It’s All My Fault, Isn’t It?

When things go wrong with a guy…

How often do you think to yourself, “It’s all my fault”?

You feel like you did something wrong.

You must have accidentally pushed him away.

Or maybe you didn’t do something that you were supposed to do.

You didn’t say the right thing, or you weren’t supportive enough.

Or maybe the problem is you… Maybe you’re not good enough.

That’s a heavy burden to carry.

This tendency to think that everything is because of you has a name.

It’s called personalization.

And breaking the habit can make you happier, less anxious, and more fulfilled in your relationships.

Too Much Responsibility

We’ve been told that a sign of maturity is taking full responsibility for everything that happens to you.

If something bad happens, you should look for how you contributed to the problem. You should admit fault, fix what went wrong, and promise to do better next time.

Much of the time, that’s a good way to handle problems. It’s constructive and productive.

But sometimes it can backfire.

When you believe that all your struggles and disappointments are a result of some personal failure, you blame yourself for things that simply weren’t your fault.

For example, let’s say you are chatting with a guy on a dating app. Suddenly, you stop hearing from him. What do you tell yourself?

Do you assume he didn’t like you and must have found something off-putting about your conversation? This assumption suggests you’re not good enough or you said something wrong.

Or do you assume that he had his own reasons for ending contact? Maybe he met someone else, or maybe he got busy. Either way, you can shift your focus to someone else without beating yourself up over it.

Blaming yourself for every bad outcome you experience in love just makes you feel depressed, stressed, and anxious.

Not everything is your fault.

Sometimes things just don’t work out. There’s nothing you could have said or done to change the outcome.

It’s not true that everything would have worked out perfectly if only you [were more attractive/knew the right thing to say/could flirt better]. Love is messy. Everyone experiences bumps in the road, even supermodels and love experts.

We don’t know why other people behave the way they do. We don’t have to take their behavior personally when it may have had nothing to do with us.

Now, if you feel you did do something wrong, take ownership of that.

But don’t spend hours and hours racking your brain to come up with every little thing you might have done wrong.

It happened. It’s over. Focus on what you can do moving forward.

Are You Responsible for Him?

Personalization doesn’t just include blaming yourself for anything that goes wrong.

It also includes blaming yourself for not being able to make another person’s life perfect.

In relationships, we want to make our loved ones happy.

We want our partner to feel as if life with us is much better than life without us.

That’s a beautiful intention. But it’s not always possible.

Life has ups and downs. Not even the best relationship in the world can protect you from them.

It’s not your responsibility to protect your guy from sadness or discouragement or despair. It’s not your responsibility to fix his life or fix him.

Just because he’s upset or disappointed doesn’t mean you’ve failed at making him happy. It just means he’s feeling his feelings.

So let him feel. Hold space for him.

Trust that he’ll find his way out in his own time.

Keeping your own feelings separate from his can help your relationship enormously.

For many guys, it’s hard enough when something stressful happens at work.

But when they come home feeling stressed, they don’t want their partner to add to that stress.

Unfortunately, sometimes women take their guy’s mood personally.

They assume he’s moody because they did something wrong. Or they assume that his mood means he’s no longer interested in the relationship. They need him to stop being so stressed, because it makes them anxious…

All of which adds to his stress and sense of feeling out of control.

But when you understand that, much of the time, his feelings aren’t about you, you don’t see his negative feelings as a threat. You can let them be.

And that’s often exactly what he needs to pass through the storm and come back to himself again.

As best you can, don’t take everything that happens in love personally.

Your relationship isn’t 100% your responsibility. He is responsible for half.

You are not responsible for his happiness. He is responsible for his own life.

All you can do is take responsibility for your part, and that’s enough.

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