The student section at Yost Hockey Arena in Ann Arbor is a raucous, some might say rude bunch. One of their favorite cheers comes after the Michigan squad scores a goal. They all stand and point at the visitor's goalie and chant:
"It's all your fault. It's all your fault. It's all your fault."
I was reminded of this recently when a friend had a fender bender. An expensive event when you carry a $1,000 deductible in a society where no auto repair is less than a grand. What was unnerving was listening to her on the phone with her insurance agent admitting it was her fault. Unfortunately she had said exactly those words to the other driver at the scene of the accident. Even in the description of the incident I overheard, I had doubts about her culpability. But, of course, the moral of the story is not that you should never admit guilt; nay, the object lesson is the mindset in life that it's all your fault.
My friend is one of those guilt-ridden personalities. You know those people who do guilt so well, so often and so quickly that there really is no room for anyone else to shoulder any part of the burden. I will not mention her heritage here, you are allowed to speculate. I will, however, say that upbringing is the key; with the true guilt focused directly on the parents.
Guilt is instilled at an early age, most personality traits are. What one has to wonder is why of all the gifts to give a child, a parent would select this one? The answer, of course, is that the adult is compensating for their own feelings by projecting them on their child. Some parents are wise enough to compensate by giving their child the opposite or positive referent to their own tortured soul. Others - not so much.
Moral of the story - At least 50% of the time, it really isn't your fault. Ponder that possibility and we'll work on lowering the number next session.