August 17

Reflections: 10 Tips on Giving Up Blaming

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“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

Reflections: 10 Tips on Giving Up Blaming - Take Responsibility
Reflections: 10 Tips on Giving Up Blaming – Take Responsibility

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

Reflections: 10 Tips on Giving Up Blaming - Take Responsibility
Reflections: 10 Tips on Giving Up Blaming – Take Responsibility

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.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos: Truth and  Finger pointing via Pixabay

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet










Blame Game, Blaming, creative writing, DiscoverWP, DPchallenge, Happiness, inspiration, postaday, Relationships, storytelling, Weekly Writing Challenge, writing

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  • I absolutely take responsibility for my own actions, but also have NO issue laying blame where blame is due.

  • Nobody ever wins the blame game. Taking ownership is key (we’re all adults after all) and empathizing with others. Putting ourselves in their shoes and see things from their perspective.

  • It’s so much easier to blame someone else, instead of taking personal responsibility. I think if we tried to own up to our faults or mistakes we might be better able to let them go.

  • These are some important points. Some things are out of our control but not everything. We can choose to change things or change ourselves.

  • It’s easier to blame than to take responsibility. We shouldn’t blame, but I think we get so caught up and pointing the finger makes us feel better vs dealing with the matter we are faced with.

  • very positive and motivational – you are right, we have to take ownership of our lives, every aspect, and stop the blame game. Thanks for the reminder. Blessings!

  • Sometimes we don’t know how to deal with this situation. I hate being blaming. It is one of the things I hate the most! Thank you for these tips, I love them!

  • Such an another amazing post! I love inspiring quotes by Wayne Dyer. I’ve never heard about the book by Dr Neil Farber. Thanks for sharing !!

  • This is a very interesting article, Blame has been looked at in real depth. Thank you for sharing. It has made me think more about it.

  • Wow, Dr.Farber expressed everything in much more detail. I would always just stick to the saying that “blaming won’t solve anything” and it’s true, the anger or fury just sinks immediately.

  • It is amazingly empowering when you stop blaming, which is probably why it is so hard to do. To fully take on responsibility for yourself takes a lot of courage. Great topic!

  • I’m not into blaming others for things that go wrong or not my way. Even when I don’t want to, I take some ownership in whatever might have happened.

  • Amazing advices, thats all the truth. We can’t let blame and negative thoughts bring us down

  • I hate the whole blaming game. Nobody should be blamed for anything. I also really love these quotes you have here!

  • I have learned this through experience, why we blame? It is because sometimes we cant take the responsibility of the circumstances so thats why we blame. And I hate it.

  • Once you stop blaming others, it is much easier to take control of your life. Great post

  • As a Mom to 3 boys, I play the blame game. I don’t play it out loud-only internally. I try to find ways to do better and give more that bway

  • Blaming ruins relationships… When i am blamed, I immediately fight back. It’s a vicious circle only forgiveness can break. Thanks for a very insightful post.

  • I liked the writing by Jack Canfield although its easy to say and not so easy to do these things sometimes. If only life was that simple

  • I always play the blame game or make excuses for others when I know they are in the wrong. Sometimes we have to take responsibility and acknowledge when we are at fault.

  • Very true. We are all responsible for our own happiness – blaming others gets us nowhere.

  • I find that there is something so liberating from just taking the blame and admitting that you are not perfect. After all, none of us are. I hope this helps others think about that more.


  • I tell my kids to take ownership for their actions. If they make a mistake, they need to fix it.

  • I completely agree, it’s such a waste of time to play the blame game especially when it comes to people you care about. We do use it, to escape or to avoid even more conflict but we only end up hurting others as well. We should learn to own up to our mistakes.

  • I too do this from time to time with the blame game its just better to take responsibility for your own actions.

  • I always so love your opening quotes – they just set the tone of your entire post!

  • I usually blame myself for every wrong that happens in my life. There are regrets, missed opportunities and “what ifs” that hound me in my daily life. I have to learn to accept and change how I perceive the world around me.

  • Eye opener! So glad Eliz that you shared these wonderful words tips!

