let me start by linking you to
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locus_of_control. you’re welcome to peruse that before you read my reflections on it.
i was introduced to this concept during orientation of college. as you can imagine, it’s had quite an effect on me since then. whenever someone’s shit is going sideways, i annoyingly ask them if they feel like they could have avoided some situation or prevent future recurrences. do you have a strong locus of control? i realized that there’s another way to phrase my advice: don’t be a victim.
it seems that in recent years, my relationships with people are starting to strain because i cannot tolerate the victim mentality. i’m not saying it’s easy to pull yourself out of the fucking gutter. i’m literally still going to therapy to undo the childhood trauma imposed by my parents. somewhere along the way, i realized that i was painting this victim narrative where my parents oppressed me so much and now i’m so broken – woe is me – and so forth. that realization shattered my self-imposed emotional walls. i decided i am more than my pain and past. my parents were victims of the Vietnam War and their scars were about to be permanently impressed on me. i choose actively to stop the cycle. i will create a better environment around me for those i call my friends and family. i will fight for a bright future for my children, and create a safe and loving family culture.
back to my friends going through tough times. at the risk of this blog post turning into an advice column, allow me to use real life examples (names changed for privacy):
- John got into an accident recently. Someone on the highway tried to change lanes and swiped his side. I empathized for a minute and then asked him: “do you think you could have avoided this situation? you’ve gotten into 5 accidents in the past 2 years. understandably, none of them were your fault – but your chance of accidents is higher than usual.” John got very upset at me and we got into an argument. He decided to start distancing himself from me – and we stopped speaking months ago. John, what is more likely: you are a sub-par driver that is susceptible to accidents or you are constantly getting terrorized by shitty drivers on the road?
- Michael fell in love with a friend. When she rejected his romantic interest and started dating another friend in the group, Michael broke. He decided to never see or speak to these 2 good friends ever again because he felt betrayed. He created a wedge in the group because friends can’t simply hang out together in one big bunch. He created friction because you’re not allowed to speak to him about any events that involve the newly-formed couple. Michael, how long will you hold onto your hurt and victimhood? In the game of life – and especially the game of love, you will inevitably lose many rounds. Is the relationship actively ruining your life in some way? What is more likely: all these potential lovers don’t see how great you are, or you are simply not good enough?
to close out, i hope that you, my dear reader, embraces that you have free will – or the illusion of free will (if you want to get real philosophical) – and that is good enough. forge your path through life intentionally. your decisions and thinking should yield happiness and meaning for you. no one else will do it for you. if you choose passivity, do not complain when you are left behind.