When we blame others, it’s an attempt to avoid feelings something.
“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
“Blame is just a lazy person’s way of making sense of chaos.”
~ Doug Coupland
What is blaming?
First of all, blaming is part of being human!
As far as I know, EVERYONE blames sometimes. It’s important to talk about blame because many times we do this without realizing that we are doing it.
Blaming is simply giving responsibility for something that we think has gone wrong, to someone or something else.
We live in a day and age when blaming is the norm, and it is 100% acceptable.
Why do we blame?
The main reason that we blame others is to avoid feeling certain thoughts and/or emotions.
Our brains are really good at believing what we tell them to believe. When we can blame someone else, we feel and emotional sense of relief.
We use blame as a defense against feeling unwanted emotions such as shame and embarrassment.
Blaming turns you into the victim.
When we blame others, we shift our focus to something, often someone, that is out of our control. This turns us into a victim. Now, in our minds, we are at the mercy of the person or thing that we are blaming. Rather than having the power to change our circumstances, we try to depend on others to change.
So Now What?
#1 Increase your awareness around blaming
Many of us blame others and make excuses without even thinking about it. It is a habit and part of who we are. The first step is to become aware of when you are blaming or making excuses. By doing this, you can also gain some awareness of the emotions that you are trying to avoid by blaming.
For me it is almost always, if not always, shame that I try to avoid. By blaming others, I try to shift the burden of shame to them.
#2 Identify what you can control and take responsibility for that.
Usually when we blame, we try to shift our focus from something within our control to something outside of our control.
I invite you to get curious and find what is within your control and take responsibility for that. Doesn’t matter how good or true the excuse is, or how real the blame is, take responsibility for what you CAN control. This puts you in a position of power.
#3 Practice, practice, practice
If you’re like most people, this is going to be a shift for you, and it will take time and practice.
Practice awareness. Much of this will take place in the thought line of the mode. Some will take place in the feeling line.
Practice experiencing the emotion that you are trying to avoid. This will take place in the feeling line.
Practice the habit of taking responsibility.
Call to ACTION!
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