  • I think the world would be a better place if the blame game stopped and everyone took accountability for their actions,

  • It’s so much easier to blame someone else than to take the blame ourselves. I’ve been trying to not blame anyone but myself for things that may go wrong in my life.

  • Great post, very inspirational. This had made me think quite a lot, I do play the blame game but the tips you have provided are great ways of getting out of that rut.

  • It really pays to be responsible with your action. You get to learn the lessons and move forward faster.

  • One of the reasons why I also think people blame others is defense mechanism. We often don`t want the blame to fall on us so we point our fingers to others. This can be very dangerous especially if there are false accusations. We must not jump to conclusion without getting all the right facts.

  • Wow! I love your tips! Sometimes blaming can really harm a relationship, especially for husband and wife.

  • Such a worthy read. I was thinking of the people in our government always blaming the past officials for their ineptness!

  • Blame is such a counter productive concept. There really is no purpose to it other than to feel like we are justifying our own actions. It’s not something I fall into very often.

  • How I wish it were easy to tell blamers that their blaming is doing more harm than good to a relationship. Usually, they are the ones who will also argue back at you and blame you back.

  • I firmly believe people need to take responsibility for their actions. If called for I will absolutely place blame right where it belongs.

  • I am bad about doing this. I have been working on it and try to take the blame for myself if I know I am in the wrong.

  • Oh yeah! I dislike the blaming game. I tell my interns to find solution first and then we’ll figure out the root of the problem.

  • Blame game can be quite toxic and it leads to nowhere. I would not like to indulge in it for too much time.

  • That is so true – blaming others doesn’t get us anywhere. And it’s kind of wasting time, but also something that is so easily done when things are not going as they should or we wanted them to go.

  • This is not an easy thing to do because human tendency is to be defensive and blame others. You will need to constantly remind yourself and constantly be aware.

  • Most important of all is take ownership and responsibility. Be brave and mature enough to deal with it and stop blaming

  • There is always someone to blame on. I guess that’s part of human nature, and it gives us secure and comfort, but at some point we must take the responsibility because at the end we are the one who make decisions.

  • I agree. We should stop putting the blame on others for things that are going on in our lives. Look at the situation at a different perspective to enable us to understand better.

  • I love Dr Farber tips for stopping the blaming and finger pointing. I know I have done this from time to time and now I always try to step back and acknowledge if was also my decision.

  • I am so guilty of blaming others … and it’s rubbed off on my kiddos. We need to make a new habit of taking responsibility. Thanks for the nudge!

  • I think many of us play the blame game and don’t realize we’re doing it. We just need to step back more often and realize what we’re doing.

  • I think many of us play the blame game and don’t realize we’re doing it. We just need to step back more often and realize what we’re doing. 🙂

  • Thanks to your article I’m so relieved that i can do this on my own. Thank you so much

  • I think society is to blame for the most part. 😛 (see what I did there?) Everyone is so focused on being the perfect person, that the blame game comes into play. Great tips, and I think a lot of people will learn from your article.

  • I must say I complain a lot but I kinda always make decisions to improve situations where I am not comfortable. Obviously we are often to blame for what happen to us. Even when it is someone else’s behavior that affect us, staying quiet won’t make it change and we are to blame for having stay that way

  • […] If you could grant planet Earth one wish this season, what would it be? We often forget that we are part of the Earth’s blessing and we ought to fend for Mother Earth the way she fends for us. As members of a global community that enjoys the fruits of the earth, we owe the planet our conscientious effort and goodwill. When we plant new crops, help those in need, and participate in actions that sustain our planet, we are doing karmic work that reverberates across the world. This work, in turn, nurtures us and helps us grow so we can start the cycle of giving back all over again. So, remember as the holidays approach that each kind gesture, each act of generosity to others and to the earth, will be returned to us tenfold. Give with a joyful heart and receive with an equal measure of joyfulness. READ: 10 Tips: Cultivating An Attitude Of Gratitude & Thanksgiving Reflections: 10 Tips on Giving Up Blaming […]

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