At some point in all of our lives, we have that time where something happens to us that isn’t right or fair. We feel hurt, sad, helpless, angry – powerless over our circumstances. We feel victimized.


There’s actually a strong connection between a happy photo like this one and relieving the pain of being victimized.

An example might be like Sarah, who took a job believing it would offer her all that it promised.

However, the job didn’t deliver on its promise in real time and now she feels trapped and deeply discontented.

Sarah feels victimized although she might not label it that way. She thinks things like:

  • “I worked hard to get this so-called better job and now it’s a fake!”
  • “I did everything I was supposed to do, why didn’t this work out?”
  • “Why isn’t this job like I thought it would be? This is so unfair.”

When you hear something like your inner voice saying “It just isn’t fair” most likely you are feeling like a victim.

It happens to all of us. Feeling like a victim is not a problem. The problem comes from staying in one place.

When you’re stuck in a victim role, try dancing to get unstuck. Specifically, do the do-si-do.

The do-si-do step is perfect for helping your inner victim

A friend of mine and his girlfriend like to go dancing. Ballroom, square, country, any kind of dancing really. Tom and Laura showed me a couple of steps one time, including the do-si-do. When I saw the do-si-do I was struck by the thought, “That’s exactly how to escape feeling like a victim.”

Do si do are the steps you take when you go around your partner, face them, bow and say hello. Like in this video:

Do-si-do with your inner victim. When you get overwhelmed by bad feelings it’s like quicksand: hard to get out of it. You keep punching yourself down with judgment and criticism. You can’t feel any Compassion for yourself.

The do-si-do keeps your dance partner at arm’s length. From that short distance you can hear from your inner victim without falling into the depths of despair.

Nobody can do the do-si-do without a partner. The part of you feeling victimized is no different. Who will be the dance partner?

When you’re feeling victimized, you need to do-si-do with a compassionate partner

The part of you that feels victimized needs an older, wiser, and compassionate partner. A partner who understands that feeling betrayed, hurt, and helpless are perfectly natural reactions to unfair situations.

You are more than just that victim. You actually can be both the victim and the one listening. Listen openly deeply to see if you can hear from this victim in you differently. First you get that you are deeply feeling emotional pain and you understand that what happened or is happening is very difficult.

Then you do-si-do.

Move in and ask: What’s the story?

(Move out and reflect)

Move in and ask: What do you need right now to feel better.

(Move out and reflect)

Move in and ask: What supports do you need to feel cared for?

(Move out and reflect)

Move in and ask: What do you need to feel safe right now?

(Move out and reflect)

Another good thing about the do-si-do: there’s no room for your inner critic

The good thing about the do-si-do is it’s a two party dance. There’s no room for your inner critic that is more than happy to share its negative views with you.

Your inner critic can sit out this dance.

Dancing with your feelings of victimhood is movement in the right direction. Keep dancing until you can see clearly what your next positive step is toward the future you want. You’ll feel energized and hopeful.

With your inner critic on the sidelines, you’ll be able to hear from your victim feelings and get some important information: what you need right now during this difficult time.

Then ask you how can this information influence you in your life right now.

You are much more than the sum of all your parts. You have your Compassionate Self to guide, empower, and do-si-do your way through life.



Image credit

IMG_4725” by Flickr user Anuj Biyani is licensed under CC BY 2.0.