Life is sometimes unfair. Bad things do happen to good people. Injustice happens. When this occurs – and it does to all of us – we understandably feel anger, hurt, frustration, and helplessness. We feel the cruelty, and we want the pain to stop. Our instinct is to protect, to lash out, to fight back.
Sometimes I lie awake at night and ask why me? Then a voice answers nothing personal, your name just happened to come up.
Charles M. Schultz
A man can get discouraged many times, but he is not a failure until he begins to blame somebody else and stops trying.
Yes, there are times when something is legitimately not our fault, meaning there was no conscious intention. Blaming others, however, keeps us stuck – disempowers us.
Once you place the responsibility (blame) on someone else, you relinquish the director’s chair in the production of your own life.
The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.
The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.
Not only is blaming disempowering, it is also toxic.
To carry a grudge is like being stung to death by one bee.
One of the biggest contributors to low energy fatigue is blame.
The search for someone to blame is always successful.
All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won’t succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy.
When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look into the reasons it is not doing well. . . No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Undeserved praise causes more pangs of conscience later than undeserved blame, but probably only for this reason, that our power of judgement are more completely exposed by being over praised than by being unjustly underestimated.
The most effective way to get free from The Blame Game and to protect ourselves is to begin to look at what is happening through the lens of “Cause and Effect”, rather than “Right/Wrong”, “Good/Bad”, “Black/White”. We are afraid to let go of our judgments, because we believe somehow we’ll lose our moral compass. Actually the opposite is true. When we thoughtfully evaluate our choices and actions by asking, “What result do I really want to happen?”, we are going to make better choices, and have better results – without the condemnation and toxic complications of blame. We are better positioned for responsibility, resolution, and recovery.
Don’t argue for other people’s weaknesses. Don’t argue for your own. When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from it – immediately.
So here’s some unproductive questions to ask when the opportunity to blame arises.
- Who’s head is going to roll?
- How can I deflect responsibility?
- How do I make myself right and someone else wrong?
- When am I going to get it right?
Here’s some productive questions to ask when the opportunity to blame arises.
- What action(s) did I take to set this in motion?
- What was the intention of my action(s)?
- How could I have done it differently, better?
- What insight(s) have I gained?
- How will I do it differently, better next time?
If you really want to learn a set of skills to help you avoid blame, improve problem solving, and live your life more productively, click here:
If you’re weary of the blame and need help, click here.