Thursday, August 23, 2018

Self-Blame vs Disappointment

Back in January, I was reading a book, and it was talking about the difficulties that some people have in letting go of relationships. There was so much in this section of the book that felt familiar to me.  The author described how many times, instead of leaving, you find reasons to stay -- particularly by taking up residence in self-blame. If you can make you the problem, then you can fix the problem.  More or less.

He went on to state something that I've found myself thinking about a lot, off and on, ever since:

One way you can liberate yourself from this kind of self-criticism is by confronting a feeling you've probably come to fear more than you realize: disappointment.

Disappointment doesn't seem like much at first.  The first time I read it, I almost skimmed past it.  Anger and hurt and resentment sound like more important emotions -- like their immediate potency makes them more valid. Disappointment sounded like a throwaway.  But as I read on, I returned to it and let it sink in.

I would rather be angry.  If I'm being honest. Anger is protective and eventually burns out... disappointment has to be faced and accepted and dealt with.

That has been harder.

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Rethinking Narcissism, Dr Craig Malkin

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