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Dec 30, 2018 15:38:07

Why we blame ourselves when we're vulnerable

by @jasonleow | 324 words | 221🔥 | 259💌

Jason Leow

Current day streak: 221🔥
Total posts: 259💌
Total words: 104015 (416 pages 📄)

Sometimes we blame ourselves for things even when it's clearly not our fault, because it helps us feel less vulnerable. Our fault = in control. But we don't have to do that.

I saw this somewhere this year. I can't recall the source, but it made a sufficiently strong impression on me that I wrote this down in my notebook:

"...blaming yourself...protects you from seeing how vulnerable you were and are. You can become the powerful one. If it's your fault, it's - at some strange level - under your control."

It got me thinking:

Is that why I'm always over-enthusiastic about taking some blame or responsibility when bad things happen, even when it's completely not my fault? This really struck a cord because I'm someone who likes to feel in control, even in situations when there was nothing much I could do. Being someone with a bias for action, helplessness is one thing I don't accept readily. I think at it's root, it's the fear of being/feeling vulnerable, and my bias for action rears up in perverse ways to help cope with that deep anxiety. 

That I could have done something to prevent it. That while it's not my fault, there were things I could have done before/after that would have made things better.

But it doesn't need to be this way. I can feel in control yet allow myself to feel vulnerable. 

So, reminder words to self: "It's OKAY to feel vulnerable and helpless at times. Being aware is a great first step. Tend to those uncomfortable feelings with the gentle embrace of mindfulness. Say it out loud, to myself, or to others, that I'm feeling vulnerable right now and it sucks. Say it. Use my voice. Acknowledge it. It makes so much of a difference. By tending to it mindfully, I can let the feelings of vulnerability be there yet still be in control."

🔥 Day 24 of the #200wad challenge.

From Jason Leow's collection:

  • 1

    @jasonleow well said! It's very similar for me.

    I usually do a self-evaluation on a situation and determine how much of it could be prevented IF I had done/react in a different way. If I realize I could have done better, I will ask myself then why didn't I?

    Usually, this question helps me to identify and understand my own weakness. Then I will just try to make a mental note on not falling into the same trap and try to improve myself just a little bit.

    But that being said, I will also evaluate how much is the other party's responsibility. If it's truly his/her fault, I will not take the blame. This way I learn to balance between blaming myself too much and sharing responsibility.

    Jason avatar Jason | Dec 30, 2018 19:13:28
    • 1

      @jasontxf yes I do that too. But now I learned I should do that after I had tended to the feeling of vulnerability with mindfulness. That way I won't take too much responsibility for the situation, and see it in a healthier way.

      Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Dec 31, 2018 11:17:39
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