It’s Not Your Fault
Nobody wins the blame game!
Taking the blame for how other people react can quickly erode your self-esteem. I want to share some important points about blame so you can avoid this unhealthy trap.
The most important point – IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT how someone else behaves.
Sometimes people try to make you think something they did was your fault. You’ve probably heard someone say – “If you hadn’t done x, then I wouldn’t have done y.”
Let me give you some examples – if you hadn’t spilled the coffee then they wouldn’t have had to get mad at you. Or if you hadn’t forgotten to make their lunch, they wouldn’t have been late leaving the house and then they wouldn’t have gotten a speeding ticket. You get the picture.
What they’re doing is blaming you for their behavior. They’re saying You CAUSED them to behave in a certain way. Usually this is associated with unkind or unhealthy behavior.
Blaming others is a common and destructive tactic in relationships. It’s what a person does so they don’t have to take responsibility for their behavior. Don’t let anyone blame you for their unkind or unhealthy behavior.
We choose our behavior. People can choose it consciously or unconsciously. Because most people are unconscious, then that’s how they chose their behavior. But you don’t have to unconsciously choose to accept the blame for it.
I’m going to give you an extreme example to make my point. Then it will be easier to apply to less extreme examples.
Imagine a husband comes home from work and his wife doesn’t have his dinner on the table. In his mind she’s disrespected him, which is unacceptable to him, so he hits her. She’s at fault in his mind. She’s to blame. If she had his dinner on the table he wouldn’t have had to hit her.
Of course, we know that he’s an abusive bully, who likes hitting women to feel in control and powerful, and he will find any excuse to hit her. Eventually he won’t even bother coming up with excuses. And he’ll keep it up, if she stays.
By using an uncomfortable example you can see how destructive the blame/cause thinking really is. No way in that scenario is the woman to blame for his unacceptable behavior. Most of us would never take the blame for someone hitting us. It’s easier to see when it’s something so extreme.
People behave the way they want to behave. More than likely they’ve been taught to behave that way. They’ve seen it, experienced it, were raised with it and incorporated it into their way of being in the world. They are unconsciously acting out what they’ve learned.
But what you’re in a situation where you might convince yourself you were at fault, and so you deserved the negative reaction you got?
I’m not talking about the extremes, but the little things that can unwittingly erode your self-esteem.
The blame game can be played in all our relationships – spouses, boyfriends, bosses, friends, siblings, parents, etc.
Boyfriend: Maybe you dropped a pan of hot water and some of it spilled on your boyfriend’s foot and he screamed at you and called you an idiot. Okay, I can see the screaming, but not the name-calling. That’s unkind, programmed behavior. And it needs to be reprogrammed if you’re going to have a healthy, happy relationship with someone.
Boss: Another example where you might think you should take the blame could be with your boss. He gives you a big project, you clarify what and when he wants it done. You work long hours, nights and weekends, and think you’ve done a great job. You turn it in on time but you don’t include a separate report because he didn’t tell you it had to be turned in with the other work. He turns red, yells at you and says you’re incompetent. You’re crushed. You think, “Well maybe I should have realized it was all part of the same project, I didn’t think it was, but in his mind I guess it was, so I must be incompetent.”
Notice the boss didn’t take responsibility and say he should have told you he also needed that part of the assignment. He blames you and then exacerbates his lack of responsibility by throwing a criticism – you’re incompetent – at you.
Great bosses take responsibility for a lack of communication and redesign how they want to communicate with you and want you to communicate with them. It’s how you learn.
Friend: If a friend is late for dinner and doesn’t want to take responsibility, she can blame you for choosing a restaurant where the parking is difficult. And you might think, “Well it is hard to park in this part of town.” But we all know parking is a matter of the Law of Attraction. But that’s a different ezine.
Men and women, if they have intimacy issues, will find all sorts of excuses (reasons to blame the other person) to stop dating someone at a certain point in the relationship. In fact, they’ll look for excuses. And if they can’t find a good one, they’ll come up with a lame one — she wore white after Labor Day.
Siblings blame siblings for how their parents treated them; children blame the mother if the dad was mean to them – she should have protected them; bosses blame employees and vice versa; spouses blame each other for all sorts of things. It’s kind of exhausting just thinking about it.
What’s At The Root of Blame?
It all boils down to one main concept – not taking responsibility for your behavior, words or mistakes. Using cause and effect inaccurately. The cause is not what people say it is.
The cause comes from the mind of the person not taking responsibility.
