When something bad happens, who do you blame? While some people are quick to always blame themselves, others readily point the finger. Almost all the time, someone or something always needs to be blamed.
Why do we have these tendencies? What could happen if we keep having these behaviors? And what can be done?
Self-Pity/Self-Blame Vs. The Victim Card
There are two kinds of personalities that are active players when it comes to the blame game. Either you are quick to self-blame or forever hold the victim card. Both are on the opposite side of each other and are unhealthy not only when it comes to yourself but to your relationship with others as well.
Are you the type that when bad things happen you readily take the blame? Some of us tend to develop unhealthy attachments to certain emotions due to a traumatic past that causes guilt, shame, and self-blame.
Long after the mistake has been made and has ceased harming other people, you can continue hanging onto our mistakes and wrongdoings. Like you’re on autopilot to keep punishing yourself leading to depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
Instances When You Take The Blame and It’s Not Your Fault
- There are times when people take the blame for others treating them badly.
Sadly, this can be the case for those who have gone through abuse. Some may blame themselves for dating or marrying someone abusive or may feel like the abuse is deserved.
Trauma changes how the brain works long-term so trauma survivors could massively benefit from counseling and long-term treatment to stop the cycle of self-blame and let go of other negative emotions until they can heal.
- Parents blame themselves when children go astray.
To some extent, parents have a hold on how their child behaves or lives their lives. But the reality is despite parents’ best efforts in raising their children they can still go astray. It’s not always the upbringing that is to be blamed for an individual’s poor choice.
- Accidents happen
There are times when you blame yourself even when it’s an accident. Remember that accidents happen and no one is to blame. There are some things beyond your control.
How You Can Stop Blaming Yourself for Everything
Sometimes it’s easy to just take the blame. But remember, it’s common for people to blame themselves after going through a painful situation. This is particularly true even when the horrific incident happened without any of our faults being involved, even when we didn’t ask for it and certainly didn’t want it, and we most definitely weren’t good with it happening.
So how do you stop blaming yourself?
- Know that you can still take responsibility without taking the blame.
You may start to think not taking the blame is irresponsible. But it does not need to be your fault for you to take responsibility.
It is when we focus so much on the blame that we feel bad about ourselves and become paralyzed in self-pity. It’s better to just take steps to help make a situation better. You do not need to be the person to blame to do that.
- Talk to people involved with an open heart and mind. Do not decide or speak in the heat of the moment and be ready to look at the situation rationally.
- Be ready to ask for forgiveness as well as to forgive but don’t forget to love yourself. Allow others to take responsibility as well. You can not do everything on your own. Know your boundaries and don’t let abuse happen.
- Don’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Do your role as a spouse, a child, a sibling, a friend, or an employee, and do it well but you cannot be solely responsible for their happiness.
There are instances when you really are to be blamed for a bad situation. But rather than self-blame, focus on making it right. As humans, we are allowed to make mistakes just as long as we learn from them and take responsibility.
The Victim Card: Always the Victim, Never To Blame
Holding on to the victim card involves hanging onto old grievances. They carry these around like weapons, just in case anyone ever tries to hold them accountable for something.
They bring up old memories and events in which they were probably legitimately hurt, but they use them as reasons why they can’t make changes to their attitude, their life, or their circumstances in the present.
They always point the finger and for this reason, they do not take responsibility. Although this type of behavior may appear aggressive or assertive, this type of behavior may actually come from feeling insecure or suspicious of others, feeling powerless, or having trouble taking control of their life.
At times this kind of behavior also comes from narcissistic tendencies. They believe they are always right and thus blameless. So any mistake can not be attributed to them.
Instances When We Blame Others
- Blaming others for your bad thoughts and behavior
Most perpetrators of abuse or violence often blame the victim or their past for their actions. While we can be affected by our situation or by the people we come across, at the end of the day you still have the choice of how you deal with things.
- Blaming others or outside situations when things go wrong
You got into an accident and you blame the potholes on the road. While the road is partly to blame, you could have prevented the accident if you had driven carefully. You are late and you blame the traffic jam. Again, you could have left for work earlier.
Always blaming others can be easy and can be a good defense mechanism. However, at the end of the day regardless of what’s causing the behavior, there can be no progress or growth.
When you always feel that others or circumstances are to be blamed for everything bad happening in your life then you fail to take responsibility. You either waste your time and energy blaming others or wasting time waiting for others to fix things. You remain stuck in that desperate state.
In an ideal world, there should be a balance of knowing when to self-blame and when to blame others. Even knowing when no one needs to be blamed. But we are not in an ideal world. So it’s important to judge rationally and not act in the heat of the moment. Know the root cause of a bad situation and rather than focus on who’s to blame focus on the solution.
Another important thing is the importance of taking responsibility and having someone accountable. The latter is especially important when it comes to laws being broken or deliberate abusive or offensive behavior.
Self-awareness is key. At times when past trauma is involved help can be needed. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and get the treatment (such as emotional energy healing and emotional release sessions) that you may need.