Questions 4 & 5

BI - Being Innocent

There is distinction between addressing a false accusation and the habitual ruminations and imaginings in which one sees oneself responding to harsh judgment or false accusations. The harsh judgment is often about worthiness rather than something criminal. Much of this maladjusted activity occurs in oneís mind, thus it can happen recurrently without much notice. The coping mechanism Being Innocent is a form of vigilance against anticipated or vague indictments. In the rumination or fantasy one may be considered suspect. There is continual rehearsing of oneís defensive strategy. Sometimes one will imagine an actual court scene in which a compelling and dramatic defense is stated publicly. Other times one imagines conversations or exchanges with important people where one is recognized as blameless.

The person who relies on this coping activity thinks: ďIf I am recognized as blameless, Iíll be OK. But if I am not seen as blameless, then Iím not OK. This means that one will seek vindication, even though no fault or offense occurred. This activity compensates for feelings of guilt or unworthiness. This behavior is costly in that it imposes itself on day to day interactions with people. It is associated with symptoms of social anxiety. This maladjusted coping activity may cluster with other compensatory modes like seeking to redeem honor and, ironically, judging others.

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