. Think before you answer, turn towards your inner voice, your inner self, and ask these questions and see what comes to mind. WHAT DO YOU WANT/DESIRE? WHAT DO YOU NEED?
Most of us have been taught to be agreeable, polite or go with the flow. Especially if you are female Because if you are female and you are assertive then take a guess on what you are called, a bitch. Or you are told you are “too much, too loud, or too assertive”. I am not suggesting that you become obstinate, rude, or unflexible. I am suggesting that you have the right and the choice to voice your wants and needs. It doesn’t always mean that you will get what you want (The Rolling Stones had this one down), but you do have the right to share what your thoughts, wants and desires. You matter. Plain and simple.
There is a big difference between wants and needs. Needs are nonnegotiables. I need my partner to be faithful. Wants are bonuses. I want my partner to wear matching socks, because I think it’s hot when he takes time out to dress appropriately. You get to determine what are your wants, what are your needs, and it is up to you to communicate them to the people that matter in your life.
Utilizing your voice is an important step towards empowerment. Matter of fact, without it, empowerment would be hard to experience. Start here. It may take a minute to find your voice, to tap into what it is that you want, what it is that you need. The next step is to voice it. Start with the small stuff, then move to the things that you have been letting go unaddressed.
People still might want to take your power away. Some of the people in your life might be surprised that you are now asserting your thoughts and opinions. That’s okay. They can get used to it. Relationships are partnerships. Hopefully your relationships are based on equality, trust, respect and empathy. If not, then there is going to be a learning curve for some of these folks in your life, or you get to determine if these are relationships that you want to keep.
When you respect your own voice, and you honor that voice, then the people in your life should do the same.