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When Is It Ever Going To Be MY Turn?

Are you one of those people who always feel like you never get your turn? Has life handed out turns to everyone else, only to leave you out? What is it about the system of handing out turns that seems to leave you out?

More and more I am hearing from people that they not only feel left out, but they feel like life is treating other people better than it’s treating them. These people have developed some sort of score card in their head to size up the good things other people have and the not-so-good things they have. In reviewing these score cards, these people always seem to feel they come up short.

Coming up short is the main theme of their lives. If you question them about the fairness of life, they will parrot the words, “Life never claimed to be fair.” They know the proper things to say although real truth is, even though they say they know life is not fair, they don’t really believe it applies to other people. They feel life is not fair to THEM, but when it comes to other people, life is more than fair.

Other people are the receivers of the good things in life. They don’t mess up, they don’t have real problems and they always get the breaks in life. Yes, other people get the breaks in life. Other people never fail and if it even begins to look like they might fail, before you know it, life has given them a lucky turn and they’re back on top again. In fact, they’re on top ALL the time. The bottom is left for people who are never going to get their turn.

It’s amazing to see how people who feel like they never get their turn can find large groups of people who feel the same way. Then, collectively, they gain power by taking on the role of victims to a faceless, nameless oppressor. The battle cry is, “You got your turn and by hook or crook, I’m going to get my turn!” This seems to put them in a position to do anything in the name of getting their turn.

It does not matter if they’ve earned their turn or not. It does not matter if they’ve hurt other people to get their turn. Getting their turn is what it is all about. Or, is it? The more these people get their turn, the more they seem to think the cards are stacked against them. The turn they get is never the same as the turn the OTHER group has been given. The other group’s turn was a better turn, stacked in their favor so they’ll receive more benefits from it.

The number of excuses made by people who do not feel like they have been given a fair shake is endless. As a matter of fact, excuse making is the one true talent of people who feel they never get their fair turn in life. Some of the excuses made by these people have even been handed down from generation to generation. If you happen to go to one of their family gatherings, you’d hear the same type of excuses used by many members of the same family. These people don’t have to come up with new excuses. They have plenty of excuses to build on.

It’s not unusual to have two people look at the same event and come up with two different versions, but the people who feel like they never get their turn will always view an event to their own disfavor. They will retell the event in such a way as to make themselves the victim and the other person the benefactor. No matter how many benefits are shown to them, they will continue to view the event as a loss of another turn. Even if the other person involved offers to turn over whatever benefits he/she has received, this will be seen as a negative, an act of false charity.

Some of these people do not even want a chance to get their turn, even though they say over and over again how much they do want their turn. They would rather connect up with people they feel are the blessed few and benefit from their good fortune. We see this every day. There are a lot of successful people who have a company of people around them who are benefiting from their efforts and all the while, resenting them for their success.

It’s hard not to fall into the “MY” turn way of thinking. Think of all the times things have not gone your way and how easy it is to look around at all the different people you know and think, “They have it so much better than I do.” Most people make it a habit not to talk about negative things about their lives in public but people who do not feel they are getting their turn will make it a habit to seek the company of people who not only talk about their problems, but encourage everyone else to do the same. It does not take long for this type of communicating to become a part of your everyday language and a part of your everyday thought pattern.

Here are some tips to help you break those negative “MY” turn patterns:

1. Write down at least 10 positive things you have been a part of each day.

2. Write down negative messages you have learned from your family and rewrite them as positive messages.

3. Ask your friends to point out any time you talk about how well they have it and how poorly you have it.

4. Make an effort to read stories of people who have overcome a loss of a turn and still succeeded.

5. Help others take their turn. They will return the favor!

© 1995, Dr. Roger A. Rhoades
Roger A. Rhoades, D.Min., is a licensed professional counselor, a therapist for more than a decade who is nationally known for his considerable skills in the field. He has worked with all ages and races, worked in psychiatric hospitals, worked in drug & alcohol rehab settings. Dr. Rhoades has extensive training in marriage and family therapy and is considered an authority on relationships.

You might have seen Dr. Rhoades’ appearances on national television shows such as The Montel Williams Show, The Rolanda Watts Show, and Biggers and Summers. Most recently a regular on the Jenny Jones Show, he is America’s most popular talk show counselor.

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