“When you think everything is someone else's fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realize that everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.” ~ 14th Dalai Lama
You probably have childhood memories of assigning blame to others or having the finger pointed at you. I have one vivid memory of my father lining all four of us up as children in the hope one of us would step forward and claim responsibility for damaging a pot plant. No such luck… This was the beginning of the infamous O’Dwyer ghost who was jokingly blamed for any unowned mishap.
SO WHY DO WE BLAME OTHERS?
We have all done it; unleashed feelings of frustration or anger onto someone else. According to Brené Brown in her book Rising Strong one of the reasons we assign blame to others is to avoid feeling pain and discomfort. The need is to feel in control of whatever is going on, but the reality is we risk losing connection with, and the respect of loved ones.
Checkout Brene’s witty 3 minute animation:
So rather than feel our feelings, we hold someone else’s behaviour or words responsible for ‘making us feel the way we feel’. It is the opposite of being accountable for our own ‘stuff’. However, when we say “Look what you made me do” or “Look what you made me say”, we are relinquishing our power of choice.
Blaming can be a pattern of behaviour that becomes your norm. But it does significant damage to relationships. The ongoing conflict it promotes will slowly drain the emotional goodwill from your relationship. Long-term you risk losing connection with, and the respect of your loved one.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
♥ Recognise this is an Opportunity – Anthony Robert said “when you blame others, you give up your power to change.” The opposite is also true, when you take responsibility for your own stuff you reclaim your power. The good news is old patterns of behaving can be changed thanks to the neuroplasticity of your brain.
The teacher you need is the person you are living with." ~ Byron Katie
♥ Become mindful – Start taking notice of your emotions, whether they are comfortable or distressing. Are you experiencing sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, anger, or even excitement or happiness. Take the time to sit with your emotions. Allow yourself to feel them. Sounds weird I know!
However, like many of us you may have never learned how to 'tune-in' to your emotions as a child. What emotions are you pushing away or are unaware of?
Dan Sigel refers to this as Mindsight. When you tune-in to your emotional state you become aware of your habitual patterns and behaviors, instead of being on autopilot. Mindfulness is about being more connected to yourself and others.
The greatest gift you can give somebody is your own personal development. ~ Jim Rohn
♥ Establish boundaries in your life – Without boundaries you can easily feel like a victim of everyone else’s needs and wants. Whereas healthy boundaries will draw the respect of the people in your life.
In addition, Gabor Maté points out that when you don’t listen to your ‘gut instinct’ to say ‘no’, your body will say no for you. In other words your immune system will be compromised. So healthy boundaries don't just enhance your relationships, they strengthen your immune system.
Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. We can't base our own worthiness on others' approval. ~ Brené Brown
Your current situation may be your opportunity to identify and change old patterns of behavior, and live a more authentic and meaningful life.
If the blame game is undermining your relationshisp, then please call me for a Free 15 minute consultation. We can talk about what is going on for you and I can answer any questions you might have. If I am with a client I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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