When was the last time you blamed someone else for something you had done, saying it was their fault that you had undertaken the act? If you can remember such an occasion, then stop for a moment and think about how that other person reacted to you laying the blame for your actions, on them? Most probably, they reacted with considerable anger.
If you can’t remember such a situation where you blamed someone else, then put it the other way around and think about a situation where someone else blamed you for something they had done? How did you feel? Again, probably quite hurt and angry.
When there is anger in a situation, any chance of a meaningful discussion and resolution is lost. We have all played the blame ping-pong game – “I did this because you said that” or “It’s all your fault because……..”
However, for most of us, blaming someone else for something isn’t a natural default position, but it does become an instinctive defence tactic in certain circumstances. On those occasions, it often links to a sense of guilt about something on the part of the person doing the blaming.
The problem is, when you blame someone else, all that does is cause anger and hurt and that then leads to very emotive arguments. Instead of there being an opportunity to talk and resolve a problem or issue, there is even more anger. On those occasions where blame is used out of guilt, it frequently links to fear. That fear being the fear of being found out about something the person has done and also, fear of what they might lose.
The blame game nearly always becomes a feature when someone is confronting their partner when they have been betrayed. Blaming you and finding fault with you, is the ‘guilty person’s’ way of justifying his/her actions and in some bizarre way, they often make it something you have done, as being the reason for giving them ‘permission’ to cheat in the first place.
We have said in the MANScript, that men and women who are cheating, are masters of re-writing history. By this we mean that they can recall an event from the past and spin a totally different version of it to justify their deceit. Laying the blame for it all on the way you treated them!
Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist said, “When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we tend to blame the other person when we are not self-aware. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce.
Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. 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.
We know life isn’t as simple as growing a lettuce, but If you find yourself playing the blame game follow these tips:
• Take a step back, calm down and breathe deeply.
• If the situation is really volatile, remove yourself from it all together – walk away.
• Don’t buy into the other person’s defence, don’t buy into their words.
• Know your truth.
• Accept that the person blaming you is not necessarily going to see your point of view.
• Remember the person blaming you is acting out of fear.
• Talk to people you trust.
• Take responsibility for your actions.
• Remember actions speak louder than words.
Recognise when the blame game is being played and allow yourself to leave.
With hugs Julia and Jacqui x