Are you still playing the Blame Game? Many of us as children have played this game. We did it involuntarily because we didn’t want to be punished for our mistakes. As adults, we are taught to take responsibility for our mistakes so we outgrow this habit. However, we do resort to this tactic sometimes in certain situations. Some adults even do not outgrow this mindset and are still playing it in their daily lives. How do you stop playing the Blame Game?
What is The Blame Game?
The Blame Game starts when one person tries to shift the blame away from himself and towards other persons, things, or circumstances. For example, when 2 children are fighting over a toy and ends up breaking it; they tend to blame the other child when questioned by their parents. As adults, this is a dangerous game to play as it has major, even dangerous consequences.
The Blame Game is very contagious. When one person starts it; those who are blamed usually end up blaming others in an attempt to not suffer any punishment. They also blame others so that they have other people to share the punishment with. This seems very silly but this is quite a common occurrence even in the most professional workplace.
Why Do We Play The Game?
Shifting blame away from ourselves is a defense mechanism. It is a tool we use when we feel attacked and want to fight back. It is an easy game to play because we all know that people are capable of lying. So, in the heated moments, we usually end up trying to figure out who or what to blame; instead of trying to understand the core issue or the root cause of the whole situation.
Those who are always playing the Blame Game are usually people who feel like they have lost control over the situation. They do not want to be targeted as the only one responsible. It is an attempt to get justice for oneself but in a very selfish way. When you start blaming others, it shows a lack of confidence on your part and a lack of trust in others’ opinions of you as well.
Are You Playing the Game?
You may not be aware that you are playing the Blame Game. Here are some behaviors and habits that serve as symptoms that you are in this game.
Excluding Other People. Are you in a group that regularly excludes one or more members in discussions? You have the impression that this person is “weak” and need not be included. If you find yourself being excluded or you are excluding yourself voluntarily; then you are in this game.
Looking for A Target. When a situation seems to be going downhill; people tend to find a scapegoat to shift the blame on. Often, the target are usually individuals who are the least knowledgeable about the whole situation; or someone who is deemed gullible. They would not be able to identify the real culprits.
Denying Responsibility. When things don’t go as planned, people often shift blame away from themselves by denying that it was their responsibility in the first place. They might lie and find excuses by blaming other people or circumstances as the cause that prevented them from completing their tasks or duties.
Finding Fault Instead of Solutions. When the focus of a meeting becomes finding who’s at fault instead of finding a fix or a solution; then everyone is playing the Blame Game. Everyone becomes distrustful of each other and afraid that they might be targeted by everyone else.
How to Stop Playing the Blame Game
Playing the Blame Game as children is understandable. As adults, we are all capable of planning our actions ahead of time to get the most favorable results; so we shouldn’t end up playing this game. However, if you do find yourself playing this game; then you need to work on your self so you can stop playing the game.
Get to Know Yourself. If you don’t know yourself, then you won’t recognize your own faults. There are many ways to do this. One is to meditate so you can reflect on your self. Practice mindfulness so you can identify your behavior patterns, emotional triggers, etc. Learn more about your shadow side, your different personas. Write your bucket list so you can identify your goals and dreams and how you can work on them. Have a gratitude journal so you know what resources and blessings you have that you can use for your goals.
Invest in Yourself. If you do not want to be the target of blame and to become a more responsible adult; then you need to start investing more time and resources in becoming a better version of you. Read books, watch learning videos, take classes, listen to audio books. By investing in yourself; you can become more knowledgeable and skillful in your work or passion. Unleash your genius and surprise even yourself. Working on improving yourself will help you become a more responsible person and will enhance your self-confidence too.
Learn from Your Mistakes. The only way to not be scared of making mistakes is to have a learning mindset. Don’t be scared to take risks and try something new. Take each situation as an opportunity to learn instead of a setback. With a positive attitude; you will not be scared to take responsibility for your own mistakes. People who have this attitude usually attract other people who also have a responsible character and who can help you in your endeavors. These are the kind of people who will find a solution with you instead of finding blame for negative results.
Learn to Apologize Properly. Part of being a responsible individual is to know when and how to apologize properly. Being able to acknowledge your own faults and mistakes shows the strength of your character. It tells other people that you are confident and reliable enough to fix things when they don’t turn out well.
Express Your Gratitude. Don’t be shy in expressing your thanks to someone. Not only will this show your sincerity; it also means that you are confident enough to show your true self in front of others. An attitude of gratitude also enhances your trustworthiness in other people’s eyes. It may be awkward to do this at first, but practice makes perfect.
In order to stop blaming yourself and others; you need to start taking responsibility. If you can acknowledge your own faults, then you won’t be inclined to blame others. You can only do that when you know yourself better. By knowing yourself deeply; you’ll also be able to recognize what situations you can take responsibility for and which one’s you’d rather give to someone more capable. This means that you make less mistakes which also means less opportunities to play the blame game.
Watch the video and get the worksheet to get more insights.
Feature Image: Original Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash.