“Blame doesn’t empower you. It keeps you stuck in a place you don’t want to be because you don’t want to make the temporary, but painful decision, to be responsible for the outcome of your own life’s happiness.”– SHANNON L. ALDER
Let’s be honest…we have all played the Blame Game. It is easy to do when something doesn’t go the way we want it to. If someone is at fault then there is a way to make sure it doesn’t happen again. And sometimes we need that sense of control to make us feel a little safer.
There are two sides to the blame game: we become hyper self-accountable and pile all the blame on ourselves or we blame everyone else for our problems.
I used to believe that “taking responsibility” for a negative event meant I was the bigger person…at least that is what I rationalized. It also fed into the self-defeating ideas that I was a bad person and everything bad that happened around me must somehow be my fault – including other people’s poor choices or behavior.
That kind of thinking is of course not based in reality, but it will make you very popular with narcissists and sociopaths. The self blamer is like a gold mine for people who love to blame everyone else. If you find yourself in a relationship, be it romantic, friendship or work related, and you are always on the receiving end of the blame for everything that goes wrong – while someone else always takes on the role of savior – I have two words for you: GET OUT! Walk away, run, do whatever you must to get yourself away from that situation or person. There is no reasoning with that type of personality. You will never win.
Now for the other end of the spectrum, the side were we dump our issues all over somebody else. It is so tempting and simple to point a finger and say that if it wasn’t for this person or that circumstance everything in our lives would be perfect! This way we never have to do the hard work, never have to take accountability for our own happiness. We wash our hands of the responsibility and move on…except it doesn’t really work like that does it?
If we consistently blame another person for our life circumstances we will continue to just sit in that space. No growth will happen and we will be trapped. We will continue our patterns of picking the wrong person, getting ourselves into situations that are not in our best interest, allowing people to treat us poorly.
The fact of the matter is, as soon as we become aware the choices we are making are making us miserable, it is then within our power to stop making those choices. We have to love ourselves enough to make better decisions on our own behalf. To be clear, I am not saying we end up on the other side of the blame spectrum and blame ourselves for everything. There is another way to approach the things in our lives that circumvents blame altogether: awareness.
I love awareness. When you start to become aware of things in your life WITHOUT assigning blame, it is like having a super power.
The blame game is not a fixed status assigned at birth. I have personally been all left and right on this spectrum, sometimes within the same conversation… haha! Seriously, this is true.
The most important thing I believe we can do when we start playing this dangerous game is become aware of who we are blaming and why. Do we need to feel in control? Are we trying to avoid personal accountability for our choices because we don’t want to make difficult changes? Do we, deep down inside, believe we are not worth more than what we are getting?When we start to become aware of the back story going on, we can close the book on that story. We can step back into our own power and make our lives the masterpiece we all deserve.