It’s their fault!

How many times do you hear yourself and others say, ‘I feel this way because she/he did this…’ or ‘If he/she stopped doing this, I wouldn’t be this way…’ etc. We do it all the time – blame external circumstances and people, for the way we feel, behave, and are.

Let’s take some time out to see what’s really going on when you do this.

It’s a dead end

First of all, blaming is a dead end. When you blame someone else for how you’re feeling or acting, it not only hurts them, but there’s no positive avenue they can take. They can deny it, argue with your accusation, or play your game and blame you for something else. But it does not provide an opening or way for things to move. It’s like slamming the door in someone’s face. It feels good in the moment, but it’s pretty immature and provides no real channel for communication.

It disempowers you

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, blaming something external to yourself is essentially disempowering. By externalising your problem, you lose your power. You can no longer change the problem at hand if you’ve disowned it and made it someone else’s problem. You might feel strong briefly, but it doesn’t last, right? In fact, soon you feel even more frustrated and powerless.

Acceptance over blaming

So what should you do here? Ask yourself, what if it was no one’s fault that you didn’t get that job? Or that your boyfriend decided to end the relationship? Or that your best friend doesn’t keep in touch now she’s moved away?

What if that’s just how it is in the world? Sometimes you get what you want, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you get given gifts on a platter, sometimes you get your heart broken. Blaming external forces for how you feel is really a way to try avoiding the emotion that has been triggered. So conjure some self empathy and be with what you are feeling.

Doing work on yourself, like ISIS, can also help you reach a level of maturity where you’re no longer phased by the small stuff, can sit with and move through uncomfortable emotions, plus enjoy the myriad of gifts along the way.

Power to change

I’ve always loved this line: grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. Really, you only have the strength to change something that you’re not happy about, when you own the problem as yours. How many times have you listened to a friend caught in a blaming storm, repeating the same ‘woe is me’ story, and thought WHY DON’T YOU JUST DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Sometimes, we get addicted to being the victim of circumstances, when really it’s so much more satisfying to do something about it if we can. Make the move. Talk to your boss/boyfriend/friend. And if the circumstances still don’t change, you still have the choice to move on yourself.

Looking inside

While there are some problems which can be solved by external action, others require you to go inside. I have a friend for instance who repeatedly finds herself in work situations where she’s being overtly taken advantage of, overworked and mistreated. She puts up with it and I hear other friends blaming the people she works with and depicting her as a hero.

She is incredible at what she does, but she has serious issues around her self-worth and inability to say no and have clear boundaries. This is an internal issue, something she needs to look at inside herself. With a technique like ISIS, she could unravel this crystallised dynamic and get to the source of the issue so she can change it for good.

What about you?

I’d love to hear of experiences you’ve had either when blaming hasn’t worked, or when you’ve broken the pattern and tried something else. And if you want to receive more heartfelt guidance on various self-development topics plus some great free resources on relationships, sign up here to my e-list.



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