“Everyone loves a witch hunt as long as it’s someone else’s witch being hunted.” ― Walter Kirn
We humans find it overwhelming to make conscious changes in ourselves or our environment. If there is anything wrong, we convince ourselves that someone else must make the effort to change. This belief that ‘someone else must change’ keeps us entangled in an endless blame game; where no one wins. Both people engaged in the game are tired, enraged, and hurt. But there is no change, no solution, or growth. Stopping the blame game becomes essential for letting go of resentment and inertia.
Few pointers can help stop the blame game:
Decide to stop the game:
The day you recognize that you are part of a ‘blame game’; make a conscious decision to stop playing the game. The decision, by itself, will take you half way out of the problem of blaming.
Ask yourself how you are contributing to the game:
It takes two to tango. For instance – if you blame the other person for being dominating; then automatically, it suggests that you are submissive or inconsistent in your responses to the dominating person. Choose to become assertive (not aggressive). Being assertive means – ‘saying yes when one wants to and saying no when one needs to.’ Saying ‘yes’ when one is saying so out of fear or a need to keep the peace or an inability to say ‘no’, can build into resentment and a feeling of being used.
Shift from ‘you’ to ‘I’:
In a blame game, one uses phrases like, ‘you made me do this..’ or ‘you need to fix yourself’ or ‘you ruined my life’, etc. Shift to using ‘I did this..’ or ‘I will work on myself’ or ‘I take responsibility of my life’, etc.
Introspect on what you need to do:
Blaming is an attitude that becomes second nature of our personality. It would take some effort and time to change. Ask yourself a few questions:
- What can I do differently to change my situation?
- What are my alternatives to my current situation?
- Who can I reach out to during stress?
- How important is the relationship for me, in which I play the ‘blame game’?
- What are my fears?
- Do I “have to” or “want to” be in this relationship?
Permit yourself low moments:
The negative range of emotions is a part of life. We don’t need to fight them constantly. Feeling sad, jealous, angry, confused, irritated, anxious, etc. are normal. Fighting negative emotions to feel positive can keep us engaged in negativity. If we permit ourselves these emotions, they will pass like a strong wind. If we fight these emotions, they will stay. So, let yourself moments of pain, and sadness.
We all have problems. Dealing and solving problems is an attitude and skill. Develop the attitude of problem-solving and decision-making. This helps us with a perspective to look at problems differently. Feel the courage and energy to change your life.
Relationships can be beautiful, yet complex. They are like delicate plants; needing the right amount of water, sunlight, and care. Blame games are like scorching heat that burn the plant. Choose to stop the ‘blame game’ and it can make you feel liberated and happy within yourself and the relationship.