“Self-nurturing: The Hardest Task
You’ll Ever do.”
~Sarah Ban Breathnach
When someone lets you down, do you blame or get angry with yourself?
As children, we instinctively protect our parents – we need them for our survival and we don’t have the capacity to question their parenting skills. So, when we’re disappointed, hurt, abandoned or angry and we’re not consistently met by loving, attuned, attentive parents then we learn to blame ourselves. We start to look for things that are wrong with us and we often start with the obvious such as our looks, our smells, our presence or our intelligence. Sometimes teasing or bullying in school inadvertently affirms this. We begin to misguidedly hold a truth in our own faults. As adults we continue this act. Often found in the forms of chronic guilt or low self worth. In our core we believe that we are at fault most of the time and if untreated this can taint the quality of our lives. We may never grow to realize our potentials in love or work because of our fault-finding mentality. It’s important to know that this is a “cognitive distortion”. It will never help you solve your problems but only gives you the illusion of control.
Recognizing you’re doing this is helpful but sometimes not easy. You need to start validating your actual, initial responses when people let you down or hurt you i.e. disappointed, hurt, angry, abandoned, etc. And then you need to learn the various ways you can take care of yourself without self-blame i.e. asserting yourself, setting boundaries, negotiating resolve, taking action and so on. If you’re struggling with this, it may be a good idea to seek help in the form of therapy or self-help books.
– Cindy Trevitt, RPC, MPCC
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Thanks for your friendship.