I think we’ve a good reason for everything we do and I’v spent a lot of time to think upon self criticism and self blaming. What need are we trying to meet by engaging in that?
I think safety.
When I was young, my parents couldn’t meet my emotional needs.
I needed to feel safe and couldn’t afford my parents to be flawed in that way, so I draw the conclusion that it must be something wrong with me. My emotions and my need were the problem. If only I could get rid of them, then my parents would be able to care for me. And when it turned out not to be enough, I tried other strategies to become safe. The self criticism let my parents stay good and that gave me some security and also hope. If I only…then I would be safe. Then I’d get the care I needed.
I tried perfectionism, to never fail, to get rid of my needs even more by not eating, to be a very attentive listener, to never abandon, to start to feel and communicate my feelings and needs, to try to not show myself, to try to show myself…but nothing ever worked, because it was never about me.
The self blame was my strategy for safety. When I realized that, I could start to consciously look for other ways to meet my need for safety. When I understood that I was trying to meet different needs by self criticism, I could also see that it didn’t work. It did no longer make me feel safe. It just made me sad and miserable.
The problem was never me. Even today my first reaction sometimes is that I’ve done something wrong if I don’t get emotional connection to someone I like or love. Then I know I need to look for my needs and that the other person might me hurting in some way. I better ask than jump to conclusions. So I ask. That’s helpful. That’s vulnerable. It’s my way.