Blame – assign responsibility for a fault or wrong.
No matter the size of the mishap, accident, or pain, it is easy to point the finger, placing the blame or responsibility on someone or something outside of ourselves.
5 reasons we play the blame game
- Blame is an excellent defense mechanism. Whether you call it projection, denial, or displacement, blame helps you preserve your sense of self-esteem by avoiding awareness of your own flaws or failings.
- Blame is a tool we use when we’re in attack mode. Falling into the category of a destructive conflict resolution method, blame is a way to try to hurt our partners.
- We’re not very good at figuring out the causes of other people’s behavior, or even our own. The attributions we make, whether to luck or ability, can be distorted by our tendency to make illogical judgments. And we’re just as bad at making judgments involving the blameworthiness of actions in terms of intent vs. outcome.
- It’s easier to blame someone else than to accept responsibility. There’s less effort involved in recognizing your contributions to a bad situation than in accepting the fact that you’re actually at fault, and changing so you don’t do it again.
- People lie. Robert Feldman, discovered, “Everybody lies.” It’s pretty easy just to lie and blame someone else even though you know you’re at fault. You may figure that no one will know it was really you who spilled coffee all over the break room, so you just blame someone else who’s not there (and hope that person never finds out).
List from Psychology Today
But, is pointing the finger worth it?
Debbie Dickinson tells us that pointing the finger is a short term feel good. But, if you are looking for closure and freedom from the pain, you must take responsibility for your own actions.
Here’s Two Reasons Why:
- The first is to get closure on your marriage and divorce. Not owning up to your part puts you in the victim role.
- The second reason is baggage. You carry the same thoughts, beliefs and behaviors into the next relationship.
Pointing the finger and playing the blame game keeps us stuck. Trapped in the past pain that keeps us repeating the same pattern.
To move past blame take a look at your role and responsibility in the mishap, accident, or pain. This can be difficult and you may need someone to help you see clearly.
You may consider the Rebuilding Series to help you identify your role in your divorce or break-up so you can set yourself free.