I think the fascinating question is: Why don’t people want to take responsibility – other than the fact that their ego is too dominant and constantly overrides their heart and their inner truth?
It seems to boil down to one common thing – they usually weren’t allowed to have or express their thoughts and feelings in a key relationship – either with their parents, or a teacher they revered or a sibling.
They weren’t allowed to learn from their mistakes, they were punished for them. And that starts a lifetime of not knowing how to take responsibility and so the ego reaches for blame.
And if the other person accepts the blame, then the person who doesn’t want to accept the responsibility never has to learn a new way of being in relationships.
Blame is about not taking responsibility. And the only way you’re going to have an exciting, fulfilling, meaningful, fun life is to take responsibility for creating your life. Notice that didn’t include taking blame. Taking responsibility.
If you’re trying to catch a plane and your friend insists on doing three more things before they’ll walk out the door, leave them if you don’t want to miss the plane. Take responsibility for your vacation.
If your boss gets mad at you for not turning something in, that he clearly didn’t let you know he needed, don’t take the blame. Help him find a way to look good at the meeting and go do the report. He’s the boss, he’ll figure something out. But if you take the blame, he’ll keep giving it to you. But that’s not serving either one of you.
Let’s look at some reasons why you might take the blame. See if any of these resonate with you, so you can change your perspective.
5 Reasons Why You Might Take The Blame
- You take things personally
- As a child you were blamed for things and so now you accept it
- You think of yourself as a victim
- Creates lots of drama
- You go unconscious sometimes
- Here’s a huge key to not taking blame – if you don’t take things personally you won’t take the blame for someone’s unhealthy and inappropriate behavior.
- Maybe your parents hit you or yelled at you when you spilled things. So you thought you caused them to get mad.
- Victims take the blame because then they can stay victims. It’s my fault, I’m a loser.
- Blame creates lots of drama. And oh the ego loves drama. Loves it. You get to cry, feel miserable, feel unimportant, be mad or feel insecure. All those emotions can come from drama. But that’s a waste of your energy. Things are going to happen in your life that will make you cry, feel miserable, angry and insecure. Don’t let the actions, reactions, or critical words of others – the end result of blame – make you feel that way.
- We all go unconscious at times. Being aware of it will help you not to.
DON’T BLAME OTHERS For Your Reactions
Equally important – don’t blame others for your reactions and feelings. They’re yours. You’re responsible for them. If you don’t like something your partner or friend is doing, ask them if they’ll change, and if they are unwilling, decide if you can live with it and if you can’t, leave the relationship. But then don’t blame the other person. It’s your choice.
Choose to respond, not react – when you can. We’re all going to react. When you do, notice it, forgive yourself and move on and you’ll catch yourself next time by being conscious. Give yourself permission to fail, to fall flat on your face, in the face of someone’s unkind behavior. Be willing to be more conscious and next time, I guarantee you’ll respond, not react.
And oh that will feel so good. You don’t need to let anyone’s unconscious, or manipulative behavior erode your self-esteem.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The golden rule is a perfect way to remember to not blame and not take blame.
If you’re insecure and you tend to take blame for the way others treat you, start to work on enhancing your self-esteem. I’ll include some books in the Resource section.
We’ll spend most of our lives increasing our self-esteem, learning that we are magnificent, precious beings. You are Source energy having a human experience. You are God/Source Energy is physical form.
And that means you/we don’t need to blame or be blamed. You need to do your best and respond from your heart and forgive yourself when you fail and forgive others when they fail.
Choose to consciously live your life. Choose to consciously follow the golden rule. Choose to consciously know you are Source energy in human form. Source never blames you because you are perfect. See yourself that way.
Imagine the possibilities…
© Carol Chanel
I teach people to overcome the obstacles that keep them stuck yet longing for romantic relationships, more self-confidence and inspiration to accomplish their dreams.
We sometimes forget what it feels like to live from our hearts and souls. We forget the thrill of taking the brakes off and flying. Life is dull if we just live from our minds.
Are you - or someone you know - settling, for less than exciting, either in relationships or a career?
Call me. You don't have to be stuck! And once you are unstuck you can be joyful and free again!
If you would like to explore working with me, please call me at 310-998-8860.
You can visit my website at:
You'll find other articles there and more in-depth information about both my services and me.
Certified Life Coach
TO SUBSCRIBE to this e-zine:
FEEDBACK: Your feedback is always welcome and appreciated! Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.