“Oh, I had a lousy bowling ball.”
“If that guy didn’t start talking I would have won.”
“My wife was 100% wrong about everything. That’s why we got divorced.”
Have you ever heard statements like these? Statements uttered to explain a loss or something not going right? The people that make these statements on a continual basis are Blamers. Blamers blame everything around them. They never take personal responsibility.
It’s hard to deal with a blamer.
I realize that sometimes there really is an external reason that something goes wrong. Printers break, pens run out of ink, people you are relying on don’t follow through with what they said they would do. There are all sorts of legitimate reasons why a failure can be blamed on an external source. But for the most part…
Next time something goes wrong, write down your first reaction. Do you blame equipment? Do you blame someone else? Or do you rationally try to figure out what really went wrong? Did you try to print something two minutes before it was due? Did you have an extra pen? Did you give the person you needed information from the proper amount of lead time and did you follow up with them?
I know why people want to blame outside elements. They don’t want to admit that they did something wrong. They don’t want to admit they made a mistake, or didn’t plan, or didn’t think. They don’t want to admit defeat. I get that. No one wants to lose. Losing sucks. You never hear the cheer “We’re Number 2. We’re number 2.” During the Olympics I heard people saying “Gee, is it worse to get a silver medal in the Olympics or to come in fourth?” Seriously? The fact that you worked hard and by any standards are a winner doesn’t matter because you didn’t take home a piece of hardware? Or, the “right” piece of hardware?
It’s hard to admit that you aren’t the best at something. Every time you don’t get something you want, it takes a little toll on your ego. It’s easier to pass the buck, so to speak. If you can blame something or someone, your brain rationalizes that it’s not your fault. If it’s not your fault, the you feel better about yourself. Simple. Except you probably don’t feel better about yourself. Not really. You’re really just avoiding the issue. You’re not learning from the mistake or the failure or the loss. And you end up in the exact same place you started.
People who succeed in life are not usually blamers. People who succeed in what they do look at their mistakes and failures as learning opportunities. People who take personal responsibility usually have pretty decent self esteem and confidence,because they believe in their ability to persevere in the face of challenges.
It’s also hard to be in a relationship with a blamer. When you are in a relationship with a blamer, you end up feeling that everything is your fault. That’s hard enough for an adult, but what if you’re the child of a blamer? How do you think the kid feels? Think of all the different ways a young child would react to living a life with someone who always puts the blame on something or someone else.
And as you have surmised, your homework assignment is to figure out how you react to adversity. Do you take responsibility or do you blame? And then figure out if that is the best thing for your life and your relationships. I can make it into a quiz if you want…