It's Always About Someone - Does everyone have a need to place blame?
In observance of the Labor Day Weekend, there will be no blog post on Sept. 4th. 2023.
Greetings to all. Another week has gone by, and here we are again. Is it me, or is 2023 just flying by? I can't believe people are already saying before you know it will be Christmas. Really? Let's not rush time. We still have Halloween and Thanksgiving to get through. Christmas will come soon enough. I think it's because, like me, people are starting to make arrangements to book their plane flights before the airfares get out of control.
The topic I have chosen this week is a form of a self-help topic. I received an interesting email from a gal who believes everyone in her family blames her for everything that goes wrong. First, it is NOT for me to judge. If we want to be honest, we all know that there are people that cause many things to happen. Some are simply troublemakers. Others like the drama. Others are innocent victims.
It would not be appropriate for me to share the details from this email, but I can tell you this. After reading it, it does appear that this individual is the 'fall gut' for things that go wrong. At her request, her name and location will not be mentioned. However, her story is one that we all have either heard about or experienced ourselves. Why is that? Let's talk about it.
Many decades ago, people owned their problems. They owned their mistakes and admitted them. Not always to others, but at least to themselves. They further went on to correct those mistakes to become a better person. Yes, this is a general statement because not everyone followed this path, but certainly more than what do in today's society.
Think about this for a moment. At work, don't all workers always seem to blame someone else or have an excuse when something doesn't go right? IT'S ALWAYS SOMEONE ELSE AT FAULT! Check out this article.
Most people who blame others tend to have a fragile sense of self-worth. They fear others will think poorly of them if they are found to be at fault. Therefore, it's easy to protect their ego by blaming others for their mistake. Blaming others is a quick fix to avoid feeling guilty.
However, this mentality is toxic and a form of manipulation. In many cases, it makes the person placing the blame a victim of the mistake rather than the cause of it. It might get them sympathy or get them off the hook for the problem.
"Blaming others (i.e. projection) is more common in those who are experiencing negative feelings and are unable to regulate their emotions. Awareness of the dynamics of projection may help us feel less responsible for others' mistakes, even when they point the finger of blame at us." Take A look.
There are many theories and data regarding this. I cited a couple. However, the outcome is always the same. Someone is not taking responsibility for their actions.
None of us are perfect. We have all blamed someone else for something at some point. This happens a great deal in the workplace. No one wants to get in trouble or be considered not doing a good job. The issue becomes, what problems are you causing for the person you blame? Is it fair to them?
Blame is very prevalent in relationships. 'I did this because you did that' type of mentality. However, does that ever fix the problem? Never!
Some people have the mentality that everything is always someone else's fault. They can't hold a job and usually quit because they blame others. It is never anything they did or are doing that causes the problem.
Wow. Blame applies to almost every faction of life these days. It is also very prevalent in politics. Every new President blames the last President for things that are not working in their administration. One President with a very low approval rating due to poor policy choices comes to mind. President Bill Clinton. However, he was smart enough to own those poor choices, admit to them, and make changes. This significantly increased his approval ratings.
You see, most people are forgiving when someone stands up, tells the truth, owns the problem, and takes responsibility for it. Fixing a mistake is much easier than blaming others for it. It speaks to a person's integrity and character.
WHY HAS IT GOTTEN THIS BAD?
That sounds scary, and it is. Blaming others has become a way of life for many. Why shouldn't it be? As a society, all we see others do is blame someone else. For many, it becomes a habit. People blame others for many reasons. They try to explain why something occurred while putting the spotlight on someone else. Some people are just mean or have a dislike for someone, so they go on the attack against the individual. Let's face it: it is always easier to blame someone else. It gets you off the hook and is a great strategy or defense mechanism. Often, this justifies the way we react to a given situation. Shifting the blame gets it done. As I stated earlier, it has just become a habit for many.
Like anything, the more we do it, the better we become at it, and it becomes habitual. However, what do you do if one day you become the target of blame? You can't always be one step ahead of everyone. Those who continuously try will fail. It is too time-consuming and requires a great deal of energy.
A saying I like goes like this. "It is always better to tell the truth. You never have to remember the truth, but a lie you must remember forever." Blaming others is a port behavioral pattern and rarely, if ever, solves a problem. Yet, people continue to do it and are doing it more each day. Eventually, the truth surfaces, and now, the person who blames others looks like a fool. We see examples of that daily in the news in our political environment.
The truth is not limited to coming to the surface in the political arena. It also will surface at work, at home, within your family, and with friends. However, until the truth surfaces, it causes a plethora of problems. It generates mistrust and is hurtful and often harmful to others.
WHY DOES SOMEONE ALWAYS HAVE TO BE WRONG?
Think about that for a moment. The more time we spend trying to figure out who is wrong and placing the blame somewhere, the longer it takes to fix it and make it right. Again, this is another factor that is most prevalent in politics. However, in politics, this comes at an additional expense. That expense is the cost to the taxpayer and wasted taxpayer dollars to prove a point. That does not only have an emotional impact but also a financial one. One is just as bad as the other. Whatever happened to "sorry, I made a mistake. Let's fix it."
