Blaming yourself for everything will not solve all the problems. In fact, it will cause many more. It has to stop.
I have an example of two sides of a coin that are both toxic – that would be self-blame and being irresponsible. Honestly, I don’t know which one is worse. These traits come from many types of influence, including upbringing or abuse, which are a bit different.
Where the habit of blaming yourself is born
Could it be, that long ago you became the scapegoat in your family? A scapegoat is someone who always stepped in and took the blame in every situation. Sometimes they were pushed gradually into that position, while other times they learned that taking the blame often ended the arguments in the family.
You know, when this happens as a child, blaming yourself grows into a toxic habit that follows you into adulthood. On what a dysfunctional relationship could be formed with an irresponsible mate and a scapegoat. The thought makes me cringe.
Why is this character trait so toxic?
There are a few ways that putting all the blame on yourself can be toxic. First of all, you have no control when you are always to blame. You relinquish your control by admitting that you have failed when you probably haven’t done so. Your life cannot be better or stand out from the rest in a good way either.
When you blame yourself, you squander the hopes and dreams you would have if you looked at the situation logically and put the blame where it belonged.
How can we stop blaming ourselves?
1. Have a little compassion
Maybe it’s easy to be compassionate to others, but what about yourself? Are you showing yourself the love and respect that you should? If you learn how to understand your strengths and weaknesses, you can see where you might need to go easy on yourself.
Whether or not you are to blame, which is not every single time, learn to treat yourself the same regardless. And of course, if you are to blame, then apologize, just not over and over.
2. Be able to change
When you visualize yourself, do you see someone that’s stone, or do you see soft clay? Let’s just pretend we do this, and maybe we should start if we don’t. Well, let’s not try to see ourselves as something which is hard to change or cannot be changed, but rather, as someone who is malleable, and able to adjust accordingly.
So instead of blaming yourself, you’re probably set in stone in what you believe. It’s similar to being the scapegoat, being something that never really changes. Being able to change can help you discover where true blame lies.
3. Learn who you are
If you never really had an opportunity to get to know yourself, then you will never know the truth about blame. It will be incredibly difficult to know if you are to blame or not if you don’t even know your own personality. To some people, this may sound silly. They may be saying, “Well, I know who I am, I’m Fred and I live in blah blah blah…etc” but that’s not what I mean.
I mean your inner identity. Yes, you have one, and most people know this. Blaming yourself for something you didn’t do becomes hard when you know you never do these things in question. So, don’ take fake blame, and don’t allow anyone to put fake blame on you either.
4. Change friends
If you’re still hanging around friends who help you blame yourself, then those friends are not for you. At some point, you took the blame for something that one of your friends was responsible for, and since then, you’ve been their scapegoat. You’ve developed a toxic clique, and you must get away.
When you find new friends, make sure you’ve become firmly acquainted with who you are, and if they try to blame you for something you didn’t do, stand up for yourself.
5. Blame and responsibility
Before you leave the blame behind with this new powerful path of escape from self-blame, make sure you really aren’t responsible. You should take responsibility for what you do, but not for what you don’t do, so….take some time and learn everything you can about these two words. Be honest with yourself and with others.
6. Adopt a clear mind
Just like most other issues, mindfulness is a great solution. Our minds can become so full of things like appointments, ideas, work, children, and our mates, among other things. It’s easy to let your mind become cluttered so bad that you will take the blame just to keep from adding more clutter to your mind.
Maybe you can take the blame, apologize and move on instead of trying to figure out what really occurred. With mindfulness, including meditation, you can clear out some of the clutter. This happens because mindfulness brings peace which allows us to tackle each thing in our mind, one at a time until it’s a bit clearer. This will help you understand who’s truly to blame in situations.
Killing a toxic habit
Just like it’s toxic for someone to never take the blame, it is also toxic blaming yourself for everything, and deep down, I think you know that. Step by step, we can learn the difference between these sides of the same coin, and place the blame or responsibility where it belongs.
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This Post Has 4 Comments
Learning Mind is one of the best websites I subscribe to. The articles are always interesting and informative. This article about self-blame is spot on. My wife is always telling it is not my fault when I self-blame. It is a toxic habit I need to overcome. Thank you for Sherrie Hurd for your wise counsel..
Thank you for reading. It’s important that some kind of help comes from the work that we put out here. I think one of the most important aspects of getting this information out there is to help people deal with real-life problems. There are so many people who want to ignore the issues we approach, but what’s important is helping everyone and breaking the stigma of these internal issues. I am so happy that you find helpful information at Learning Mind.
Thank you Sherrie for this article. I have always blamed myself for everything. Self loathing. Why would anyone like me? I’m horrible. I come from a family where all 4 of siblings don’t speak to one another. If I have ever said how I feel, I am punished by not being spoken to. My husband was my biggest supporter through my families nonsense. He passed away and now I am really struggling to believe I am a good person. Recently, I told my mother how I felt dismissed by her. I am now being ignored. The struggle for me is, believing when it really isn’t my fault and how to be around those that are hurtful without detaching. I am now 61 and it feels worse then ever even after years of counseling.
Thank you Sherrie for this invaluable article
I am very new in the path to recovery from emotional and psychological trauma my husband caused me for 27 years
I thought I was intelligent and smart and I knew how to look after myself but this toxic habit of volunteering to accept blame and shame from him, invited him to feed off my energy. Everything in your article makes perfect sense
Mindfulness is helping me declutter and see what’s really going on. ”Blaming yourself for everything will not solve all the problems. In fact, it will cause many more. ” – makes sense!
I am at step 1 towards recovery and need help in understanding how I can be compassionate and truly love my ownself – I am looking for a mindfulness coach but struggling to find one. Do you coach privately?