Redirection is the horrible art of taking everything we might express outwardly when feeling hurt, disappointed, or angered by others, and subconsciously choosing to blame ourselves for for having allowed it.

Guilt is a default setting for us. We're programmed and conditioned to believe that everything is both our fault and our responsibility to fix. We're uncomfortable with vulnerability and we struggle with trusting ourselves to maintain self-control when experiencing strong emotions. Too often, we deny ourselves the right to even feel what we feel, much less express it.

Redirection is an attempt not to be powerless. Instead of acknowledging that others have wronged us or let us down, we blame ourselves for allowing them to. We work very hard to maintain low expectations of others even as we hold ourselves to impossible standards. This perpetuates the illusion of control: If we do everything right, no one will hurt us and we won't be disappointed.

Redirection allows us to stay within our comfort zones, but it creates internal pressure and resentments. If we are to move away from anxiety and implosion, we need to let ourselves acknowledge when we've been mistreated or misunderstood. Failing to do so silently teaches others that their behavior is acceptable.

Champion your own cause, if only from within. Stop embracing black and white thinking. If you're uncomfortable addressing the person who harmed you, share it the experience with someone who supports you. Please keep in mind that if you're anything like me, the person who lets you down the most is yourself.

Let's move away from that simply by allowing ourselves the right to healthy coping and (whenever possible) seeking accountability from others.

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Published by Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre is an addictions and trauma recovery expert. He is the cofounder of Sobernow.com. Jim invites your comments and questions: [email protected]