Such things fasten my troubles to me with chains

Reading recovery literature taught me how to identify a martyr. 

They use suffering to attract attention. They view themselves as unfortunate creatures caught in a web of circumstance. Their daily existence is a walking battleground. A montage of crises bookended by catastrophes.

And so, overwhelmed with life’s problems, they quickly and easily fly into blind rage over completely inconsequential bullshit. They allow their imaginations to build small troubles into big ones. Wresting with situations that aren’t actually worth a second thought. Collecting injustices like beads on a string, carrying around trouble like a backpack full of boulders, conjuring up all sorts of mishaps and calamities for themselves. 

But the real danger of martyrdom is, it’s highly contagious. People’s drama attempts to bait others into a life of worry. It aims to drag the rest of us down into their whirlpool of resentment. 

People shake their heads and murmur under their breath, silently formulating their exasperated little sob story to recount to everyone they encounter. And they coming knocking on every door in town, asking everyone we know to sign their petitions until there is a whole army of people who agree with them that everything is wrong and everyone is mobilized against them. 

It’s sad. Serenity has no hope of seeping into the chaos of their lives. 

Of course, feeling sorry for these heroes doesn’t help, either. It only further enables their behavior. 

There’s no point here. Martyrs just bother me. And every time I see one in action, the bell of awareness rings. 

Reminding me to make sure that my core values really have been violated before jumping to high drama. 

And that we have nothing to lose but our misery. 


Are you still making life more difficult than it needs to be?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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