Self-Defeating Behavior

Psychiatrist Richard Friedman, MD, writing about on self-defeating behavior in the NYT, confronts a client with a long pattern of not-so-coincidental-seeming disappointments:

“Do you ever wonder why so many disappointing things happen to you?” I asked. “Is it just chance, or might you have something to do with it?”

His reply was a resentful question: “You think it’s all my fault, don’t you?”

Now I got it. He was about to turn our first meeting into yet another encounter in which he was mistreated. It seemed he rarely missed an opportunity to feel wronged.


Posted by Will Baum, LCSW