News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™      


Joy, Love, and Peace in 2015

Attitiude Reconstruction  


November  2015                  Dealing with Finger-Pointers

Jude Bijou
Mark your calendar! Jude's giving a 2 day workshop on Attitude Reconstruction February 26-27, 2016 in lovely Santa Barbara. 
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Jude Bijou MA MFT is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her multi award- winning book is a practical and spiritual handbook to help you create the life you desire.  

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Check out the helpful content on the Attitude Reconstruction Website


"First, I'd like to blame the Lord for causing us to lose today."


"That's just great. I discover the cure for the common cold and all you do is criticize."

"No, I would not welcome a contrasting point of view."




Hello Friends, 

Finally the hot weather is over here in Southern California. It's been a brutal last couple of months. Now we're complaining because the night temperature has been dropping down to a chilly 50 degrees. It's much easier to comprehend the coming of the holidays now that summer feels like it's ended. Where's the rain?

The pervasiveness of Donald Trump's communication style of name-calling, criticizing, and blaming has led me to write a winning strategy to deal with such divisive behaviors. I shudder to think how he is modeling and sanctioning this kind of talking as appropriate for increasing understanding and feelings of connection.

Interesting Articles

Here are some interesting articles that have caught my eye in the last month. The first is about the staggering amount of time teens and preteens spend plugged in to media each day.  

Second, is a myth buster. It's not that skinny people don't eat junk food. It's just that they don't eat french fries!

And third, the amazing statistics about how the death rate for middle-aged white folks with no more than a high school education is increasing, whereas it's falling for every other racial and ethnic group in other wealthy countries. This is due to suicides and illnesses due to substance abuse, overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids, and alcoholic liver disease.
Fun Videos of Blamers and Name-callers

First is an excerpt from a Everybody Loves Raymond episode of Ray and Debra having a fight in the bathroom.

The second is Ellen Degeneres' monologue about loosing her jacket. It's so easy to blame others for those lost keys, important document, or glasses not being where we know we last put them. If we deal with  our own anger instead, we'll be able to find our lost possessions much easier and spare those around us.
The Downer Effect of Blaming and Criticizing

Chances are you've seen and heard an emotional manipulator at work. Perhaps you even live or work with someone who regularly pulls out their blame gun and sprays accusations on everyone but themselves. They get angry and indignant and go on and on about how stupid, ineffective, or lame others are. They use their verbal tirades to dismiss situations and ideas that are divergent to their position. Everyone else is responsible and wrong; they're right and know how to fix any problem.
Finger-pointing is a behavior demonstrated by people targeting their anger at others rather than owning their own frustrations, because the world isn't the way they think it should be. Those folks control by intimidation. They don't like it when someone speaks up their truth if it's different from theirs.
In fact, anger is normal reaction to injustices and violations. It is a pure bodily sensation, characterized by the impulse to strike out and destroy physically or verbally. It's a natural emotional expression but needs to be expressed constructively.
Being berated for spending too much money, not keeping the house clean enough, for the way we drive, or for a decision we made gets old. It takes a toll on our self-worth, health, and well-being. There are other destructive consequences. We become afraid and defensive, waiting for the next strike. Love takes a dive out the window. We can't help but take what the blamer says to heart, and get down on ourselves, feeling hollow, a bit numb, and sad. We're pissed off at being unjustly accused and demeaned.

4 Things to Do When You're The Target of Finger-Pointing, etc.

You can do something about people in your personal environment who exhibit negative behaviors, such as blaming, criticizing and name-calling. Here are successful strategies when you're the object of someone frustration and anger.
1. Don't take the bait and respond. Don't try to defend yourself and strike back with similar tactics. Let their comments roll off your back. Pretend they are speaking a foreign language or reframe their cruel words by reminding yourself that they are feeling the emotion of anger. You are merely the convenient target. The reality is you are fine. They have an awful style of communicating.

2. Excuse yourself and in a safe place identify the comment, criticism, or blame that really bothers you. Deal with your own anger, fear, and/or sadness physically and constructively when you think about the comment. That means express the emotional energy as a pure sensation.
For anger that means pound, stomp, yell nonsense words. While pounding hard, fast and with abandon, make sounds, oooowww, and keep to the facts, stating, "I just feel so angry. Angry. Angry." While moving out the emotional energy, it's imperative not bad-mouth or focus on the blamer.
Take a tennis racket to your mattress or punch a pillow. Go for it until you are exhausted. Catch your breath and do it again, thinking about the comment but refrain from name calling or swearing.
For fear, shiver and shake, getting in touch with how scary it is being around a loose cannon. Keep shivering until you touch the fear and your body trembles on its own.
For sadness, allow yourself to cry, because it hurts to be so misunderstood, negatively viewed, and repeatedly not being seen for your true self.
3. Figure out what's true for you about the comment. What do you want to say about yourself? How does it feel to be targeted? For instance you might want to say, "I'm afraid you're going to be critical no matter what I say. I feel like I can't win. I can't get it right. I feel like I'm being unfairly attacked for minor things. I don't want to be attacked, because it makes me feel like shutting down. I don't like being constantly corrected. Your cruel words can ruin my whole day. I want to feel more love and more connected with you."
4. At a neutral time, speak out your truth. More than likely you will have to lovingly repeat your truth many times to counter their deflections and knee-jerk reactions. Stay strong and deal with specific incidents. Make it clear that it is up to them to change their behavior. Don't get distracted and clearly repeat your truth until you feel it is heard. If necessary set a boundary - say what you will do in the future if the blamer continues his barrage, such as leave the room, hang up the phone, break down and cry, etc.
End your communication with an appreciation of the blamer, thanking them for listening and acknowledging something you like in them.
If you follow and practice these guidelines, you will feel good about yourself for finally breaking the cycle, and calmly standing your ground to say what you've finally been bold enough to say and do.

Hey Jude! 

I enjoy flinging zingers when I'm talking. I think that tells the world how clever and quick I am. Are you suggesting I give up how I relate to friends?

Perhaps it's time to think about the consequences of your retorts? You're having fun at the expense of others. What you call "clever and quick" has an angry edge and hurts other people, causing them to become cautious around you. So while you think you are boosting your own self esteem, you are really building a wall. Connection and good feelings flee. Distance increases. What's more important? Loving personal relationships or feeding your ego? 

If you have any feedback, suggestions about a newsletter theme, or general comments about this topic, I enjoy hearing from you, so write me at:

I'm wishing you much love and a happy Thanksgiving!