Updated: May 1
Are you someone who (too) easily takes the blame for things happening around you when, in actual fact they are not always because of you? Do you carry the weight of mistakes and failures of others on your shoulders and make it personal? If you identify yourself in the questions above, you might be engaging in personalisation and blame.
When engaging in personalisation and blame, you have the tendency to relate everything that is happening around you to yourself, especially negative events that you take blame for, even when it is not your fault. You may relate the situation to some deficiency or inadequacy in yourself, and you hold yourself responsible for an event that may not be totally under your control. This is an unhelpful thinking pattern. Unhelpful thinking patterns come in many forms, but they all have some things in common: They are tendencies or patterns of thinking and believing that are false or inaccurate. They can cause distress and psychological damage.
Remember that you simply cannot control others’ thoughts, emotions and reactions! What you can control is YOUR thoughts, YOUR reactions, YOUR emotions and that is all! If you take responsibility for other people’s behaviours, choices, thoughts, it will most likely lead to feelings such as stress, anxiety and unhappiness because you will, in actual fact, be carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. That is too heavy a burden to bear.
If you notice yourself getting stuck in this thinking style, check-in with yourself and answer these questions:
1. What happened? (Facts only!)
2. What role did I play/ not play in what happened? (Facts only!)
3. Did any of my behaviours, feelings or thoughts have an impact on what happened? If not, I choose to let it go as I cannot control anything else other than my own thoughts, behaviours and feelings.
You're not alone: Many people engage in this unhelpful thinking pattern. If you do need more help with this, reach out! Schedule a 15-minute free call with me to discuss how I could support you.