The Insanity of Blaming
I remember that moment like it was yesterday. Several years ago, I was struggling with a loved one’s self-destructive behavior. After venting about all the things wrong with my loved one, a wise mentor sat back in his chair across from me and breathed a big sigh. After a moment of silence, he spoke in a very calm voice…… “What are you doing to become healthier yourself”? The reaction in my mind was immediate! “What???? Are you kidding? This was not my fault; it was all on my loved one. Or was it”?
A new journey….
That day began a new journey for me. A journey that involved looking deeper into myself. A process that left me asking questions like:
What am I doing to worsen the situation?
What am I doing to improve the situation?
What and who’s life am I trying to control that is not mine to control?
Was it possible that I too needed to make changes within myself?
I was guilty as charged!
No doubt my loved ones choices were not the best, but all my nagging, threats, my manipulating, and trying to change my loved one was actually making things worse. As I looked deeper, I saw this in many of my relationships. My attempt to create order in everyone else’s life was causing more drama and chaos then I realized and I was exhausted. It was never my job to create order in everyone’s life. My job (responsibility) was and still today is to create order in my own life.
What about you?
How has your attitude, words or behaviors agitated the problem or created other problems?
When you blame others are you trying to fix something or someone that you have no control over?
When you face challenges, particularly involving other people’s behaviors or choices, is your default mode to point fingers at the other person?
Are you aware of how often you are blaming something or someone else for your life circumstances?
Are you wasting energy trying to figure our who’s at fault instead of letting go and moving forward?
Is blaming bad?
The simple answer is No. Identifying the root of the problem or understanding who or where it is coming from can offer protection and empower us to stop allowing harm to invade our life. BUT… It is also important to understand that we hold responsibility for how we react, respond, and hold on to the problem.
Justin Foster, Mental Performance Coach, explains the top 3 ways that the blaming mindset can get us into trouble.
When you are in blaming mode, you are shoving the responsibility of the problem on to someone else, not looking at your self and the responsibility you may have for contributing to the problem.
When you are continually in blaming mode, you give up the ability to have control over your own life and give it to the other person. The real danger is…..always blaming others for our circumstances will over time invite hopelessness in.
We find ourselves adopting a pessimistic way of looking at life and challenges. When we blame, we take responsibility away from us which than leads to a hopeless feeling of lack of any control and we suddenly find ourselves trapped, stuck, and worse yet in a state of despair without any hope.
Sometimes it’s easy to be aware of when we are blaming. But other times this can be subtle. Tune into the strategies you are using to take focus off your behavior and focus on the other person’s behavior.
As mentioned earlier, Blaming can serve to protect and empower us to make necessary positive changes in our life and in our relationships. The key to know the difference between constructive and destructive blaming is being able to recognize the effects of blaming. Are you feeling stuck, trapped, or in despair? Or are you able to call the problem what it is, evaluate, respond appropriately, and move forward? It may be helpful to go back over the questions I needed to ask myself as I began a new journey.
Every day I get the opportunity to walk beside coaching clients who are practicing setting healthy boundaries in their life to improve their relationships. If you would like healthier relationships, I would love to have a conversation with you.
You and your life always matter,
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