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What Is Personalization or Blaming? | Assertiveness Basics

  • Personalization and Blaming are Cognitive Distortions, automatic irrational thoughts.
  • It refers to placing the entire responsibility onto one single source or factor, one that often had nothing or little to do with the results of a situation.
  • Personalization refers to those contexts in which we see ourselves as the single source, factor, or trigger for a situation.
  • Blaming describes the contexts in which we place the responsibility exclusively on others.

Examples of Personalization and Blaming

Personalization:

“He failed the exam because of me. I shouldn’t have kept him on the phone for so long yesterday.”

The responsibility for the exam results is with the person taking the exam, not someone else.

Blaming:

“You always make me sad”.

How we react emotionally in a certain situation has to do with us, not with the other person’s actions.

How To Manage Personalization/Blaming

Retrain your mind to consider the objective factors that trigger a situation or outcome. The causes of an event are rarely singular and for each context, we should consider each of them with their respective amount of significance and influence.