Self-bullying (personalisation) and Scapegoat’s (Blame others) are two sides of the same coin.
In the former you castigate yourself for every misdemeanor (real or imagined), in the latter, you look for a convenient meek goat to be gutted at the sacrificial altar. These two behavioral traits is a distortion in our thinking process.
But what is personalization or self-bullying?
Let’s consider a situation and you and I often find ourselves in You are meeting a dear friend after a long time. Naturally you are enthused, excited and eager to share all the lowdown, gossips. But what’s this? Your bestie does not look too happy or she appears to be distracted. The worry bug that is lurking in your brainbox does a happy jig as it has found another Bio-chemical bomb to pulverize your wispy clouds of happiness.
The nasty worry bug slyly prompts you to wonder whether…
a.) Whether you indirectly forced your friend to meet you
b.) Whether you did anything to offend her.
Wise readers, observe the YOU – you’s (or the number of I’s) yo-yoing in your mind. In the above instance, you do not know for sure what made your friend sad yet you instantly apportion yourself a large dollop of “blame”.
Stop being a Martyr
Your crusade-like ardor for the assumption of “guilt/blame” for a situation that is not even indirectly in your control is “personalization”. Being a champion martyr who can give tough competition to Joan of Arc, you blame yourself thinking all the (negative) emotions/outcomes are a reaction to YOU!
This cognitive distortion ensures in the person ending up with massive doses of guilt. While personalization in mild form serves as a timely bitter pill enabling course correction of our mistakes, excessive personalization leads to a loss of self-worth. Stress and anxiety come as a complimentary gift for a person with personalization issues.
Blame or Scapegoat :: It is always somebody else’s fault
Blame or Scapegoat is direct opposite of personalization. In Blame, the person absolves himself of any responsibility.
“I touched you inappropriately! O lordy, Sistah, you were asking for it wearing that itsy-bitsy dress of yours“
“Stop nagging and making me feel bad about myself”
The driver of the car in front of you brakes suddenly, it’s not your fault for not following the traffic rules and maintaining the requisite distance between two bumpers but it is HIS fault if your car hit from behind because he made you do it!
Notice, here it’s not I/Me who is at fault, every wrong action or bad thing that happened to I/Me is because of external factors!
Tame the twin Demons :: Self-bullying (personalisation) and Scapegoat’ing (Blame others)
The constant shirking of your responsibility will not endear you to your friend. Blaming other’s for every negative reaction’s will lessen your reliability, reduce the trustworthiness of the person. Stop a while; examine the root of the reaction before going in for blaming. Try and make an impaired judgment. Assume responsibility without blaming others for the emotions provoked within you.
On the other hand, if you are the kind who willingly gets crucified, I suggest STOP! Nobody likes a martyr! Lasso your mind like the rangy cowboy; rein in the galloping mind! PAUSE – Analyze the situation dispassionately, deduce whether people other than you had a direct bearing in the situation, how much did they or did they not contribute to the situation?
Letting go or working out about these two cognitive disorders is not an easy process. Understand the problem, accept it, work on it only then can you move forward and successfully prevail over personal issues.