Who doesn't play the blaming others game? We live in a culture that focuses on blame and victimization. Dr. Caroline Myss, author of Creation of Health, refers to this as an attitude of “woundology” where our emphasis in life is about all the wounds we have and how others have wounded us throughout our life span – parents, teachers, coaches, partners, children, friends, employers and co-workers, and religious institutions.
Blaming Others Hurts Everyone
Our society has a tendency to blame. Everything has a cause and we need to put a spotlight on the other person. In personal relationships, we make ourselves powerless when we cling to victimization. When we feel victimized we focus on blaming everything and everyone around us. It is so much easier to blame others than to look at our own culpability for our lives. Until we stop blaming others, our energy will be negatively focused, keeping us trapped in unhealthy thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Here are 15 ways to get out of the “blame game” and focus on taking responsibility to restore your power.
15 Ways To Stop Blaming Others
- Forgiveness is not necessary for healing If you have suffered from a horrible event such as sexual abuse, it is normal to blame the perpetrator, and, rightly so. However, the way to work through this trauma is to focus on what you can do to heal.
- Admit you have a tendency to blame and that you created this. When you admit that you play a part in the blame game you can examine the reasons and plan your recovery.
- Examine the reasons for blaming others Here are some: Your bother hit you when you were a kid; Your spouse/lover/child is a substance user and is abusive; your boss under values and under pays you; your mother never supported you.
- Let go of blaming others – Others are not the cause of your problems. This is amazing but true. Whatever happened to you, or is happening now, you play a part in the destructive dynamic. Examine how you are contributing to the problems in your life by your daily thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Are you a blamer in every situation instead of seeing your part?
- If abuse is the current problem, take action to put a support system in place (call 911 if you are in danger right now. Call the domestic violence hotline for advice. Join a support group to explore what's happening. Think about ending the relationship instead of blaming others for what's wrong with it. As we’ve discussed in other articles, yes means yes and no means no. Setting boundaries makes for healthy relationships
- If a situation is the problem, then examine whether you want to continue within this situation. For example, if you work situation is difficult, maybe it’s time to look for another job. Looking for a job doesn't mean you have to leave, it gives you new options and things to think about.
- Create a list of who and what you blame for your problems and the reasons for this. Which relationships, people and situations are you blaming, and for what?
- Blame sends out negative energy and keeps you stuck Since thoughts/feelings/behaviors are energy, this energy can be creative or damaging; it’s up to you. By letting go of blame, you can become more powerful with healing energy.
- Take control of your life When you act out of power instead of react out of blaming (loss of power), then you can focus on healing.
- Focus on success This may seem impossible. Here are some ways to feel the success: Do positive self talk. Imagine yourself not complaining, blaming, being overly sensitive or reactive. You can make a vision board of what your new and more accepting self looks like. Visualize your changed behavior without the vision board. Think of situations where you reacted in a negative way in the past and play the scene over with a better ending. You can see how different behavior can bring a different result.
- Utilize healthy coping skills Read, write, exercise, play and have fun, treat yourself to a nice meal, splurge on a dessert, go on vacation, play online games, go to a movie, join a choir, dance, go to a spiritual service, and/or help others. By doing so, your focus is on the positive, not the negative.
- Focus on understanding where others’ are in their process and accept that all relationships struggle at times. If necessary, understand that whatever you do to improve your attitude and behavior, others you care about may not be able to change. Then you have to make decisions about what's best for your mental health.
- Make apologies/amends to those you have hurt. Blamers are often people who hurt others. If your blame is of the cutting, mean and hurtful kind, telling others that you understand what you've done and are sorry. relationships will either improve or end.
- Use the Serenity Prayer (if it fits for you and/or substitute the word God for something that matches your belief):
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
- Counseling can make all the difference in getting unstuck and healthy. Find a counselor or therapist to help.
By utilizing the above techniques, you will find yourself letting go of blame and taking responsibility for yourself and your situation. Blaming keeps you trapped – taking responsibility frees you to heal. Enjoy such freedom.