Table of contents:

Indictment - Self-development
Indictment - Self-development

Video: Indictment - Self-development

Video: Indictment - Self-development
Video: The Dark Side of Self Improvement | Suzanne Eder | TEDxWilmington 2023, March

Guilt and shame are some of the oldest regulators of behavior. We get to know them almost from the cradle. "Oh no no no!" - the main word in the extensive lexicon of educational "means". And upbringing in many cultures is understood as a life-long process of instilling a sense of guilt for non-compliance with social norms.

Accusatory speeches

From the point of view of psychoanalysis, we feel guilt as a "payback" for the ambivalence of our childhood feelings towards parents. Moreover, we are not aware of most of the negative feelings, even in an adult state we are not clearly oriented in our "inner topography of guilt." The habit of experiencing shame on any occasion is also associated with the parental manner of punishing the child by refusing to communicate "for educational purposes." I have no doubt that you have witnessed more than once the ugly scenes when parents "abandon" a capricious baby somewhere in a public place or defiantly stop talking to him. Pressing, aggressive accusations, when adults ascribe to the child the motives of his behavior, from the series “You always think only of yourself!” Evoke a similar reaction.

Do not understand why

Suspicions incomprehensible to the child act even more reliably. For example, one mother constantly asked her daughter, who was returning first from kindergarten and later from school, about “if she had done anything”. At the same time, the child did not understand what exactly he was suspected of and, accordingly, what exactly he could be guilty of. After many years, at a psychologist's appointment, an adult woman already suggested that, most likely, her mother was worried about child masturbation. But there is nothing surprising in the fact that the reason for turning a grown daughter for psychological help was the tendency to consider herself guilty in everything and for any reason, and not only "for herself", but also for everyone around, that is, to experience what is in psychology called "toxic guilt."

At all levels

A powerful tool of governance like wine is used in families and in relationships between entire countries. Today it is a working tool used in all more or less large socio-political processes. No wonder the concept of "slander" has almost completely disappeared even from the legal lexicon, completely eaten away by "freedom of speech". In politics, accusations have long ceased to presuppose the possibility of at least some kind of justification and are directly used as a means of fighting the unwanted. And in life, public accusations are increasingly becoming a means of earning money. Let us recall at least the sex scandals that happen with enviable regularity to the stars of world politics, stage and cinema and, as a rule, end in multimillion-dollar “payoffs”.

Accuser parents

It is clear that the easiest way to manipulate with the help of guilt comes from the parents. Fortunately, we all owe them in this life, so to speak, by birthright. It is the mothers and fathers who are the authors of most of the "hooks" on which our wine is "caught". In addition, parents are also loved "unconditionally" - just because they are. This combination allows the "ancestors" to manipulate their grown up and overly independent children for almost any reason. Didn't you like the girl your son is in love with? And now the mother has attacks of some kind of illness at the very time when her blood is going on a date! The zealous child does not want to follow the instructions of adults in the matter of choosing a future profession - and he is immediately reminded of how much effort was spent on raising him!The older child is about to fly out of the parent's nest - they begin to repeat about his "duty" to his sisters and brothers who have not yet grown up. By the way, later, in adult life, it is from the older sisters that you most often have to hear that they do not want to have children of their own, since they devoted their entire childhood to caring for babies.

A battered man with a battered inner child can only beat others because he never has the patience to talk about his pain

James Hollis

Terror by love

Separately is the manipulation of children's feelings during divorce. Unfortunately, few adults who are enthusiastically at war with their ex-spouse think about how their children feel. Quite often the child is faced with an impossible choice for him - "Whom do you love more: dad or mom?" And as a result, they reward their own child with a lifelong sense of guilt before the parent who left the family. How strong this feeling can be can be clearly seen in the example of one client who, already a married lady, sought out her alcoholic father, who left the family fifteen years ago. For several years, together with her husband, the woman participated in pulling her father out of the next high-degree adventures. Needless to say, she came to a psychologist when her own marriage began to burst at the seams. In an attempt to justify herself to herself for the once made choice (before which, by the way, this same person put her), she literally forced her husband to do unwanted things. At the same time, manipulating the same sense of guilt, but already the husband in front of her (failure to fulfill obligations).

Kids games

However, children are no worse "bred" their parents for feelings of guilt, and starting from the very tender age. As soon as a child brings dad or mom to a loss of control or, even better, to physical impact, and he is practically guaranteed some kind of indulgence or a new toy from the “ancestor” drowning in guilt. And if the material prosperity of the family does not allow maintaining the "worthy image" of the child, get ready to listen to a set of adolescent claims from the series "I did not ask you to give birth to me!"

Debt pit of care

A special case when people who really depend on us begin to manipulate. Relatives of old people and disabled people often face this. When the fear of loneliness and abandonment forces the latter to unconsciously exaggerate the measure of their own helplessness, the case may end up with a complete lack of personal life for a caring relative. One lady I knew lived her whole life, consistently caring first for her parents, then for her elderly relatives. Ironically, she outlived all her relatives, and there was no one to take care of her herself.

In families where there is a child with disabilities, guilt often becomes the basis of relationships, tightly intertwined with love, and sometimes even replacing it. Any attempt by a disabled child to be more independent initially breaks through the internal “filter” in the form of a sense of guilt towards the parents, who devote all their time and attention to him. That is why most of the special people who have taken place in adulthood often do not get along with their loved ones.

Blackmailer demonstrators

Some of the ugliest guilt manipulations occur when a couple has a codependent relationship and at least one of the partners has a fair amount of demonstrativeness. Then the case turns into a series of partings and returns, mutual accusations and antics. It can reach suicidal attempts, which, with sufficient frequency, can "get" not only the object of blackmail, but also those around them. Do not forget that the rules of such a "game" always assume the presence of two participants, that is, the attacked side is an active participant in what is happening. In addition, any suicidal attempt can result in death.


It is not clear what can be done using accusations in international politics. But on an individual level, referring to a psychotherapist works great. A specialist, as a rule, begins his work by helping the client to realize where his feelings of guilt "grow" from. As a result, the client "unfolds" his self-accusations, realizes them, begins to understand their nature. He learns to recognize situations in which they are trying to impose a feeling of guilt, and, accordingly, learns to defend against them. Another type of work will be the revision of the client's internal moral and value attitudes for their authenticity, that is, how much they belong to the person himself, and not imposed from the outside. And if such "introjects" are found, they will work with an internal conflict, the manifestation of which is ease,with which a person takes the blame for what is happening.

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