- He avoids being accountable for his own results, thinks it was just bad luck.
- He blames others for his poor performance: teachers, parents, society, etc.
- He thinks he is the victim of others bad intentions.
- He gets in trouble often: gets fired, gets arrested, etc.
- He is often angry and hostile and thinks he “deserves” better.
Rats rarely take ownership or accountability for their own behavior and the results they create. To them it is always someone else’s fault. As a child they started out saying, they got a D grade because “the teacher didn’t like them” or “she wasn’t fair.” Later, they lost their jobs because “the supervisor has it in for them.” They can’t get a raise because “the boss is a racial bigot.” They can’t afford a house because “the banks are run by the corrupt government.” Etc, etc, etc.
Rats are the losers and criminals of the world. The prisons are full of men who “didn’t do it.” Even if they did, it was “the other guys fault.” The other guy started the fight. The other guy “had it coming.” The woman they beat was “asking for it.”
Unlike the Twelve Step programs where you first have to acknowledge who you are (I am an alcoholic), before you can move toward who you want to be, the Rats refuse to acknowledge who they are and instead focus on blaming others. In doing so, Rats give up their own power and place themselves in a constant “victim” position.
Like the Crabs, a Rat is not really a Man-imal. It is a compensating survival mechanism they learned in childhood to cope with challenges they faced. This is an extremely difficult position to overcome. In general we would suggest you run like hell if your man has much of this quality!
If you decide to stay with him (and we don’t recommend it), it will take a LOT of work to help him release his victim position – because he believes it’s really true! He will fight you (and blame you) every step of the way. It is very painful for him to acknowledge his own mistakes and weaknesses. It takes a great deal of courage for him to face the fact that his own behavior has created his poor results. Even if he received actual discrimination, it is still a more powerful position to ask oneself, “Given this, what can I do to change my results?”
If your man is willing to move toward change (and he has to really want to change, not just you want him to), then he will need LOTS of recognition from you for every step forward he takes, no matter how small. You will need to supply support and understanding even when he falls back into his old blaming “victim” position. Even professional therapists have a hard time helping someone release their blaming behavior. Somewhere underneath his Rat behavior is the real man and his natural focus, but it’s hard to see unless and until he sheds his Rat attitude.
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