Guilt, blame and shame are lousy motivation strategies.
But who can relieve you of them?
Jane’s son said he felt he’d never gotten enough; his brother and sister were always loved by Jane more. Especially after Jane divorced their father, he started using her guilt to harass and manipulate her into giving him whatever he wanted.
Jane and the other kids said he was wrong in his claims.
Even after they were all grown and independent, Jane’s son would still explode at Jane. He’d tell her off and demand she give him what he wanted. Everywhere else in her life – career, family, friends – Jane would never let anyone treat her that way. But with her son, she still felt guilty and would accept his negativity, criticism, bullying and abuse. She used her guilt to keep herself making amends even though she hated the way he treated her.
She assumed that:
- Since he felt that way, since it was his truth, she had to accept his tirades and manipulation.
- Since she could never be an objective judge of history, she had to believe his opinion.
- If she gave him enough, eventually he’d be satisfied and forgive her.
- After he forgave her, she’d feel relieved and he’d treat her better.
When she finally saw him for the bully he was, she felt even more guilty because she had created this monster in her extended family’s bosom. He treated her that way because she had allowed him to get away with it. Because he never forgave her and he continued to try to beat or manipulate her into submission, she had actually given him more than the other children. How could she forgive herself?
Then she laughed at the ridiculousness of that vicious cycle. And the laughter broke her free.
She forgave herself.
If she had known better she would have done better. There was nothing she could do to change their history. But there was a lot she could do to change their future.
When the guilt, blame and shame lifted from her shoulders, she told her other children of her epiphany and her plan to make it up to them. She told them what she would say to that son and prepared them for his backlash. They were thrilled.
Then she told that son she’d forgiven herself – no more blame shame or guilt. She felt like she’d been freed from dark prison. He’d have to treat her nice if he wanted any contact with her.
Since this is really about forgiving yourself, not waiting for someone else to forgive you, I won’t go into the details of her son’s unsuccessful struggle to ensnare her once again, but he never could.
The best way to free yourself from guilt, blame and shame, and to stop bullying is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:
- Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
- Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the bully-free life your spirit has always hungered for.
Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert coaching by phone or Skype.