While some tend to feel guilty about everything, others are constantly blaming others. Unable to question themselves, afraid of the consequences of their actions, or just to protect themselves: why do they spend their time discarding?
Apolline, 5 years old, spills her glass of milk. "It's not my fault!" cries she. No, it's his brother, at the other end of the table. It was we who, speaking to him, distracted him. It is the unstable glass, the wobbly table, this ray of sunshine that dazzles the kitchen. She is 5, it seems logical that she holds to his innocence! Except that we, adults and vaccinated for some time already, we discard the same way. It's not us, it's the other, the world, the circumstances, the fault of no luck or Voltaire. For the psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Robert Neuburger 1 , "the best way to get rid of guilt is still to reject it on the outside". Or, why do we have so much trouble taming this feeling, when, good year, bad year, we know how to welcome anger or sadness? "These two emotions are not shame, says Virginie Megglé, psychoanalyst. to release by crying, cries. " Guilt stays there. Except that it is too heavy to wear.
I do not want to question myself
Guilt weakens us. "Suddenly, we are caught out, notes Robert Neuburger, the self-image is altered." We all have an idealized representation of ourselves. And here is a fault, real or supposed, spoil everything. "Endorsing his responsibility is to question himself, notes the psychologist Lisa Letessier 2 , which upsets the sense of identity. we are in imbalance. " On the other hand, if it is the neighbor, our self-esteem remains intact. It is an economy of painful thoughts.
I'm afraid of retribution
Irreproachable, we must also remain in the eyes of others, the danger is too great. "Behind our justifications, says Virginie Megglé, hides an immense fear: that of losing the love and find yourself alone. " Impossible: the link is for the individual survival question. However, guilt awakens patterns related to our history and experiences. Lisa Letessier continues: "We are afraid of being rejected (abandonment scheme), of displeasing (schema of abnegation) or of being discovered fallible (schema of imperfection)." We anticipate, in case of fault, the sanction. And being "punished" at age 50 is not more pleasant than at 5.
I project on the other what I do not like in me
To avoid falling from our personal or relational pedestal exists an unconscious and very powerful defense mechanism: "The projection," continues Lisa Letessier.We reproach others for what belongs to us, but that we refuse to consider: an odd, but also a character trait or a feeling. "In particular couples, it is always the other ... who asks too much or who likes But confessing it would be too risky, both in terms of our identity and our security Fortunately, the psyche has planned everything ...
1. Author in particular of The Art of Guilt and Exist , the most intimate and fragile of feelings (Payot)
2. Author of The Rupture amoureuse (Odile Jacob)