ACoAs & BLAME (Part 3)

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Posts on “Emotional abuse


The OPPOSITE of blame is ACCOUNTABILITY – to be responsible for one’s thoughts, emotions & actions – as adults (TEA).
➼ Holding ourself or others accountable for actions is not blame. It is acknowledging what is true, rather than covering it over or denying it altogether.

• So now when we’re hurt, instead of blaming, we first need to identify the childhood abandonment button that got pushed, validate the anger & sadness, then have a safe place to express those emotions & talk about the experiences.

Using Accountability in a healthy way is :
US – taking responsibility for everything about ourself without S-H or perfectionism, accepting that it takes a lot of time/ It’s trying to do our best, while allowing for mistakes, & also making time for rest or fun. AND:
OTHERS – noticing & admitting what we observe about someone else – their beneficial or harmful personality traits, patterns, way of treating us & others – so we can figure out :
who’s safe to be around & who’s not
• what we can & can’t expect of someone, realisticallyScreen Shot 2016-06-01 at 4.05.21 PM.png
• what suits us about them & what doesn’t

• if we can benefit from a connection, need to stay at arm’s length, or it’s best to just leave
• when to call them on treating us badly, being disrespectful, careless…. or when it’s safest / smartest to drop it

• if / how we’ve gotten involved in their life when we shouldn’t have
• if we’re over-reacting to something that’s not abusive at all

This is all in the service of ‘seeing’ who others really are, instead of who we want them to be. It’s about knowing what’s neutral, what’s normal & what’s mistreatment.
Then we can take in the good stuff, pass by the neutral & gather the emotional strength to stop ignoring or white-washing the bad stuff, & have the guts to do whatever is best for ourself, no matter the fallout.

NOTE: Since ACoAs don’t trust our own judgement (T) or our feelings (E), it helps to realize that angry, narcissistic, abusive people regularly treat others badly too, so it’s not personal to us, even though we always think everything is always about us!
If we asked around – we’d find someone who also knows them, & is willing to admit: “Yes, that person really is like that / They’ve done that to me too / Everyone knows that about him/her…..”).

HOWEVER – If someone seems normally appropriate or kind to everyone else except toward us,
• we may be pushing an old button in them, accidentally ‘stepping on their toes’
Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 4.07.01 PM• they may be appropriately responding to our damage-behavior or poor communication style

• we may be pushing them away or into a reaction (being passive-aggressive, marginalizing, being insensitive to us….) because that’s what we’re used to doing or receiving

• they may just be having a bad day/week, OR
• we’re ignoring the red flags of their dysfunction – since people tell us about themselves all the time. So maybe they’re really aren’t as healthy as we thought

➼ ACoAs always think we need others to validate our experience, perception, opinions….To some degree we do – to get corrective mirroring.
BUT we also need to keep saying “I know what I know!” The more we acknowledge what’s really going on AND take care of ourself, the less we find reasons to blame – anyone!
SITE: Animated short & Commentary re.Blame

Self-compassion: When upset, first listen to your thoughts & check what emotions are located in the body.
Identify each disturbing situation & decide whether it can be corrected / modified / resolved…. or not.
Applying the Serenity Prayer (don’t get it backwards!), we can take responsibility for what we can do & let go of what’s not in our power to fix.

If there’s truly no positive outcome possible, we need to walk away.
If something can be changed or modified, be willing to :
• do whatever it takes to find a solution
• change strategies when something isn’t working, AND
• if on the right track, have the patience to see it thru, no matter how long it takes!
This eliminated the need for blame.

NEXT: Enneagram humor #1

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