The Blame Game - To Play Is To Lose
By Steve Gillman
What do you win when you play the blame game? If you could convince others that your parents are to blame for the way you are, what good would it do? If your business failure could be blamed on something that really wasn't your fault, would that help? Can blaming our personal problems on outside factors ever be helpful?
Possibly. There is some evidence that assigning failure to things outside our control may be useful for maintaining self esteem and motivation. An example is when someone says "Oh, the rain ruined the event," then adds, "I'll have to plan for that next time." The truth is, though, that many would just blame the rain without adding the second part of the thought.
Losing The Blame Game
Focusing on outside factors that contribute to our problems de-motivates us. Even if it was true that a friend made you late for an interview and you lost the job, it just can't help to dwell on it. When you do so, you just feel like giving up, don't you? What can you do then? Two things.
1. Learn Your Lessons.
2. Take Responsibility.
If, for example, it was an accident on the part of your friend, you just let it go. If your friend is always late, however, you note that. Now you tell yourself, "I'll get a ride with someone else next time," or "I'll plan to be there thirty minutes early and I'll have a back-up plan."
It's one thing to recognize when others do something wrong, or storms rain on your parade. It's another thing - a useless thing - to persist in blaming outside factors for where you are in life. If someone stole all your money, they did you wrong, but don't persist in blaming as your ongoing response. Ask yourself what you can do to make more, and to keep it from being stolen again. Always focus on what YOU can do, not on what others have done.
Ah, but the blame game can be a subtle one. There is a fine line between the necessary recognizing of "problem factors" and giving control to them. If a person gains weight easily, they have to recognize that fact. Repeating that fact to oneself or others, however, is usually a subtle way of saying, "My body type is to blame, so there's nothing I can do."
To overcome this tendency, include what YOUR decisions are when talking about outside factors. Follow, "John just depresses me," with "but I choose to spend time with him." Say "My parents screwed me up," but add "that's why I'm working to change my beliefs." Have you ever known someone that subtly blames the world for his problems, but never seems to recognize his own contribution to his problems? How happy and successful is he?
Everyone of us could think of dozens of people and things that have caused us problems in our lives. Who and what are they? Who cares?! What are are we going to do about it? That's the important question. Have you ever seen someone blame their way to success? It's time to give up the blame game.
About The Author
Steve Gillman writes on many topics, including brainpower, weight loss, meditation, habits of mind, creative problem solving, generating luck and anything related to self improvement.