Gandhi once said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in agreement.”
When you are living in the martyr syndrome or in victim behavior, what you are thinking, saying, or doing are not in agreement.
In relationships for example, your spouse or partner makes yet another request (or demand) for you to do something or go somewhere with them. You don’t want to do it, you resent doing it, you complain to other people (but never your spouse or partner) that you don’t want to do it and then… YOU DO IT ANYWAY.
What you think, say and do are OUT of agreement.
Now you’re possibly saying to yourself, yeah, that’s exactly what I do, I want to stop it, how do I stop it?
Henny Youngman, the late, stand up comedian known for his one-liners, used to tell a joke:
A man goes to see his doctor. He tells the doctor, “Doc, it hurts when I do this.” The doctor says, “Don’t do that.”
Simple advice but why is it SO, SO, SO hard to do? Drumroll, please…
Your subconscious mind is running your behavior.
Is your subconscious mind some sick, twisted beast determined to sabotage you?
No, your subconscious is there to help you and does a lot of marvelous things to keep you alive and functioning. It controls your breathing, digestion, heart and blood flow, and many other things so you don’t have to consciously think about them.
And it also dictates a lot of your behavior.
The subconscious mind is kind of like software that has acquired and accumulated your ‘programming’ over your lifetime, a majority of which was acquired in childhood. It tries to help you by protecting you, and it does so by running the ‘programs’ or response behaviors you’ve adopted to deal with a variety of situations.
The situations are usually ones that cause some type of fear response and the subconscious protects you against the fear. In the above example, if you’re afraid to say NO to your spouse or partner, it protects you by running the behavior program where you do what was asked even though you don’t want to and resent doing so.
Instead of saying NO and risking disapproval, or an argument, when you stood up for yourself, you avoid the fear of that course of action and settle for one that avoids confrontation and makes you resent the other person AND yourself for not standing up for what you really wanted.