Dobby effect: always feeling guilty

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Louise Hay

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Dobby effect: always feeling guilty

Do you always feel guilty? Do you punish yourself? You probably suffer from what we now call the Dobby effect.

Last update: April 29, 2020

If we know the world of Harry Potter, Dobby's name will be familiar to us. Dobby is a house elf who punishes himself when he doesn't meet his masters' expectations (or thinks he doesn't meet them). This, even if it is intended to be a comic scene, leaves those around him amazed. Why, who would want to hurt themselves? However, this is a reality that many people experience, which is why this attitude has been renamed the Dobby effect.

The Dobby effect refers to the way he treats the cuddly elf himself. Feeling guilty for doing something that goes against our values ​​or that we label as wrong is, to some extent, normal. The problem arises when we continually punish ourselves for feeling guilty of anything. In this case, there is a much bigger problem. We are taking too much responsibility.

Excess of guilt

In the society we live in they exist several reasons why we can feel guilty for no reason Really. In many cases, guilt arises because we do not meet the expectations of others or do not adapt to what society expects of us. Let's see some examples that will allow us to understand better:

  • Being a bad mother: many women suffer from so-called postpartum depression. This causes them to feel guilty, since, in theory, being a mother should lead to absolute happiness. In the (many) cases where this expectation is not met, guilt can arise.
  • Deserve partner violenceAbused people often justify the physical violence of their partner with actions or behaviors that they themselves have had. As a result, they cannot leave him because they feel they are to blame.

There are many other situations in which a person can recognize himself in the Dobby effect. The woman who is suffering from postpartum depression feeds her by feeling guilty. The person who is mistreated does the same by justifying the pain that is inflicted on them. It is, in fact, a form of indirect self-flagellation. It is not the person himself who causes pain, but he allows someone else to do it for him.

«I have always had guilt complexes in promoting my art, to the point that before every exhibition I always had some kind of illness. So I decided it was better to let it go. "

-Louise Bourgeois-

Responsibility in the Dobby Effect

Guilt is not necessarily harmful. However, it becomes so when it becomes the engine of a punishment that has no purpose other than to suffer suffering. Guilt becomes perverse when it cancels our assertiveness, allowing others to harm us. That's exactly what happened to Dobby.

Sometimes this responsibility that we carry on our shoulders originates in our childhood. Maybe our parents poured out all their frustrations on us. Probably, they told us several times that we did not deserve this or that. All of this has stayed with us and, as we grow up, we learn to anticipate those “it's your fault” or “you were wrong”. We blame ourselves.

In spite of everything, you can get out of this Dobby effect. The best way to do this is strive to increase your self-esteem. When we can improve our understanding of ourselves, we can begin to be more forgiving of our mistakes. Most importantly, we will stop extending our liability beyond reasonable limits.

If you feel trapped in some kind of cave and the guilt is the echo, if you recognize yourself in the Dobby effect, do not hesitate to contact a professional.

Your inner dialogue will improve and the way you treat yourself will also improve: thus, you can protect yourself from dangerous phenomena such as emotional dependence on people who are willing to satisfy their interests with our most vulnerable side.

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