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"Why Do I Feel Shame When I'm Being Blamed?"

By Dr. Margaret Paul
August 26, 2013



What's really happening when someone blames and shames you? If you stopped taking it personally, what would you be feeling?



What do you generally do when someone blames you for his or her feelings? Do you find yourself taking it personally and blaming yourself? This is what Melinda struggles with:

"How do I take loving care of myself when my partner is acting out with jealousy that he is not acknowledging? I feel blamed and shamed. It somehow feels like there's something wrong with me, or something I'm doing even though there isn't. What do I do with the shame? How do I love myself through it? His reaction can last a few hours or even a few days."

Melinda, your partner’s blaming and shaming of you are his ways of avoiding responsibility for his own feelings. But the real question is, why are you taking on the blame and shame? Why are you taking his behavior personally?

You might want to ask yourself what you would be feeling if you weren't taking his behavior personally and buying into the false belief that there is something wrong with you. I would imagine that if you weren't taking on his blame and shame, you would feel lonely around him when he blames and shames you, and you would feel heartbroken that he is treating you so badly, and you would feel helpless over his feelings and behavior.

Taking his behavior personally is a way to cover over the true core pain of his unloving behavior toward you. Shame is what you are using to not accept the fact of your helplessness over him.  

You ask, "What do I do with the shame?" Shame is not what you would be feeling if you weren't trying to have control over him and over your own core painful feelings. The shame is a result of your intent to control him and your own deeper feelings.

Just as he is not acknowledging his jealousy, you are not acknowledging your loneliness, heartbreak and helplessness over him when he is unloving toward you.

You ask, "How do I love myself through it?"

Loving yourself through it means that you first need to be willing to feel your core painful feelings. Once you becoming willing to feel them, then you need to name them. Naming a feeling such as loneliness, heartbreak or helplessness over others, helps you to understand what is really happening for you.

Next, you need to be very kind and compassionate toward yourself for these feelings. These are hard feelings to bear, and they need your kindness. Try putting your hands on your heart and inviting kindness and gentleness into your heart, bringing that kindness to wherever you feel your painful feelings. Your inner child is your feeling self, so imagine that you are bringing kindness and comfort to a child who is hurting.

Say to your inner child, "I'm here with you. You are not alone. God-that-is-love is with you – we are not alone. Our partner’s behavior has nothing to do with you, so we are not going to take it personally." Stay with the feelings until you feel they are ready to move through you, and then consciously release them to Spirit.

Next, move into an intent to learn about what these feelings are telling you about your partner. Certainly, they are telling you that he is being unloving to himself and to you. Ask your higher self, "What would be loving to me in the face of his unloving behavior?"

Perhaps you need to visit with a friend, or do something that is fun for you to do. What you don't need to do is try to fix him. That is his responsibility. His shame, blame and withdrawal are his attempts to control you rather than take loving care of himself, and it's best to leave him alone to deal with it unless he asks for your help.

Hopefully, by the time he lets go of his upset, you will be open and ready to re-connect with him. If each time he blames you, you take loving care of yourself, he might eventually get that his blaming and shaming behavior is no longer going to work for him.

Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."



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