Friday, March 17, 2006

Guilty as charged

Really, my new year's resolution should be to stop believing automatically that everything that happens is my fault. I'm so easily suckered -- offer me a guilt trip, and I'll buy a first-class one way ticket on the Concorde. It's only after I landed (and only after apologizing profusely) that I realize that most of the time, 100 percent of what went wrong wasn't because of me and sometimes, even 50 percent of what went wrong isn't my fault. But by then, the apology is out there, the other person feels good, and I'm sitting here feeling like a) maybe they were right in the first place and ohmygodhowcanImakeitright or b) seething because I'm accepting the blame for everything.

My kneejerk reaction is always to apologize, regardless of the situation. I think about it later in obsessive-compulsive detail, discussing with anyone and everyone around me. I magnify my own behaviors to a point where suddenly I can do no right, and obviously, everything I've ever done has been hurtful. Because seriously, the last thing I want to do is treat someone badly and the moment it's insinuated that I have, I immediately believe that I have done so -- whether it's true or not. As a result, I apologize a lot. And I'm kind of getting tired of it, especially as I view a recent situation in retrospect and realize the only thing I truly failed at was living up to unrealistic expectations that I never knew I had to meet in the first place.

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