In Adlerian psychology, safeguarding through aggression can take three different forms, namely depreciation, accusation, and self-accusation. Self-accusation is a defensive behavioral pattern characterized by excessively blaming oneself and wallowing in guilt to incite a response in others with whom they interact. This safeguarding tendency is characterized by the engagement in self-torture behaviors, like using depreciative language when referring to the self, depression, and causing self-harm, which generates suffering in others and elicits feelings of pity and worry.
Example: “I have always hated the way I look! It’s my fault because I am so lazy and never do anything to get better. I don’t think I am worthy of anyone’s love or attention.”