Blaming Others For Our Problems
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If we're honest, we often blame others for our problems. Sometimes we have a genuine grievance, but at other times we divert blame to others to avoid it falling on us. If we've made a mistake or done something wrong, it can be hard to accept blame and admit fault, so we might deny it to others and even to ourselves. Often when we have a relationship conflict, we place all of the blame on the other person and struggle to see both sides of the argument.
This might be a good way to stop us feeling guilty, but...
It robs us of our power.
Blame is actually on the Spectrum of Responsibility:
Blame is our attempt to shift negative responsibility onto others retrospectively, because of the feelings of shame that are associated with blame. But we will never be able to claim back our power and progress through the spectrum of Responsibility, until we realize that...
Blame is not shame!
Blame is, in fact, responsibility. Blame is potential power. Breaking the mental link between blame and shame causes a great shift in our thought patterns, habits and decision making. This shift allows us to retain our power and responsibility, and causes great strides in our personal growth and self-development.
In fact, changing how we feel about blame is one of the biggest steps we can take toward true self-actualization.
When we realize that blaming others robs us of our personal power, we can take ownership of our problems, mistakes and wrongdoings. These might not sound like the most exciting or desirable things to take ownership of, but it is only through harnessing our weaknesses and looking at them honestly that we can make positive changes to solve our problems.
The most common area the blame-game affects is relationships, especially our closest ones. Close relationships are rarely easy. Sometimes they are not as close as we would like. We might have arguments and fights we never intended to have. These bonds can be fraught with misunderstandings, accusations, unmet expectations and hurt feelings.
Faling Out & Making-Up
When we fall out with a loved one, a colleague or even just an acquaintance, it can be very difficult to see past our emotions to understand theirs. Our feelings of anger, upset, frustration and even loneliness can be so strong that we get stuck in them, logic and objectivity completely forgotten. We might feel indignant, disrespected, slighted or unloved. We insist that they have done something wrong, that they are to blame, and that we are the innocent party.
Sometimes this is true, but very rarely. A conflict, by its very nature, has fault on both sides.
We all want better relationships. But to blame the other person for the conflict obliterates our power to work towards an improved relationship with them. Often we think that the other person is the problem and insist that they must change or do things differently, and make no effort to check our own behavior and character.
What Is Right?
It is human nature to think we are doing the right thing. Most of us do the best we can to be good people. But the fact is that we can hurt others unintentionally, have annoying or hurtful habits that we are unaware of, and have plenty of room to grow into better people. When we find enough humility to admit these facts and accept some blame, we don't have to feel shame. Instead, we can use blame as the starting point for our self-development, to reclaim our responsibility. Then we will gain power to transform our relationships. This elevates us from a passive victim to an active agent in our own personal growth.
The one exception to this is in the case of abuse. Those who have been abused should not under any circumstance take the blame for their abuse. However, they can claim back their responsibility, and therefore their power, in order for them to remove themselves from an abusive situation (if it is ongoing) and to seek all the help they need in order to heal themselves.
Accepting blame and admitting we are wrong can be difficult for our self-image and ego, but it is the first step to get an accurate picture of our behaviors. Scrutinizing our actions, motives and the way we treat other people may be uncomfortable. But if we want the power, we must first take the blame.
- Iman Mohiki