The Blame Game

It sometimes seems that a natural human reaction when we feel criticized or we make a mistake is to blame someone or something else.  Our ego finds it hard to accept that the error is ours. On the other hand, are people who blame themselves for everything that happens, with no evidence that the responsibility is theirs.  

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.

John F. Kennedy

Why we play the blame game:

  1. Blame is a good defense mechanism.  You can preserve your self-esteem by avoiding awareness of your own flaws.
  2. Blame becomes our “go-to” when in an argument.  It becomes the way we prove our point to our partner.
  3. It is easier to blame someone else than to accept responsibility for our own actions.
  4. Blame is easier than trying to figure out the root cause of the issue.

As we grow and mature, we need to find the way to take responsibility for our actions, our choices, and our mistakes.  We need to take on the responsibility if it is indeed ours.

The first thing to realize is that there is no shame in making a mistake.  Everyone makes mistakes but some people don’t take responsibility for them while others do.  Blame is not a word that we want to use as it is an attack word, a negative assault that does not point to the solution to the problem.  A better word to use would be responsibility.   

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on

Many of us feel blamed and shamed from our earliest memories.  As a result, when we are responsible, we have a knee-jerk impulse to feel ashamed.  But taking responsibility without shame is what a mature adult does.  We can learn to separate them, and as we do, our self-esteem rises.

To err is human; to blame it on the other guy is even more human. 

Bob Goddard

Differing from other games, the more often you play the blame game, the more you lose. Learning to tell when you need to own up to your role in a bad situation will help you grow from your experiences, and eventually help you achieve more significant and meaningful relationships.

Photo by Savannah Dematteo on

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