When we blame others or try to shame them, we are unwittingly surrendering our power to things beyond our control. That puts us into a cycle of survival brain behavior, and as I’ve talked about before, when we’re acting from survival brain, we are not capable of critical thinking. Survival brain is where our need to be right lives. In primitive/survival language, being right is how we emerge victorious from battle, and to our survival brain, every conflict is a battle we must win.
It isn’t the other person or situation that makes us feel bad, it’s what we tell ourselves about them.
When we hurt someone because we feel hurt, everyone suffers. Nobody wins the blame/shame game. Let’s work to recognize that our survival brain has been triggered in moments like this, and find healthy and productive ways to diffuse those moments before they escalate.
When you find yourself in a moment of blame/shame/anger, take a minute and do a sensory inventory by describing things you can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. This exercise may seem juvenile, but it is just enough to give your brain the opportunity to shift from survival brain to critical thinking.
Once you’ve made the brain shift, you can look for the kind exit. That’s the way to remove yourself from a situation, protecting your wellness and intentionally not harming someone else’s wellness in the process.
I know that’s a lot to take in, and I’ll elaborate more in the future. Until then, never forget that I love you, and that excludes no one.