How many times do you find yourself looking at the world, your life, your work and blaming the stuff that goes wrong on others?
How often do we believe (persuade ourselves) that we really want something yet we work really hard to avoid getting what we want?
How do we do that? Why do we do that? What is the point of really wanting something and then investing all our energy in not allowing ourselves to have it. Frustration, anger bitterness and blame, and a complete inability to see our own complicity in our failure to achieve those goals.
We all know people who have relegated themselves to living some half-developed life, meanwhile nursing a long-past resentment or irrational choice that continually holds them back. As a health coach and trainer, I see it all the time. Maybe they blame their upbringing – the habits they feel are too ingrained or what they see as the insurmountable challenge of getting beyond obesity and/or health conditions they’ve accepted over the years. Some people feel they’re too far gone to get up again.
Others blame their uncooperative spouses or their kids and the chaos of family life. Still other people tell themselves progress just isn’t possible given their financial situation, work schedule, or aggregate life demands. They’re already juggling too much and can’t give up any part of the routine. They can’t find it in themselves to simplify their act, so to speak, or just renounce it entirely to search for a better way. In other words, some folks can’t find their way out of the box because they refuse to visualize anything but the enclosure around them.
For many of is this is how we operate, how we’ve always operated. Many of us turn to this type of behaviour (or return) when we’re not feeling cared for or getting positive strokes from our loved ones. We use it as a way to protect ourselves from feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
More often times than not people do not want to take accountability for their actions. It’s understandable why this is true, it is far easier to point the finger than to accept responsibility for our actions. When we proclaim that we are blameless and label ourselves to be victims we damage our well being. When we allow for ourselves to be labeled as a victim, we become a victim of circumstance as well as our own misdeeds. We would sooner be labeled as victims than what we really are people who blame and even worse, point the finger of blame. According to the book titled People Reading by Beier and Valens, we are “blamers”.
The use of blaming is a form of passive aggression. When we blame others, we are essentially justifying the situation or actions. By justifying the blaming we may use facts or allegations to get our point across. At times we may try to protect our self interests by not accepting responsibility, we may view admitting fault as a flaw or a blow to our ego.
How the hell can we change it if we cannot see where we’re going wrong (or that it is partly our own doing). It ain’t easy, that’s for sure. It’s much easier to blame others and attempt to make them feel bad. At least we can see them as the obstacles to our growth and the cause of our pain and discomfort. The problem is, it might seem the easy way out but there will be no progress whilst we satisfy ourselves with delegating the blame. In order to let go of our anger and bitterness with others, we might need to look in the mirror and see ourselves for what we really are. Painful as that may be, it may be the secret to unlocking the energy to move us on, to give ourselves what we need for growth.
More from Mark,
In finally giving up the blame game, I think we make peace with the complexity and difficulty of life. We shake off the last of our excuses and let go of the martyr role. The fact is, every one of us works around day-to-day chaos and frustration. We will all face desperation and grief of some sort in our lifetime. No one here promised anything different. It’s the rest of life – the chance to live fully and gratifyingly in our bodies, in our relationships, in our vocations (whether it’s what we get paid for or not), in our explorations within this lifetime – that we get to grab hold of and find joy in – for everything it’s worth.
There are however things that we can do to ease the tendency of blaming others. Instead of becoming defensive and blaming, we should take the time to seek out why we feel the need to blame others. Analyzing yourself and why you feel the need to blame others for your problems is not a difficult task. You can simply analyze the situation, the people involved and of course the outcome. Here are a few things to look at if you choose to analyze why you are blaming others.
Identify your role in the scenario
Identify other people’s roles in the scenario
Analyze your emotions and reactions
Identify how you are responsible for your actions
Examine what you may have done differently
Consider that blame and credit are opposite sides of the same entity. If we want to blame others for our misfortunes and problems, perhaps we should also give them credit for our successes and accomplishments. Likewise, liberty and responsibility are flip sides of the same concept; you can’t have one without the other.
So, next time you find yourself looking at all the reasons why you’re not to blame for what it is your failing at, look in the mirror first and check that there isn’t something you can take responsibility for to move the process on.
For my part, I won’t feel angry with you for not closing the gate, I’ll just close it myself.