Self-ReflectionToday I Learn

Self-blaming and self-forgiving

The other day I made this poll on Instagram about how often we blame ourselves for things that didn’t turn out as we have expected and how often we make peace with ourselves such as spoiling/entertaining/forgiving oneself even when our efforts and hardwork seem to be unfruitful or unsatisfactory.

The reason being is that I think it just can’t be helped. At one point in our life, we’ll tend to blame ourself. See the result of the poll? Well, I know it’s not representative. Not everybody voted either. But at least we can see that we are not alone; there are people who blame themselves, too. So if you blame yourself, don’t feel bad about it; there’s nothing wrong with you; don’t blame yourself even more. Instead, forgive. If you really think you are at fault, learn to forgive yourself and get back right up.

Q: How often do you blame/scold yourself (for things that you don’t like)? A. Quite often B. Rarely/Almost Never

Anyhow, why do we need to blame something or someone? To make us feel better, no? Because we tend to desperately try to find something wrong when things are not as how we want them to be. If things turn out good or perfectly well as we plan or want it to be, then nothing is wrong. But if it fails, we wonder what went wrong, where things went wrong. Especially when we cannot accept it, we’ll never be able to rest well. We’ll be restless.

Well, some people blame others so that they can feel better; they refuse to take responsibility because it’s too burdensome. Meanwhile, some others cannot blame other people because they think it’s too cruel and so they end up blaming themselves.

However, I think it can be a source of depression too. Especially when we are surrounded by good and supporting people. When we cannot make things as we want. When we have worked hard and really hard but we feel like we’re not doing good enough. Then, we end up blaming ourselves even more. Why? Because when we have immensely good support, our logic tells us that things should go well and right. If the support is bad, the people around us are bad, the system is bad, etc, when things go wrong, we can just make excuses; we can blame them. We can make wishes, something like, “If only the system was better, if only my partner had been more supportive, if only my professor was nicer, if only….etc, maybe I would not have failed, maybe I would have succeeded, etc.” But when everything seems perfect and we do not “succeed”, we start to think that the wrong must be with us, maybe we haven’t worked hard enough; i.e. we must be at fault, we ourselves are the ones to blame. Truth is…no, it’s not always like that. It can be nobody’s fault. There is always X factor anyway. And once we understand and accept this, we can be more at ease and feel more peaceful.

How often do you make peace with yourself? i.e. spoiling/consoling/forgiving oneself after you make efforts (including when things do not turn out as expected). A: As best as I can try. B. Only when (the results are) satisfactory.

That’s why. While self-blaming is somehow inevitable, I think we can counterbalance it with self-forgiving. And it starts with acceptance. “Okay, I’m wrong. Ok, maybe it’s true that I didn’t work hard enough. Damn, me; I shouldn’t have procrastinated. Oh, dang; I should’ve been more productive. Etc.” Well, breathe. Tell yourself, “I might be in the wrong, but I’ve worked really hard. I deserve some rewards even though the result is not good. I reward myself not for the result but for the hard work that I’ve done! I might have procrastinated too, but what can I do? I cannot go back to the past anyway. I can’t turn back the time. I cannot change that. But I still have time. I still have chances. I can do this. Yes, I can better this. Yes, I can. I’ve got this far. There’s no turning back. I’ve got this. Etc.” Well, yes I know this might sound too optimistic or maybe kinda boasting. And maybe it seems like we’re simply making excuses. But, well, we’ve got to find a way to make us feel better, right? 🙈 Otherwise we’ll feel depressed 😔😭 Otherwise we’ll feel worse 😔😭 And that feeling is not nice 😔

Well, I’m not trying to sound wise here. Maybe that’s just because I’ve been a pro at making excuses 🙈😅✌️I blame myself a lot, too. And if sometimes I sound harsh to others, you can bet I am harder on myself; fact is that I’m harsher to myself. But I love me so much, so, well, I’ve been learning to spoil myself too (now I wonder if I spoil myself too much 🙈😅). Well, I still set my goals high of course, but if I fail to reach them, well, that’s alright. It’s not the end of the world. And, well, no matter what, I’m going to die anyway. I’ve worked hard to be where I am now, right? I should have some fun, too 😌😝

That’s why I’m quite happy with the result of the second poll. More people learn to make peace with themselves. So I guess I’m not alone. I don’t have to feel bad for forgiving/consoling/spoiling myself. Sometimes we simply need it! I think the key is to know the limit. To what extent or for how long we can blame ourselves. We can blame ourselves as much as we want but then we need to scream, “Enough is enough. Now I’m forgiving myself.” And acknowledge that there is nothing wrong with it.

Well, I’m sorry for the 6% that reward themselves only when the results are satisfactory, though. It must be hard for them when things go wrong or when they can’t find something wrong; some will even tend to blame themselves (even more). But I really hope this kind of people have their own ways to cope with it. I really hope people can be happy in their own ways 😊

PS: Now that I think of it, self-blaming is good, too. Or maybe even better than blaming others who, in many cases, are only scapegoated or actually not at fault. When we blame ourselves, we look more into ourselves and reflect or introspect. That way we can try to improve ourselves and be better. When we blame others, we’ll tend to lose sight of our own faults and will not be able to find ways to improve. And that’s bad. So I think we should be proud of ourselves when we can blame ourselves instead of others. I mean, it’s ok to blame ourselves, claim or admit faults, but then learn to accept and forgive so we can make peace with ourselves, so we can feel better. Don’t you think so? 😊

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