“Most people don’t have that willingness to break bad habits. They have a lot of excuses and they talk like victims.” – Carlos Santana
“You don’t yell at a sleepwalker. He may fall and break his neck.” Joe Gillis – Sunset Boulevard (Paramount Pictures 1950)
In regards to SL I always say I have two lives but one heart. One face but I wear many hats. I never once forget that there are people behind the avatars, people with feelings, lives, emotions and souls behind the disembodied voices. This fact for me hits home when you take the relationships you are in, be it platonic or romantic, and blur the lines between SL and RL. I am not talking about meeting, but sharing phone numbers, text messages, multimedia text messages and even the web cam call. Anytime you can contact someone from SL outside of SL you blur that line. I know there are people on SL who chose to not voice at all. They keep the relationships strictly IN SL even if they share the occasional RL detail. Or there are people who come to SL strictly for RP. They are immersed in a character, they are a villain, a demon, a vampire. They love to create stories and write.
But there is one character that so many people in SL (and even RL) play without the roleplay and that is victim. These are the manipulators of the grid. For me I think they are worse than any griefer. They find their joy and fulfilment out of getting others in SL to feel sorry for them. More often than not, they do this (in my experience) because those in their RL’s will no longer allow them to manipulate them. They have been called out on their actions, on their victim mentality and instead of looking in the mirror, instead of asking themselves the hard questions, instead of taking responsibility for their lives and their choices, they come online to continue to delude themselves further. And in the process hurt genuinely caring people who give everyone the benefit of the doubt. These people are often easy to spot. Every relationship that has ended has never been their fault. Every group they have been kicked out of was because someone else was out to get them. They are the ones who tell stories about their RL’s saying horrible things about them and they come on SL dejected. They don’t ever say WHY it happened. (Yes there are people who are emotionally and verbally abused in RL and in SL…as someone who has in been in those types of relationships in both lives, we don’t advertise what is said to us, we try to hide it, we play as if we are NOT the victim, we pretend that everything is ok, I know I was filled with shame that I allowed myself to get into a situation like that).
In SL these are the people who tend to leave out of nowhere (rarely do they actually leave, they just go on one of the myriad of alts that they have). These are adults who, when they don’t get their way, actually have temper tantrums (I know I stopped having those before I wore my first training bra). They feel that they are owed something by the world in general. This manipulation starts slowly. Normally by not hearing what is said to to them, but by hearing what they want to hear. Then they turn it around, they claim emotions, they claim something “triggered” them (I hate that word so much, there are people who have genuine triggers due to events in life, but not everything that bothers you or that upsets you is a trigger.) They refuse to get past these “triggers” and instead insist that everyone else walk around on eggshells for them. They insist (too much) that they are trying but it’s so hard for them. No it’s not. It’s not hard at all cause they are not doing anything actually to try get past anything. What becomes hard is when people start to wise up, see the manipulator for what they are and decide one of two courses of action — remove the manipulator, this victim from their lives or decide that there is something worthwhile in this person and keep them in their lives. Very often it’s the first one…occasionally it’s the second. Normally it’s a good hearted reason — to show that victim that not everyone is bad, or hurtful, these are the people who believe that everyone deep at their core is a good person.
In this world (and I have learned this by working in retail) that if we scream and complain and cause a big enough scene, we get what we want. I personally find it sickening when people do that in order to get an extra 20% off some clothes. I can’t even describe how it makes me feel when people do it to manipulate other people, be it RL or SL, to do what they want. But in the end, this victim has to move on or in the very rare circumstance actually change. Because people will stop. You don’t see it when it is happening to you, but those around you do see it eventually…unless of course you allow yourself to live in a vacuum (which is very easy to do in SL) especially when these people slowly insist on spending more and more time with you, slowly making sure that you spend less and less time with friends and family on SL. When you are on together they want it to be just the two of you. They aren’t interested in your friends, they aren’t interested in making friends. Thankfully I have had those in my life who have warned me when they see the signs, and now I see them myself before I allow myself to get into a situation like that. Now what I do is play along, I hand this victim the rope from behind the very high walls I have built up and I watch while they hang themselves. I can’t stop being who I am. I can not stop being a caring person, I can’t stop believing that most people are honest, even when I am dealing with someone who has a reputation as playing the victim and being a manipulator and in that sense, I still do get hurt.
But the sting is less and less. I move on much faster now. I do not stay angry at these people, they do not deserve that from me, but what I do feel is pity for these people. They are missing out on so much love and joy and laughter and genuine connections with people cause of this behavior. It makes me really sad for them. I can’t pretend to understand them, I don’t even try anymore cause it’s never going to happen. I am more than ok with that…cause that is the secret. Once you stop trying, the victim loses their power over you and they move on and out of your life.
Hat – Raffia Beach Hat w/ Scarf & Lining – Maxi Gossamer @ FaMESHed
Hair – Sassafrass in Black – Analog Dog (From Hair Fair 2015)
Sunglasses – Summer Lovin Shades #23 – Reign @ Epiphany Gacha*
Lipstick – Tender in Magenta – MUA
Jewelry – Savannah Heart Key – Maxi Gossamer
Bag – Summer Lovin Tote Set 2 #13 – Reign @ Epiphany Gacha*
Dress – Madalyn Dress in Blue – GizzA Creations*
Shoes – Mahi Gladiator Sandals RARE – Reign @ Epiphany Gacha*
Hair – Malak V2 (HUD A) **NEW** – Catwa
Lipstick – Fem in Red – MUA
Jewelry – Sansa – Maxi Gossamer
Dress – Molly Blazer Dress in Black and White – GizzA Creations*
Rings – Accessoires in Black for SLink Elegant Hands ONLY – Formanails
Hand Bag – Lilly Bag – Legendaire*
Suitcase – Mesh Travel Suitcase Builders Kit – Meli Imako
Shoes – Charisma Heels in White – Reign @ The Wayward Carnival*
Poses for Both Looks – Exquisite Series **NEW** – Di’s Opera
* Denotes Review Copies*
Both Sets of Shoes are made for Mesh Feet – I am wearing Maitreya.