“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you.” Wayne Dyer
You are the one who ate the junk food.
You are the one who didn’t say no!
You are the one who took the job
You are the one who stayed in the job.
You are the one who chose to believe them.
You are the one who ignored your intuition.
You are the one who abandoned your dream.
You are the one who bought it.
You are the one who didn’t take care of it.
You are the one who decided you had to do it alone.
You are the one who trusted him.
You are the one who said yes to the dogs Jack Canfield
In 2010, Dr Neil Farber wrote a seminal book on the subject of blaming: The Blame Game: The Complete Guide to Blaming: How to Play and How to Quit, and the book became a bestseller because it struck a nerve with so many of us. I would hazard a guess that if everyone got a copy of the book, they would find a pretty good list of some of their blame game tactics in it. While the jury is out on whether this is an innate or learned trait, what is clear is that we start pretty early in childhood letting others take the blame for our mishaps. As we grow up, our approach becomes more sophisticated and insidious. Gossip, false accusations, finger-pointing and even libel and slander are all examples of the fallout of the blame game which gives us some inkling that it can become a dangerous tactic that hurts everyone. There are times when blame is appropriate but that is not the point of this piece. The point is about all those times we assign unwarranted blame to others.
According to Dr Farber, we do it for a variety of reasons/impulses; innate behavior, coping mechanism, avoiding responsibility, choosing internalized instead of externalized options, an easy way out, fear of success, and/or our negative programming. Plus, we use a number of approaches to blame everyone from our family, to our government, on to total strangers who cross or don’t cross our path. When we wish to deflect blame from ourselves and inflict it on others, our style could be subtle, unintentional, blatant, casual, secretive or deceitful. Each time we blame others, we fan the fire of this disruptive behavior and it can escalate. STOP!
How can we put the brakes on? As Jack Canfield aptly suggests in the fantastic book; The Success Principles(TM) – 10th Anniversary Edition: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, we have to own our stuff. Every action YOU take in life begins with Your decision to choose A over B. As the block quotes above and below explain, you chose to do X and now you must work at following through with solution Y. We go through life making decisions that inform how we view the world and sometimes our decisions work in our favor and at other times they don’t. Instead of blaming others and wallowing in self pity, we can find the lessons and humor in our outcome and learn from them. Life is full of missteps and foibles that teach us life lessons on the road to adulthood, give us options to choose, and help shape our character. The sooner we learn to take responsibility and get into solution mode, the sooner we are able to move on.
As Dr Farber explains it, there are ways we can begin to help ourselves stop all that blaming and finger pointing : 1. Acknowledge that you have control; 2. Take Responsibility 3. Realize failures are steps to success; 4. Judge others favorably; 5. Empathize with others – externalize. If we take time to consider these tips, we would realize that it all begins with taking ownership for our stuff and also recognizing that mistakes are a human quality and not always intentional. If we would give each other the benefit of the doubt, we would reduce the number of instances of finger pointing. Just like the story of the boy who cried wolf, the more we blame, accuse and finger point, the less credible our script becomes. Eventually, folks will just tune you/us out. Find your voice, own your stuff and get out there and make a difference. The rest of the tips are below.
READ: The Blame Game: The Complete Guide to Blaming: How to Play and How to Quit by Neil Farber, M.D., Ph.D.
The Success Principles(TM) – 10th Anniversary Edition: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield with Janet Switzer
“If you go to a tree with an ax and take five whacks at the tree every day, it doesn’t matter if it’s an oak or a redwood; eventually the tree has to fall down.” Jack Canfield
Learn to cook healthier food.
Say no in the face of peer pressure.
Quit and find a better job.
Take the time to conduct due diligence.
Trust your own gut feelings.
Go back to school to pursue your dream.
Take better care of your possessions.
Reach out for help.
Ask others to assist you.
Take a self-development class.
Sell or give away the dogs. Jack Canfield
How can we stop the blame game? Why go through all that? Again, Dr. Farber gives us some more insights and tips to help us stop this annoying behavior pattern that we all have. 6. Make excuses for others; 7. Explain instead of complain; 8. Believe in something; 9. Perhaps it’s a coincidence; and finally, I would add 10. Develop some humor. It’s our nature to try to deflect blame so we can look good to those who care about us. To maintain our appearances, we find it easier to let others take the rap instead of taking the path of honest ownership of our wrong doing. When I read the book, I was struck by the humor that ran through the book and then it struck me real hard. If we could just relax and stop being so desperate about being right and perfect, we would be more inclined to own
our shit our mistakes and work are correcting them. NOBODY IS PERFECT! Give yourself a break and take responsibility for your actions and embrace the consequences with a sense of relief and even humor.
READ: 5 Reasons We Play the Blame Game By Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.
The Blame Game; The complete guide to blaming: How to play and how to quit. by Neil Farber, M.D., Ph.D.
For this Discover challenge on – The Poetry of List-Making – For this week’s challenge, explore the artistic side of list-making. Write a poem consisting of ten items that remind you of summer. Describe your first love in five bullet points. Map out your bucket list using words that describe how each experience would change you. To help other participants and new fans find your response in the Reader, tag your post #DiscoverWP. Not sure how to add a tag? Learn more.
Positive Motivation Tip: Own your stuff and develop a sense of humor about life’s foibles.