Taking responsibility and owning a problem is the first step to resolving that problem. Could this be why we have so many issues in the world today? It has been said, and frankly, I have said it myself: decades ago, things were easier. More simple. Things were not as complicated. That is true. One of the reasons for this is that not as many people, politicians, or groups spend most of their time blaming others.
Instead, they identified the problems and tried to fix them. The 'race card' was not used as often, and many other derogatory terms were not on the tip of everyone's tongue. Are we living in a society where no one wants to take responsibility for their actions?
Is being right more important than fixing what is wrong? Meeting in the middle of an issue and forming a compromise is rare. Now, it's, "If I do this for you, what will you do for me?" Is this how we currently define progressive thinking?
At the end of the day. No one wins. Those who constantly place blame will be found out. Those who continuously make mistakes will be found out. These issues are scars that a person may carry with them for life.
Never forget. When we blame others, we hurt others for something we did or caused. That is neither morally nor acceptable behavior. Yet, people know and understand this but continue to do it.
HOW TO SURVIVE IT:
Surviving blame is easier than one thinks. It is always the better person who takes the high ground. I am not suggesting anyone should tolerate this behavior from another. Each person has the right to stand up for their position. However, it is everyone's responsibility to help others avoid practicing this type of behavior. That is done through education and bringing this issue to light. We do it in politics through elections. You might do this at work by meeting with your supervisor, with or without the other individual being present. However, when it comes to family and friends, this can be more sensitive, requiring more diplomacy, but it should always occur without arguments. However, that being said, some people may have a chronic problem with placing blame on others. A problem that may require professional help.
Those who chronically blame others may suffer from a behavioral problem or more than one behavioral problem. They may have narcissistic personality traits. For those of you who do not know or are not familiar with that condition, a narcissistic personality disorder is defined as a personality disorder characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for other people. Here is more information on this condition. TAKE A LOOK.
It further relates to issues such as low self-esteem, fear, and many other potential problems they may have been experiencing for years. This type of behavior did not occur overnight. If this is the case with someone you know, talk to them honestly. As people, we tend to approach people in an accusative manner rather than one of legitimate concern. This places people in a defensive posture and not in an open-minded state.
Understanding, not anger, is the key to getting past these situations. In most cases, people cannot help themselves. It is who they are or who they have become. They do not see the harm they are causing to others. Understanding is easier said than done. I get it. You are furious and want payback and the feeling of satisfaction that the truth has been revealed and told. That is a normal human reaction.
Often, these situations evolve into deeper problems where two people are constantly at battle, and one is always trying to catch or go after the other, usually involving more people in the mix. This can quickly become an explosive situation where NO ONE WINS. These are the situations you want to avoid at all costs. I know what you are thinking. All this is easier said than done, and you are perfectly correct. However, try being an Author, Public Speaker, Blogger, and Educator.
Some take those professions more seriously than others. I take them quite seriously because they come with great responsibility. Primarily to be sure that what you write and say is transparent so as not to be taken out of context. The pen and spoken word are powerful tools. However, these are not fictional novels where the characters are not real, and the story is not real. This is non-fictional. The people and stories that might accompany these tools are real. Reality comes with responsibility—the responsibility to tell the truth and back up that truth with facts and data. Every "TAKE A LOOK" phrase links facts and data related to the subject matter I am discussing, which is also why I am transparent when something I write or state is my opinion. After all, it is my blog.
Surviving and resolving the blame game may not always happen overnight. However, we must remember that everything in life we continue to enable will continue to occur until we stop allowing it to happen. Does that make sense to you? It certainly does to me. But I am also not perfect. Many times throughout my life, I have fallen victim to this behavior from others and enabled it by allowing it to occur. We all do this for various reasons. We may not want to deal with the conflict, we are too busy to deal with it, or we don't care.
Many years back, I consciously chose not to deal with it any longer. Since that day, I no longer enable people to have that type of control over my life. I developed the attitude that this is my life, and I will choose what I will and will not tolerate from others. Since that day, my life has been stress-free, and I have total control over it, as it should be. After all, it is my life. With that said, that choice must come with some wisdom. Nothing in life goes one way; compromise is essential in many situations. Those situations are up to you to decide. I will own my responsibilities but not the responsibilities of others. They will need to own that. In those cases, there is no compromise. I refuse to enable people to blame me for their actions and the results of their actions. Let the responsibility fall where and to whom it lies. That is the key to surviving this dilemma. A dilemma that is quite prevalent in today's society.
As Abraham Lincoln said, "YOU CAN"T ESCAPE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF TOMORROW BY EVADING IT TODAY."
Please feel free to leave comments, or if you have a topic you would like me to discuss, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Be safe, stay well, and focus on being happy. And remember to always:
Live with an open mind,
Live with an open heart,
Live your best life.
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