Pointing fingers is easy. Taking responsibility, on the other hand, is really, really hard.
At some point or another, you might have found yourself stuck in the middle of the blame game (maybe you’re in the middle of this right now). Perhaps neither you or your partner wants to take responsibility. Or maybe you’re fed up; you feel like they never take responsibility for their side of events.
Here’s the thing: As soon as you start pointing fingers, everyone loses. There are no winners in the blame game.
In fact, taking responsibility shows the other person how they should behave too. Sometimes, we’ve just got to go first. And yes, it might not be ideal. But you should always exemplify the behavior you want to see. So, how can you do this? How can you finally quit the dreaded blame game?
Eckhart Tolle has stated, “Whenever something negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it.”
The world you see is the way you create it. Let that sink in for a second.
The blame cycle tends to happen when we struggle to internalize and take responsibility for our own actions and feelings. We're trying to find anything external to attach our feelings to, which never really works out well.
You might constantly blame others for how your life has turned out. And given, there are some things that are out of our control. Yet, at the end of the day, it always comes back to you. If you want things to change, you have to be the first to do the changing.
In fact, this might take some serious digging into your own past, and even childhood. So, what should you do?
Blaming is largely something individuals use as a protective mechanism. It’s really painful to realize something is your fault, especially if you aren’t happy with the outcome. Instead of looking outward, look within:
And yes, sometimes, some serious therapy is needed to fully get to the bottom of it. No one necessarily escapes trauma in childhood. We all just learn to cope in different ways, and some are better than others.
Everyone has a side and perspective. Everyone has feelings. And when someone truly cares about you, they don’t mean to hurt you (Usually! Inevitably, there are exceptions to this.).
In other words, drop the ego. Put down your sword. Strive to understand. It might feel like you’re doing something wrong, but understanding someone else’s point of view is one of the best things you can do.
It can help you break down walls of assumptions and come to a common ground where blame has no place.
Related Article: Empathy: What Is It? Why Is It Important?
It takes two to tango. Arguments rarely involve one person. Before pointing fingers, try to look inward and ask yourself where you could improve. What could you have done better? Usually, there’s something! None of us are perfect.
Let’s drop the “you-against-me” attitude and instead try to decipher the problem. What is the problem? How can you tackle it as a team as opposed to opposing team members?
Related Article: Happy Relationships Take Work: Are You Really Doing Your Share?
Emotions run high! And it’s okay to get upset. But it’s how you manage it that matters the most. If you find you’re too heated to try to see where you could improve or how you can take responsibility, take a break. Take a second and cool off.
When you do this, it can help to write all those awful things about the other person. Once you let that out, try to look at the problem from the other person’s perspective, then write down three to four solutions where you can do better next time.
While using the above can help when blame takes centerstage, here are a few more tips:
When you give others control of your happiness by using blame, you’ll find it really difficult to be happy.
In fact, you’ll often feel quite the opposite and you’ll likely frequently feel out of control. Instead, take back your power. Look at yourself and try to focus on changing you over changing overs. You’ll be surprised how quickly things start to go your way when you do!
May 25, 2022