What does it mean to be a victim? We have all felt imposed upon by the world, either by people, situations, or systems but is there value in victimhood? Does it empower or does it weaken? It seems that identification as a victim can do either, depending on the context. For those who have endured abuse, self identification as a victim is empowering and an important step toward recovery. It helps to remove the self blame or any feelings of having been complicit to the abuse. It is part of the process of becoming a survivor, but what about less overtly awful examples of imposition? Am I the victim because traffic is moving too slowly, lines are too long, or because life is just too hard? Victimhood then becomes detrimental because when we allow life to dictate how we feel, we give away our personal power. A person can also become addicted to playing the role of the victim and learn to view the world as imposing or rigged against them. We all know someone who finds a way to make themselves the victim in non-victimizing situations and use that world view to their advantage. Identification as a victim can often elicit sympathy and compassion from others, and can diminish the role of personal responsibility. So, I guess the role it plays depends on the plot of the story.