The Blame Game has it’s ‘in-between’ areas and then there are the extreme ends of the scale, where (a) people ‘’DO’ (seriously get into the play) or (b) ‘DO NOT’ play the blame game (at all).
With regard to those that fall into group (a) these are the people who always blame someone else for everything, and I mean everything. As far as (b) group is concerned, well these people always, always, blame themselves for everything, yes every little thing (even when it is not their fault, not under their control at all!!
Which group is the worst? As always with extremes – they are both wrong in a way.
The question is where on that scale do you come and where do I come?
A friend gave me a few fun questions to try myself out;
- On the way out your door, your dog escaped, you need to catch him and now you will get caught in traffic and subsequently will be late.
- While walking along your street you slip on some snow or leaves
- You left a pot on the stove a little long, and now dinner is burnt
How would you answer these questions? I will give you my honest answers, just off the top of my head without thinking too much about the responses.
- Marcus, my little dog was being sneaky and shot past me.
- Someone had left snow unshovelled and/or leaves on the footpath causing me to trip.
- The phone rang and kept me from watching the pot.
I didn’t take the blame for any of them, whereas if I was 100% honest, it should have been;
- I wasn’t looking for Marcus and I forgot he creeps up behind me – MY FAULT. It was under my control to see that this didn’t happen – I was in too much of a hurry.
- I wasn’t looking where I was going – MY FAULT. Also under my control if I had been just a little more observant. Then again it could also be partially the fault of the people responsible for clearing that area, so possibly not 100% my fault.
- I wasn’t really interested in the pot and easily distracted – MY FAULT. Another incident that was under my control – caused by carelessness.
Now none of the above are earth shatteringly important but blaming other people, or events, for our mistakes too easily can become a bad and destructive habit.
Now some people attribute traumatic or dramatic events to a higher power – maybe even thinking that they are being punished for misdemeanours and/or weaknesses, or that higher power is testing their faith. A variation of the blame game again.
So why do many of us play the blame game, often without us really comprehending what we are actually doing and when we are doing it. It is all too easy to fall into bad and possibly destructive habits. Most of us have done so at one stage or another.
Here are a few of the reasons why we actually play the blame game – can you recognise any of them that you have actually used recently?
- Blame is a fabulous justification tool – however we label it, maybe call it denial possibly; blame can save our self-esteem, all we have to do is pretend we are not aware of any of our faults.
- Blame is a device often used when we are going into attack and/or defence mode – maybe a fight with our partners, our colleagues. If we blame them we don’t need to admit any culpability.
- It is much easier to blame someone else than take responsibility. Maybe by impugning someone else for spilling wine all over the carpet (of for dropping coffee all over the office floor) we can score ’double-time’! We get off scott-free ourselves while at the same time embarrassing someone else for the same crime!
I certainly can think of several (NO a number of occasions) when I have used them or some very similar. I have got away with it several times (and no doubt you have as well) but you don’t come out a winner.