Focusing Tip #810 – “This part seems to hate me”

Focusing Tip #810 – “This part seems to hate me”
August 31, 2022 Ann Weiser Cornell
Focusing Tip #810 - "This part seems to hate me"

Focusing Tip #810 – “This part seems to hate me”

What can you do if a part of you attacks you viciously for making a mistake? Read on…

A Reader writes:

A part of me is convinced that I am a worthless person. I’ve heard you say that all our parts are on our side, but this one seems to hate me.

If I make a mistake, like in a relationship with someone, this part blames me for ruining everything because I’m such a bad person.

Dear Reader:

I know this kind of situation very well. It’s tragic, really. Because this IS a part that loves you, believe it or not, but it communicates in a way that makes you convinced that it hates you.

Why? Because it’s so panicked.

Great panic and anxiety can lead to extreme language that sounds like anger and even hate. Think of a toddler who runs out into traffic. His panicked mother, who loves him, manages to snatch him up barely in time. Then what does the mother do next? Shakes him angrily! “What were you doing? What’s wrong with you? You know better than that!”

So you made a mistake. Maybe you said something that didn’t land well with your friend, and now you’re sorry. You regret it, you wish you hadn’t said that.

Well, mistakes happen. We can learn from them. Believe it or not, relationships can grow from them, because the process of repair can make bonds even stronger.

However, it seems there is a part of you that doesn’t know that. It’s afraid, terrified, panicked, that you’ve ruined everything with your friend. Because of how afraid it is, it says extreme things like, “You’re hopeless! You’re a miserable excuse for a human being!”

Here’s what I suggest you do: Say Hello to the part that is blaming you.

“Hello, I know you’re there.”

Now consider the possibility that it is saying those things because of how panicked it is feeling. Something has scared it, perhaps something about how important that relationship is (the one where you made the mistake). Notice if you feel even a glimmer of possibility that this part is scared.

Then say to it, kindly, “Might you be worried? Might that be why you’re saying this to me?” and sense again. My guess is, you’ll start to feel a shift. It’s not really attacking you. It’s just terribly scared—and needs your compassion.


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