Rewriting history is when someone recounts certain events, but they spin or twist the facts around usually so that they are the victim of the story instead of having any fault in it. The more times they tell the story, the truer the twisted version of the story becomes to them. Eventually they are telling a story very different from the original events and they truly believe on some level that is how it actually happened.
Makes You Feel Crazy
If you are in a relationship with someone who rewrites history, this kind of behavior can make you feel like you are crazy. I’m sure this would fall under the heading of gaslighting (manipulation of facts in such a way that makes you question your own version). Further, it is impossible to argue with someone who has rewritten history because they have come to believe their version. And who wouldn’t want to believe the version where their behavior was better than everyone else’s?
Why Do They Do It?
As sadistic as it sounds, I still have a hard time believing that the majority of people who rewrite history do it consciously or deliberately. It is actually just a coping mechanism that they have learned and it works to get the spotlight off of their bad behavior. This is a result of toxic shame, a very powerful issue that cuts deep into our cores and tells us horrible messages about ourselves such as we are not good enough, we aren’t lovable, or we are downright bad. Shame based people have a hard time separating their behavior from their identity. So when they are doing things like rewriting history, they are basically scrambling to find a way to make their behavior not seems so bad so that they themselves won’t seem bad. They are just trying to avoid their own pain.
What Should You Do?
If you’re in a relationship with someone who rewrites history, the best course of action is to call them out on it but in a calm, understanding, and, if you can, loving way. This will likely still cause some pretty heated arguments, but the worst thing you can do is to just roll your eyes and ignore it. That allows them to continue rewriting history and cementing their twisted facts as truth and they never have to face their own issues. You can just expect the problem to get worse.
What If You Do It?
If you’re someone who realizes that you rewrite history, then first of all, good for you for being open to hearing that you do this! Secondly, you need to do some work on your shame so that you can face the truth when necessary. We ALL have bad behavior at times. Doing your shame work allows you to begin owning your bad behavior without the feelings of anxiety and worthlessness that used to come with it. This is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your loved ones!
If you recognize this going on in your life, give us a call. Recognizing it is only half the battle. We have a lot of experience working with these types of issues and we’d love to help you have a happier, healthier, and fuller life!
Contact me for an appointment at (317)727-8939 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Link to YouTube version of this blog. . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKdPDVd1n4M&feature=youtu.be