The Blame Game – Stop It
To define Blame, let’s first look to Webster who says it is to accuse others of being at fault; to say or think that a person, place or thing, is responsible for something happening; to put the responsibility for the fault somewhere else.
Does this sound familiar? It surely sounds like what most of use do.
This modus operandi starts early in life, with blaming family members because you don’t get your way and if you’re not careful the process continues into adulthood. It has to stop if we want to live life fully and free of resentments.
Webster further defines blame as:
1. To find the fault with – How often do you find yourself picking at the people around you and finding their faults?
It is so easy; and how often do you look at yourself and recognize the faults there?
I’m not talking about putting your self down, I’m suggesting you take an inventory of your faults so that you can go to work to replace them with positive actions, thoughts and deeds.
2. To hold responsible – How often do you blame the people in your family, the people at work, the government, the guy who cut you off on the freeway, the waitress who wasn’t friendly?
How often do you find yourself holding some person, place or thing responsible for how you think and feel?
3. To place responsibility for – You lost that sale. Well it was the managers’ fault because he wouldn’t take the offer. Right?
Or you failed the test. The professor had too many trick questions. Right?
Your wife got upset because you watched the game instead of raking the leaves. It’s her fault you hit the garbage can in the driveway. Right?
If all of this sounds familiar, you are playing the Blame Game way too often.
Additional definitions include condemnation, accusation, and pointing the finger.
In Alcoholics Anonymous we are reminded that when you point the finger of blame at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back to you.
Here’ s the Blame Game Questionnaire.
Answer the questions honestly. Don’t cheat. Find out if you have become a Blame Game Player.
When things appear to have gone wrong:
1. Do you immediately look for someone of something to blame?
2. Do you feel anger toward the person or thing you blame?
3. Do you treat them or it with disrespect?
4. Do you feel justified in complaining about them or the situation?
5. How often?
6. Are you a Blame Gamer?
7. Are you willing to change?
How Did You Do?
If you’re like most of us, you’ll find you’ve slipped into the game almost unconsciously; once you become aware of it, you should make every effort to stop playing.
Yogi Berra “Stop blaming others for your misery. You are responsible for your happiness.”
Blame is always self serving.
Here are some steps to take that will get you out of the Blame Game:
1. Make a list of all the people, places and things you blame. Don’t censor and Don’t skip over. List every one and every thing that comes to mind.
2. Write down how that person, place or thing is responsible for your life.
3. Write at the end of each description. Not True. I Did it To Me
4. Write the following sentence for every person, place or thing on your list.
I am through blaming ______________(person, place or thing). I realize I am the only one who chooses my thoughts, feelings, behavior and actions. I release them from my blame and accept full responsibility for me.
I know these sounds elementary. However, it works. Do it.
Commit to keeping a constant vigil. You don’t want the blame game habit to come back so commit to monitoring you thinking. It only takes three days to break a habit and twenty one days to create a new one.
This my be the best twenty one days of your life.
Commit to taking fifteen to thirty minutes a day to:
Read something inspirational,
Write in a journal
Meditate and/or pray.
You’ll be amazed at how immediately your interpersonal relationships will improve.
When you’re holding someone else responsible, when you blame them for your life, attitudes, reactions and actions you cannot have a healthy relationship with them because you’re angry and hurt and that gets in the way of interacting with them.
If you’re playing the Blame Game. Stop it.
Life can actually be fun. Don’t miss out on it.
John Burroughs “Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself.”