Challenging thoughts of self-blame
Once you recognise self-blaming thoughts, you can challenge and change them. Try using the techniques suggested below.
Write a list of arguments that back up your self-blaming thought, then write a list of arguments against your thought. For example:
- For: 'I didn't say anything, so maybe he thought I was into it.'
- Against: 'He shouldn't assume. Being quiet can be a sign of being uncomfortable. If he wasn't sure what I wanted, he should've asked.'
Compare the two lists and see if they make you feel differently.
Think of yourself as a friend
Think to yourself, 'If a friend told me this story, would I blame them? Would I think they should have done anything differently?'
Often we can be kinder to our friends than to ourselves. Try telling yourself what you'd say to a friend in a similar situation.
Think of what a good friend would say to you
Think of someone you can always talk to. What would they say? If you feel up to it, you could call or arrange to meet them.
Tell your thoughts, 'You're wrong!'
Say, 'It was not/is not my fault'. Try saying this aloud while looking in the mirror.
This might be hard at first, so you could start by saying it in your head. Then practise every day until you can say it out loud, and eventually believe it.