Why Your Self-blame Is Only for Your Ears Alone
Ranting ‘it was all my fault’ is no use to others. It won’t solve anything.
“You can’t keep blaming yourself. Just blame yourself once, and move on.” Homer Simpson
— Matt Groening
When something goes wrong, some of us rush to take the blame. It may or may not have been our fault and yet we plunge straight in and take it all on ourselves. What then gets worse is blaming yourself not in private but to someone else. And this makes the situation worse if not better.
You must have come across many situations in which one of your friends or family members is constantly ranting about their misdoings. Their heart is in the right place but once you realise that nothing much can be done to improve a situation, this rant starts getting on your nerves. You no longer feel sorry for this person, rather you begin to see how insecure this person is about themselves.
You see we all make mistakes. Once done, there is no going back and then there is only so much you can do to rectify the situation. But ranting about it and constantly chewing someone else’s mental peace adds more misery rather than thinking about a possible solution.
Mistake — a Hidden Opportunity in Disguise
Then there are those situations where you must be patient with the outcome. Such people then get into panic mode and hunt for those people who look stable and rational. But why don’t we understand that if the fault was ours and the situation has got worse, what’s the point of that self-blame rant that makes you look weak and attention-hungry?
Life is a series of mistakes. Mistakes that wreak you and then with time heal you. Some mistakes are the best things that could have happened to you as without them you would have been stuck and never realised your hidden potential. Thus, a mistake is just a hidden opportunity in disguise.
Why do we self-blame? Because it gives us momentary comfort? Or because we latch on to something that we can control — our feelings. You see, if we have something to blame, we feel we have found a possible solution — blame it on me so that the rest can live in peace. And you and I know very well how that plan of action worked out.
According to Riverside Recovery —
“When we are self-blaming, it is often because we were conditioned from an early age to take on responsibility and ownership for things that weren’t ours to carry. We might have been part of a family whose dysfunction we absorbed and took on as our own.
We might have been traumatized so deeply that we learned to devalue ourselves and blame ourselves for our own trauma. We might have experienced mental, emotional, or physical abuse that we interpreted as being our fault, as being evidence of our shame and unworthiness.
We may have been in relationships with people, whether romantic or platonic, who deflected the blame and never held themselves accountable for the ways in which they hurt us.”
You Need to Face the Bad to Know the Good
Our past experiences have a crucial role to play in the game of ‘self-blame’. We are sometimes tricked into believing that it is always our fault, or we were made to feel ashamed if we didn’t take the blame. No matter what the circumstance, we all ‘self-blame’ when it is not required.
Sometimes we also fall into the trap of bad company. Some people relish it when we are in misery. Cruel yes, but it is a fact that we all have witnessed in one lifetime.
Over time we learn from our mistakes. Once that situation becomes a distant memory, we realise how foolish we were to take all the blame. We chose to take it all rather than cause commotion. But then who is the biggest loser of it all? — we.
Life has a funny way of teaching us some of the most important life lessons. For me, I first encountered people who hampered my growth which then opened my eyes to identify those who were genuinely interested in my growth. We all must face the bad to then identify what is good.
Yes, we all make mistakes. But constantly blaming yourself won’t rectify the situation. It rather makes us look weak and irrational which is not at all the case.
You see, we are capable of thinking for ourselves and to understand if our actions make any sense, we must communicate with someone who has our best interests at heart. Sometimes we don’t have to talk to anyone as with time the fog over the situation fades and we can see things clearly.
So, instead of saying ‘it’s my fault’ let’s change the narrative to ‘yes, I made a mistake, and here is what I can do to rectify it. If there is nothing much I can do about it, let the situation unfold as it must. For all I know there is learning hidden behind this mistake. I must stay calm.
And then with time, the ‘self-blame’ may continue but it will be more of an internal monologue. Your self-confidence will rise as you are more secure about your emotions. You won’t be all over the place as you will be better at handling that mistake. It’s all about tackling that internal storm. And if we are patient enough, no one will realise when the storm came and went because you handled it like a champion by believing in yourself.
Thanks so much for your time!