Everything is not your fault

Everything is not your fault

Those of us with High Functioning Anxiety have very loud Mongers. That inner critic voice is all-powerful and frequently convinces us we have a lot of power too.

According to our Monger, we can:

  • get fired by missing one phone call.
  • make someone hate us by accidentally forgetting their name.
  • lose a friendship of 10 years because we are too busy to call someone.
  • scar our child for life by missing one soccer game.
  • cause our spouse to fall out of love with us by wanting to go upstairs and read rather than watch TV.

Sounds pretty ridiculous, right? But I am sure you can relate.

People with High Functioning Anxiety are the kindest, most giving people I know—and they also way overestimate the power they have in the world. The truth is when our Mongers convince us that EVERYTHING is our fault, it can give us an over-inflation of our power.

Here are a couple of ways that shows up:

We catastrophize everything.

All of the examples above are types of catastrophizing. Taking one small incident and blowing it up to be life changing. Our Monger sure does love extremes!

When you catch yourself catastrophizing (which is hard to do and might not happen until well after the situation), lovingly remind yourself you aren’t that important. Think about what would happen if the situation were reversed. Would you divorce your spouse because he/she wanted to read rather than watch TV? Would you fire someone for missing one phone call?

We love to solve other people’s problems.

Because our Monger convinces us we are all-powerful, we often believe we can solve someone else’s problem before they can. I call this getting in someone else’s car.

We do this all the time. Is your husband having a bad conversation with his mom? No problem! You can just call her and make it better. Did your son get in trouble at a school? No problem! You can call the teacher and make sure everything gets smoothed over.

When we solve other people’s problems, we hurt all parties involved. When you notice yourself getting in someone else’s car, calmly remind yourself you are not all-powerful and get back in your own car.

The next time you hear your Monger trying to convince you it is all your fault, pull back and ask yourself, “Where is the gray here? What is another way of looking at this situation?”

Special Side Note: In case you missed it this week, my new updated podcast launched. It is called The Happier Approach. You can listen to it on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or at http://live-happier.com/podcast.