How to Comfort Victims of Mistreatment

As someone who deals with people, you’ll come across many individuals who perceive themselves to be victims of some kind of misdoing.

They’ll present well thought out reasons for why they really are a victim, and just how much of a victim they really are. To you, the validity of their victim status may not matter as much as their resiliency in the face of that mistreatment. Perhaps you have a family member who is crippled by others’ mistreatment, or a subordinate whose sense of victim-hood gets in the way of quality work output.

Their true stories will sadden you, as they’re designed to do just that. In the face of the sympathetic feelings that you feel, you’ll realize that you may need to say a word or two to comfort them and to keep them going. You may even depend on them to keep going, as their misfortune could very well be a catalyst to yours occurring.

This article is written for those who find themselves in a position to comfort the victims of unfair treatment.

Though you may not hold stake in relieving someone from their victim mentally, this article assumes you do. In an effort to combine a helpful, kind, and sympathetic act with one which derives us personal benefit, the following are suggested guidelines on how to comfort the mistreated.


The Advantage of Being Mistreated

Comforting those who feel wronged by the world often takes place within the bounds of philosophical discourse, rather than strategic planning. More likely than not, you will not know the specifics of every individual’s situation. A mistake many in your position would make, is to begin delving into the details in an attempt to try and solve the pragmatic puzzle.

Let go of the intention to save them from their specific quandary. If there is an obvious solution on hand, then don’t hesitate to pitch it to the individual. However, the feeling of discouragement can be alleviated without solving the issue which has caused it. Assume the person that you’re helping has been legitimately wronged, without there being an answer on how to turn that wrong into a right.

The mistreated are advantaged in ways those who are treated fairly aren’t. Your effort of comforting the discouraged should present these advantages, and seek to empower the victim with the very thing which they feel suppresses their desire to keep going.

The principal advantage that the mistreated have, is the choice to push through malicious adversity.

You may be facing obstacles at this very moment that if ignored, can grow into something damaging. Your electric bill for instance, has to be paid monthly. If you stop paying it, you’ll perhaps owe interest, and your electricity would be turned off. The electric bill denotes a little hurdle you must hop over every month. To you, this process has been completed many times by now, but to a teenager moving out for the first time, the first electric bill is often a sobering realization of this hurdle.

The ones who feel defeated by unfairness or misdoings, are akin to the teenager who just moved out. What they don’t yet see, is that the misdoings will not stop coming their way even if they victimize themselves vehemently and refuse to jump over this one hurdle. Life’s unfair hurdles just keep coming. Life is infinitely unfair. It kills your parents, and kills you too. It pays you less and your neighbor more. It punctures your tire, while the rest drive away toward their cozy homes.

Each unfair instance thereby, gives the victim of its effects a choice. That victim can calmly push through and keep going, or stumble through with their perception controlled by outside forces. If they’re defeated, their defeat would be violent. The other hurdles will just keep coming. Their failure to clear the first will result in not being able to clear the next. The next thing they’d realize, is that a sense of involuntary paralysis overcame their will to move. They’d be stuck under an immovable pile of life’s unfair hurdles.

Present the all important choice victims of mistreatment are given, and enlighten them to the advantages at play. Let them know that both roads lead do the same destination, and that the will to push through misdoings is simply a matter of choice. That choice however, rests on an important premise. The only difference between pushing through misdoings and letting ourselves be victimized by them, is the state of controlling the only thing we can control in life: our perception.

Those who control their perception enough for it to not be affected by misdoings, unfair treatment, and maliciousness from others, are the ones who life does not defeat. Educate those you help that the bigger the misfortune they push through, the more control of their perception they’ll attain. They’ll arm themselves to look at the most absolute of evils that scatter the life we know, only to remain doubtless in their ability to remain composed.


Below is a skeleton to build your comforting words around:

  • Remind of, and agree on, the fact that life’s misdoings, misfortunes, and malice are abundant and will be repeatedly felt by all.
  • Control over perception to those negative events is the last and only thing we have a chance of controlling.
  • Negative events thereby, give the victim an important choice to make; a choice which pleasant happenings do not give birth to. They can control their perception of that event, or let it (event) take control of the last thing they have a hope of controlling ( their perception).


Potential Reasons for Why This Works

Absolute control over perception is a noble goal to strive for when nothing else in life can be controlled to that extent. A victim of a misdoing often justifiably perceives themselves to be treated unfairly, with that perception being triggered rather than controlled. Misfortunes are perfect opportunities to practice control over our responses to the uncontrollable happenings of life. A sense of control will calm the victim who perceives themselves to not have any. It’ll serve to re-label misfortunes into instances of self improvement in their minds, and will do well do motivate them to continue onward, past misfortunes yet to come.  

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Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims in any way.