Feeling Guilty About Things Other People Do

Reflection in eyeglasses.

Reader Q&A: Seeking Validation.

A peek into the subtle mechanics of the mind. 

 

Reader Question
I’ve been doing the Peerless exercises and trying to be aware of what belongs to me and what doesn’t.

One thing I’ve noticed that seems to be a pattern is trying to make up for the bad behavior of others and feeling guilty for things they do, that I have nothing to do with. For instance, I was in a restaurant and noticed a customer being difficult to my waitress. I immediately felt bad for her, but then after paying careful attention I noticed I felt guilty, like I needed to make up for this somehow.

I found myself asking for things in a particularly apologetic way. I wanted more coffee and instead of just asking normally, I asked in a way that assumed it was some kind of big burden, like I didn’t want to be a burden. And then she forgot the coffee until my breakfast was over, but I said nothing. When she realized it and apologized, I told her it was no problem and that I probably shouldn’t be drinking coffee in the first place (!!). Then, and this is the best, I left a large tip for her. I felt like I needed to make up for the other guy’s treatment of her. But then I felt bad after because I’m not even the one who did anything.

This is just a silly example, it might seem trivial. But I’ve been noticing this pattern in other interactions. I feel guilty for things I don’t even do, and I feel responsible to make up for them.

*

STRAND
Great powers of perception! Way to go.

So, there are several different components to this bit of programming that you’ll want to investigate further and become aware of.

The Good Girl/Boy Complex

Someone else in your perceived peer group behaves in a way you find unacceptable and you a) identify with the person because you are in the same peer group  b) don’t want to be identified with them c) need to differentiate yourself, and in doing so get triggered into a cycle of compensation.

Let’s look at this further. Notice that you likely only trigger into this when you identify with the person who is being “bad”. You are a customer, they are a customer.

You are part of this peer group, but you don’t want to be identified with the person who is being “bad”. You want to show the waitress that the other guy may be bad, but you are good.

You start a chain of exaggerated “good” behavior, compensatory behavior, to make it as clear as possible that you are not bad like the other guy, even though you are in the same peer group.

This isn’t really about making the waitress feel better. If you look at it closely, it’s about your need to not be identified as “bad”.

This is a pattern that is laid down in childhood and reinforced and practiced as you grow up and all through your adult life. At the core of this you’ll find a need to differentiate yourself as the good girl. It looks like guilt, but that’s just the emotional device that’s used to trigger you into the action loop of compensation/differentiation. You need to affirm to yourself and others (the waitress, in this case) that you are Good.

Responsibility

We are going to be covering this topic a lot more in the future, but for now just notice how you can feel responsible for actions that have nothing to do with you, whilst not taking responsibility for things for which you actually are responsible, namely, your own feelings/thoughts/actions/inactions/energy/motives.

This is a really good insight. Keep following it, investigate it thoroughly and don’t get lost in judging yourself. Try to stay neutral, curious and open. What does it mean to be Good? What if someone did lump you in with those who are Not Good in your peer group? What would that mean to your self image?

Energetically, as you are getting triggered into this action loop, can you notice the quality of your energy, your personal space? Can you see how your focus is completely commandeered into this pattern and how your space is not completely filled with your All That I Am, your own authentic signature?

Can you fill your space completely, clear/push the energy of this “bad other person” out of your space and let him own it? Imagine him inside his personal space, being a jerk, and imagine that all of that energy stays in his personal space, where he owns it. Use your shield to deflect this pattern and keep it outside your space.

If there is any energetic interaction happening, it’s between the waitress and this other customer. They are both in their personal spaces, having whatever interaction is happening between them. Energetically, see that it literally has nothing to do with you, it’s all contained between these two. Try to slow the whole thing down enough to notice the moment you feel the pull to jump into an energy exchange that doesn’t include you at all.

Investigate: “I need to be seen as Good” “The behavior of other people can determine if I am seen as Good”

So you are investigating the programming, the feelings, the thoughts, the mechanical behavior. And you are investigating the energetic mechanics of how it happens, each step, each trigger, each reaction. It’s a process and you can identify it and interrupt it, and eventually deflect it before it executes. Right now it all happens so fast, but try to slow it down and see each beat of the hummingbird’s wings.

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