Build upon strengths, and weaknesses will gradually take care of themselves. ~ Joyce C. Lock

If you have worked hard to make the people in your life happy, you feel rewarded if they thank you, if you see them smile. You want your desire for their wellness and satisfaction to be rewarded, and you are willing to work hard to see that happen.

But what happens to you if they don't respond in an expected way? What if they're unemotional about it? What if they show zero response? Are all of your hopes dashed on the rocks of disappointment, and then do you think "Why bother?" and move deeper into lack of motivation?

When you began to work to please them, you felt alive, energized, and the anticipation of their pleasure was enough to keep you going. Now, with disappointment and lack of motivation in the picture, your feelings are flat, exhausting, and you have an "I don't care" attitude. The critical self begins to emerge.

I know of a couple where this was their norm. Patrick tried very hard to do things to please his wife, but Leanne frequently made comments that left him feeling she didn't appreciate his efforts. He loved her and he wanted to see her smile, but she was worn down with her sense of burden taking care of the house and kids and she didn't show appreciation for all his efforts.

His main response was a lack-lustre "snort" that left him feeling he'd failed once again to please her. She showed more pleasure for her children's hand-made gifts at Mother's Day or her birthday, but even they thought they would never find the right thing to make their mother truly happy and satisfied.

Patrick wasn't a man who required much more than a thank you or a word of appreciation. He surely didn't expect her to spend lots of money on him. He just wanted to think that he was a good husband who was able to please his wife. Just a small smile of genuine thanks that his efforts meant something warm and fuzzy to her would have pleased him.

But that seldom happened. So, Patrick was left with the sense that he was unsuccessful, thoughtless, and somehow less-than in her eyes. It wasn't too long that he felt that way about himself without any negative input from her. And so the self blame began.

Patrick wasn't the kind of man to seek help from a psychologist, or to read books with self-help themes, so without fresh ideas from healthier folks, his downward spiral continued. He wanted to stir up the will power to continue to try to please her, but nothing seemed to lift the lack of motivation under which he suffered - that it was all a waste of time and effort. Why continue to try when Leanne would just snort and rebuff him?

Sound at all familiar? What dear, good-hearted Patrick needed was a change of sense! What if he was able to do the things he generally did, but continue to feel good about them despite Leanne's reaction? What if he trained himself to revel in his goodness, his generosity, his thoughtfulness? He would certainly not be at the mercy of her negativity or even his own critical self, would he?

He'd be back in control and he wouldn't continue to with the self blame or punish himself because of her feedback. Patrick's disappointment could build up into resentment, and might result in a divorce. But if he refused to allow himself to rely on her feedback, he could feel good about himself and his efforts. And then she'd be left with her own lap of negativity.

When you feel you are becoming a victim of self blame you see your critical self emerging, here's what to do:

Admit it's happening
Tell your mate what's happening inside you
Tell them what you had hoped might happen
Praise yourself for honest communication
Search for a better feeling inside yourself.

You deserve your own happiness, so don't continue to be your critical self filled with self blame. Create something happier for yourself.

Author's Bio: 

Maria has expanded her life purpose to include helping others to live a masterful, successful life led by her own example and accomplishments through the creation of The Change Coaching Institute, a training institute for those wishing to accelerate their growth on The Path, and a training ground for coaches to help her advance this ground breaking work.