How to Overcome Old and Painful Blame.

katie pulsifer coaching, blame

A few weeks ago, I was helping a client understand blame and the subtle difference between 2 types of blaming.

With blame, there is appropriate responsibility assigning and inappropriate responsibility assigning.

One focuses on the thing that someone did or the action they took. And the other focuses on the way that action makes you feel.

Assigning responsibility to someone else based on an action they took is totally appropriate.

Assigning responsibility to someone else based on how that action made you feel is not appropriate.

My client admitted having 10-year-old blame towards her mother-in-law.

And the most interesting thing about this was that she couldn’t even remember what her mother-in-law did 10 years ago.

She could only remember how it made her feel. She was still so angry at her mother-in-law for hurting her feelings.

She had been blaming her mother-in-law for her own negative emotions for the past 10 years and she couldn’t figure out how to feel better.

I told her that the secret to feeling better is always very simple.

Take back the responsibility for your feelings.

I explained that she had inadvertently assigned the responsibility of her emotions to her mother-in-law and she was now totally dependent on her mother-in-law apologizing, changing, or doing something different so that she could feel better.

She had already invested 10 years of waiting for her mother-in-law to make the first move.

And she could keep on waiting.

Or, she could say enough is enough and decide to feel better now.

She could release the 10-year-old blame and accept responsibility for deciding how she wants to feel now based on what she chooses to think now.

She tentatively agreed to let go of the old and inappropriately assigned blame.

She was curious to see if it would make her feel better.

And was unsure, feeling somewhat exposed and uncomfortable.

This was unchartered territory. That old blame had become a dear friend of sorts.

This would be a process, I explained.

Taking responsibility for our emotions is hard work. Blaming others for our emotions is way easier.

One leaves you feeling empowered, the other does not.

She committed to the letting go of the old and painful blame. She practiced it daily.

It took about a month and then it was gone.

Every once in a while, this old blame comes back and tries to get her attention.

She gently refuses the invitation.

She genuinely feels better.

Now, what about you?

  • Is there some old blame hanging out in your life?
  • Do you want to let it go for a chance to feel better?
  • Can you separate out the blame-able action from the feelings you are experiencing as a result of that action in this situation?
  • Can you assign responsibility appropriately in this situation?

If you prefer, we can do this work together – because I know that two minds are better than one. Book a complimentary Breakthrough Session to see how letting go of old and painful blame can help you to start feeling better. Let’s take 30 minutes to talk about it. Book your session today!

They Gossip and I Let Them.

gossip

Early last week, I heard some gossip. Someone I know was saying untrue and unkind things about me. Then over the weekend, I heard some more gossip – that a friend was dramatizing and blowing out of proportion something about my daughter.

When I found out about both of these situations, my immediate response was to think that I had done something wrong and that I was to blame.

Of course, it had to be my fault!

My stomach started to hurt. And I scanned my mind for every possible clue of how I could have upset these two people. I was fixated on this for days and became completely distracted by it.

I desperately needed to find the evidence of what went wrong, so I could immediately get to work fixing it.

I had to find a way to change their minds.

I replayed every interaction, every conversation in my mind. I put myself in their shoes.

How could I have let this happen? How could I have given them just cause for the gossip?

Wait a second….hold on here. What was happening?

Who was this obsessed, self-critical, crazy person that just showed up?

Oh, right – I know her. It was ‘the old me’ back to pay me a visit.

I knew ‘the old me’ very, very well. We had lived together for a very long time.

She didn’t like confrontation and she liked everything to be perfect. She wanted everyone to be happy.

She was a master at taking responsibility and apologizing for things that were not her fault.

She also always wanted to be liked, understood and never judged harshly.

She hated gossip {especially when it was about her or anyone she loved}!

No wonder she was back.

A few years ago, when ‘the old me’ was running the show, she worked hard to make sure that everyone got the right impression about her. She people-pleased her way through life trying to make sure that no one ever said anything negative about her, ever.

Except, that they did.

She tried to control the impossible.

She turned her life upside down to manipulate outcomes that she had no business trying to manipulate.

Despite her best efforts, she found out that not everyone liked her.

And that they definitely didn’t understand her and they also judged her harshly whenever they felt like it.

They were going to keep on gossiping.

Learning this lesson was crushing at first. Quite devastating, actually. To think about all that wasted effort. All the hard work that you can pour into getting someone to know you, to like you, to understand you and be loyal and kind to you forever.

Except that it just doesn’t work that way.

Grown-ups get to do whatever they want. Boy, did I resist this lesson at first – but, the fact is that it’s still true.

Yes, they get to think and feel whatever they want. ANYTHING they want, ANYTIME they want!

They can form their own opinions, change their minds and behave however they want.

Even if it is not what I want and it makes me uncomfortable.

Even if it means that they decide not to like me or my daughter or to say untrue or unkind things about either one of us.

katie pulsifer coaching, gossip

Yes, what I want them to do is completely irrelevant. Just like what they want me to do, is irrelevant to me.

When I really began to understand this and apply it to my life, I realized that I didn’t want anyone trying to manipulate my thoughts, feelings or actions either. I wanted to be free to decide what is true for me. I wanted to conduct myself according to my standards and be responsible for my own emotions and not someone else’s.

And, here is the part of the learning of this lesson that has brought me the greatest relief and has helped keep ‘the old me” in check – I decided to believe that I am really OK with other people being wrong about me.

Yes, people get to be wrong about me. And I can just let them.

They can misunderstand me. They can judge me harshly. They don’t have to like me for whatever reason. And, it’s totally ok.

AND IT’S SO MUCH EASIER…

Because here’s the deal.

All my efforting to please others, to be understood, judged fairly and to be liked was based on convincing others to be RIGHT about me. And that pulled all my focus, energy and power away from me (something I can always control) and placed it all on other people (something that I can never control).

I was spending my entire life inside of other people’s lives trying to influence things that were actually none of my business.

The only person that ever has to be RIGHT about me, is me.

So, I told ‘the old me’ to take a hike.

And I settled into the acceptance that these two people have some negative thinking about me and my daughter. And that I don’t have to do anything about it. They can gossip and I can let them.

At first, it was hard to accept this. But I keep practicing the acceptance and letting go of wanting to control these situations. I knew that despite my discomfort, I was choosing the easier path.
Because I knew the alternative (convincing them to change their minds, believe something different, be right about me) is much harder and ultimately, impossible.

It would have taken hours and hours, perhaps even days away from my own life. It would have taken me to places (their minds and emotions) where I didn’t belong. It would have triggered all my old manipulating and people pleasing.

And I am done with that, for good.

Hello, ‘new me’!

What about you? Ready to let them gossip and not have it turn your life upside down?

If you prefer, we can figure this out together – because I know that two minds are better than one. Book a complimentary Breakthrough Session to see how letting go of what you can’t control and allowing others to be wrong about you, can help you to start feeling better immediately! Let’s take 30 minutes to talk about it. Book your session today!