Victim, PhD.

It's easy to criticize someone else's behavior.  It's not so easy to hold that mirror up to yourself and ask the question, "Do I ever behave that way?"  It's even harder to answer that question honestly.  As motivational speakers we need to keep finding ways to understand the human condition in order to understand ourselves better and in turn, enable us to better connect with our audience.

Oh brother, did I ever have that chance last Saturday while waiting 4 hours in the ER with my husband who fell off our roof and gashed his little head!  (He's fine; more on that in my next blog.)

There she was, early 40's, obese, sitting in a wheelchair with a mask covering her nose and mouth (like we all were because of the rampant flu season we're having).  I first noticed signs of the professional victim with her overly loud telephone monologue.  The other signs followed:

1.  "I just wanted to let you know that I've been waiting an hour, alone, in the emergency room.  I love you.  I'll be alright."

2.  Wheeling past us to the restroom: "I'm sorry.  Excuse me."  She was well out of our way.  "Don't worry, I'm just wearing this mask so I don't catch anything.  I don't need any more problems."

3.  Wheeling back; "It's hard to walk with my bad achilles tendon, SIGH!"

4.  To man at front desk: "  Excuse me.  Could you get me a sandwich or something?  I'm diabetic and I forgot to eat before coming here.  It's hard for me to walk."  There was no response that I could here from the desk but I, on the other hand, was compelled to act and offered her my snack bag of walnuts and raisins that I always carry with me.  (See peptalks) This gesture was met with loud gushing bless yous, thank yous, praises and topped off with; "I appreciate it (pause) more than you'll ever know."

5.  Her name was finally called.  "Oh, that's me!  That's me!"  Struggling with the locked wheels on her chair an elderly lady beside her was coaching her through the new delimma, ultimatley giving up and doing it for her.  Victim with a PhD gushes thank yous and neatly folds her hands on her lap!  Predictably the older woman gives in again and struggles to push her into the exam room.

I turned to my silently suffering, bloody-headed husband and said, "Wow!  She is good!"

Don't get me wrong, I am sure her conditions are very taxing and uncomfortable to live with bet we all have to take some responsibility for our lives and take action to better our situation any way we can. I held this particularly stunning example of "being the victim" mirror up to myself that day and pondered if I ever acted the victim.  My honest answer was yes.  In some cases I do.

It's now time to formulate a plan and take some action to change that behavior when it wants to pop up.  Brava to ER lady for making me take a look!  Have you held up a mirror lately?

From your motivational speaker who literally just held up a mirror and is reaching for her tweasers.


Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford didn’t always know the phytochemical benefits of kale, in fact, those words weren’t even in her vocabulary 30 years ago. Neither did she see any reason to do jumping jacks on a cement surface for an hour. But all it took was a chance vegetarian cooking class and some high-energy music to open her eyes upon a whole new world of healthy living. For 30 years Polly has practiced, studied, taught, educated and lived a healthy lifestyle that makes her such a powerful speaker.

Polly’s down-to-Earth and humorous approach mirrors her own lifelong journey to lasting, positive changes. The audience walks away with tangible plans for improving their health and their lives through food, fitness and fun.
To book Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford, call 941-685-7725 or visit her at

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  1. Oh wow, Polly. Thank you so much. I'm now thinking about my litany of ailments that I can rattle off at the slightest provocation – like when some unsuspecting person says, "How are you?"  I am SO going to rethink this one!  And you're right – as motivational speakers it IS our job to observe the actions of others, and then take a close look at our own behaviors.  Wow.  Thanks again for making me stop and think.

  2. Amen! Which is why we both posted similiar messages on the same day. Mirror work is powerful. And I need to get myself in front of one more often. Not to apply more makeup, but to apply this powerful truth.

  3. Me too! Me too! I was just telling myself the other day that I worry too much about what other people are doing – when I should be working on my own heart. I'm the only one I can control in any situation. So why am I still trying to fix people? Sometimes the hardest thing for me to do is to change an "I wish he would stop acting like this" statement to a "How can I change the way I react?" statement. That old look in mirror thing is getting us all! This year I truly want to strive to walk around in a state of looking inside at my own heart, rather than looking around and deciding if everybody is acting according to my expectations. Thank you, Polly, for the wonderful story about the victim with the PhD.  I love how you found the balance between grace (sympathy for the plight of others) and truth (taking on the victim mentality and using to further your continuing education at victim university).     Wonderful stuff, ladies. Wonderful stuff.

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