When you are a martyr you have to draw an audience to the base of your cross, after all what good is it if you don’t have an audience?
I do it, we all do it, loving yourself anyway and catching yourself doing it, now that is the real progress!
Being powerful and self aware enough to watch or catch yourself in a martyr routine and stop it is really the essential thing.
When this happens to me I ask myself 3 questions –
- Why am I looking for external validation or attention?
- Why am I choosing to live in the past instead of the present?
- How can I deflect myself from this emotion and reach for a feeling and emotion that feels better?
Like a toddler having a meltdown, distraction is a wonderful tool I use on myself when I find it hard to process, make sense of or break out of a destructive emotional and behavioral patterns.
I reach for music, serving others, making a meal, going for a walk or watching a show as effective ways to break my martyrdom patterns.
Martyr’s feel taken from, they have a great sense of and are trigger by loss. Many times that I have felt like this in my life it is because I have been taken from. Loss is a big theme, a real theme of the last few years, however, it doesn’t serve me or the future I have to look forward to if I remain there.
When I start a martyr story I am usually talking to a friend and complaining. I don’t want to live like this either, this is why I find it easier to distract myself with activities on my own as I find the people around me can validate my martyrdom which doesn’t really serve me.
I watch this in my practice — usually when there is martyr behavior there are also validators and enablers around them. This justifies and reinforces this self limiting and destructive emotional patterns.
I know for myself, when I am lovingly called out on my behavior by others instead of having it validated it is less reinforced. The best thing I can do is live my life aware of the stories I trap myself in and continually try to move forward and a better version of myself than I was yesterday.
I am far from perfect but being aware of the negative personas I can portray and how much they cost me is the best way for me grow. I am working on becoming more emotionally intelligent and present to myself and to others…