Do you ever find yourself wanting to blame others for a painful situation? Are others habitually blaming you?
When something goes bad at work or at home do you want to point the finger at another person? “Not my fault!” “I had nothing to do with it.” “I think it was so and so….” Welcome to the not-so-elite Blame Club. I have done the same thing, plenty of times.
Why do we blame? (great 3 min video on why we blame by Brene Brown) She says, “Blame is the discharging of discomfort and pain. It has an inverse relationship with accountability.”
What can we do to improve the situation? I have three ideas:
#1 Understand the context. Realize that we live in a world where lots of people want to blame others. It is so easy to just say it was the other person’s fault. So hard to look in the mirror. It appears to me that blaming and claiming victimhood is becoming more socially acceptable than ever. Those who have perpetrated are on their heels. Those who are accusing appear to me more empowered than ever.
#2 Be accountable for your thoughts, beliefs and actions. Be like Solomon in the Rumi poem, “When something goes wrong accuse yourself first.” Warning: the following poem is potentially damaging information to the blamer in you!
Solomon was busy judging others,
when it was his personal thoughts
that were disrupting the community.
His crown slid crooked on his head.
He put it straight, but the crown went
awry again. Eight times this happened.
Finally, he began to talk to his headpiece.
“Why do you keep tilting over my eyes?”
“I have to. When your power loses compassion,
I have to show what such a condition looks like.”
Immediately Solomon recognized the truth.
He knelt and asked forgiveness.
The crown centered itself on his head.
When something goes wrong, accuse yourself first.
Even the wisdom of Plato or Solomon
can wobble and go blind.
Listen when your crown reminds you
of what makes you cold towards others,
as you pamper the greedy energy inside.
I know accusing yourself is counterintuitive, takes huge maturity and is nearly impossible for some of us. Still, it is sage advice from the prolific poet. The last thing I want to do, when things go badly, is accuse myself. But if I can find out where I have contributed to the situation and see even 1% of the cause connected to me, and take full responsibility for that 1%, it will create some compassion and potentially resolution to an impending conflict.
#3 Work on your inner emotional self. When we identify, feel and integrate our discomfort we will be less tempted to blame others. When bad things occur we have unhappy emotions. We feel uncomfortable and want to vomit that pain onto others or the situation. A more productive approach is to name our feelings, take time to feel them and find ways to properly release our discomfort.
It is so easy to blame. So challenging to take accountability for our thoughts, beliefs and actions. I invite you to accuse yourself first when things go wrong. It might just lead to a significant breakthrough–you will be more likely to remain both powerful and compassionate.
If this issue is causing pain in your business, please reach out to me for a free 30 min consult: 651-600-0096. Or see the link to my videos below and watch the “how I cleaned up…” one.