Why do we blame others?
Why do we think finding someone to blame, any time we feel discontent, will make things better?
For some reason, we are prone to believe that if we can find someone to blame for a situation, we will feel better about it. This could not be further from the truth, which is why I have always been so fascinated by this concept.
Blaming others is making a conscious decision to give our own power away. Whether someone else’s behavior led to our current situation or not, focusing on blaming them will not help us or make us feel better. If anything, using our energy to blame only diminishes our effectiveness.
We are less powerful when we are in blame mode. The blame game is not a happy place either.
So why do we continue to play the blame game, although it does not serve us and makes us miserable?
We blame others because we refuse to accept our situation.
In some way, blaming another person for our misfortune gives us a diluted sense of regaining control. If we can find and declare fault in a situation, we think we have “solved” the problem, when really, nothing has changed. Our self righteous anger only worsens our situation and hardens our hearts.
We also blame others in order to evade responsibility for our choices or for fixing a problem. When we do not want to accept responsibility for our life and our choices, we are inclined to blame others in order to hide from ourselves. When we have to face a challenge that we do not want to face, it is easy to take our anger out on someone else to avoid actually addressing the issue.
Regardless what our reasoning is for playing the blame game, it will never serve us. We are better off letting it go, forever.
Instead of immediately looking for someone to blame when we face any challenge or discomfort, we can look at ourselves.
If we don’t like something, the question is not ‘Whose fault is this’. The question is ‘What can I do to change this’. If we cannot change it, we are only responsible for our reaction to it.
I am not saying that there isn’t a time to hold others accountable. We all know that we must set boundaries in our relationships. This is not the blame game. This is part of a healthy relationship.
The blame game is different. Blame tears people apart. It ruins relationships. It makes us uncomfortable and resentful and renders us powerless. This is how we know if we are playing the blame game — by the way it makes us feel.
How do you steer clear of the blame game?
Many of us have made a conscious decision to avoid the blame game in our lives for quite some time. Because we live in a domination culture, where competition and blame shoot through the fabric of our existence, avoiding the blame game can be very difficult. Especially since, those who love to play need others to play with them, and can take every opportunity to reel you into the game.
If someone in your life is always trying to play the blame game, your best bet is not to play.
When they attempt to blame you, make your response as neutral as possible and remember that blaming them back is just fueling the blame. Practice not being reactive or defensive. Use as few words as necessary. When they try to pull you into their blame of others, you should be just as cautious. This one is tricky because we naturally want to connect with each other. When we agree on something or share a thought or experience, we feel even more connected. Our longing for connection with other human beings can make us very tempted to play the blame game with others in this way, by agreeing and joining them in their blame. This is of course even more powerful when the person inviting you to the blame party is someone you really care about, or someone that you want to like or accept you.
If you have been playing the blame game in your life or in a relationship, it is never too late to turn it around.
You have the ability to bring the focus back to yourself and take your power back. It will empower you in your own life and it will free the people in your life from the unreasonable demands of blame.
We have all played the blame game at some points and to some extent in our lives. For some reason, it is human nature, although it does not serve us. So don’t beat yourself up when you find yourself playing the blame game, just turn it around to yourself, and move forward.
Written by Holly Kellums
Originally published on Medium.com