I was recently watching my cats. One cat decided to poke another, that cat looked up and poked another cat. She did not see the one who had poked her but assumed it was the one next to her. I did think this was funny but then I thought maybe I do this too, blaming others when they have not been involved.
As a child, this happened a lot. My sister could do nothing wrong according to my father, so I constantly got blamed for things, even when I was not in the house at the time.
Knowing how this feels, why would I do it too? Learnt behaviour? Human nature? Bipolar? Who knows? What I do know is that I don't realise until after that I was wrong.
I can also see my perceptions of others in there. I can perceive how they feel about me or what they might be thinking. As a child, I learnt to watch people. I wanted to know if they were cross with me or that something might happen. This came from a place of fear and rejection. Something which still bothers me now. This is not based on facts, only my perceptions. It is a very difficult thing to deal with - a learnt behaviour.
I find it very difficult to trust. If someone appears upset or worse, cross, then I naturally assume they are upset or cross with me. How do I know if they really are? I don't, I am just guessing. It is exhausting to be on the alert all the time when I could not know. I ask sometimes and then wish I hadn't when the other person snaps at me. I don't know the facts and yet I make a judgement. It isn't like I feel the world revolves around me. It doesn't, it revolves around the sun. But, coming from a place of fear, I am assuming everyone is the same. I expect them to be like that as that has been my life experience. I am constantly on my guard.
I dread family situations as I have come to expect certain patterns of behaviour from them. This is often unfounded fear. They behave completely differently.
The question is how do I change this? Recognising it in the first place helps, which is something I am getting better at. I try to say to myself, "You don't know that, it may be different this time". I know that I internalise things without looking at the bigger picture. I assume that what has happened or how someone is feeling is in some way my fault. I have said or done something to cause this. I know where my anxiety comes from and can sometimes recognise it but what can I do to stop it?
Is there a way to change a learned behaviour like this? Any ideas from all you lovely people are very welcome. I know I am on a journey, this is part of it.
A Moodscope member.
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