Ayushi reached out to me after finding me on a meet and greet. We had a quick conversation and she expressed her interest in guest posting. She fell in love with a couple of my topics, Thought-provoking Thursday being one of them. She wrote an original piece to share with our community. Please give her a warm welcome by stopping by her blog to check out what she has to offer there regularly. Feel free to leave some kind words at the end of her debut guest post here.
I was in the middle of a meeting when I got a text from my best friend that I need to get home urgently. “Oh no! Not the missing cat tragedy again!” I murmur and start racking my brains on what could have possibly triggered the code red for my friend in the middle of a mundane Monday afternoon. It took me two hours before I could steal myself from work and head back home to encounter the ‘best friend crisis’. She opens the door all teary eyed and before I could even ask anything she cries that she had a breakup with her boyfriend again! Really?
As trivial as this matter was for my professional life existence, I could not have possibly abandoned her and went back to work, so I decided to lend her an ear. She started ranting on her ordeal and I could not really help pondering on the root issue. Blame- The age old blame game!
Blaming others is like blaming the donuts for being fat, it was not the donut, it was the choice.
– Jeff Gitmor
How often have you been a part of the blame game conversation? Or more importantly how many times have you shifted the blame on something or someone? I was late to work because I was stuck in traffic. The relationship shattered because she had a huge ego. The marriage is not working because of my intrusive in-laws.
The management will blame the employees or if you are a manager, blame your employees. If your children do not perform well, their teachers or friends or school or the school’s foundation stones are to blamed. The traffic or car or circumstances is always at fault when you are late. When we run out of blaming our peers, our boss, our doctor, the in-laws of the landlords’ cousin, and our neighbor’s dogs, we find peace in blaming situations, society, the government, the luck factor, in fact, the very universe!
I decided to dig a little deeper since I am also guilty of playing the blame game- knowingly or unknowingly (hey, this is an essential tool to survive at work). So it turns out that psychology has a very apt definition of this human behavior. “Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.”
This brings such an enlightening outlook behind why we hold others accountable for our blunders- the self-defense game and denial. Who wants to feel guilt-ridden and remorseful by accepting that they screwed up so why not just fling the liabilities on someone else. We want to escape from the harsh truth that we are after all susceptible to err, but that is what makes us human after all. Simply blaming others gives us a false sense of control over the debacle and an empowering feeling of resolving the problem by completely denying our involvement in the predicament and overlooking the fact that we did or are capable of goofing up after all.
A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.
No wonder running away for our part of responsibilities and guilt is an easier task rather than owning up to it. “You made me do it”; “I would not have done this had you not…”; “You started this first ”; yeah like you were waiting impassively there so that someone could come and destroy your well-being!
It is a rather simple but difficult task of owning up to our share of failures and culpabilities. I grew up in an environment where blame game is intermittently woven around all fiascos. I was once caught bunking my tuition class ( that was a big deal for an all-intellectual family) and I clearly remember the discussion shifting from how irresponsible my act was to who was to be blamed for that (just me of course!). But my parents surely made a big deal out of it by finding faults in all innocent stuff in front of them- the television, the mobile phone, the birthday gift from a cute guy at school. “This is all your fault, you gave her all the freedom and pampering”- I heard them talking.
Well, I could have told them whose fault it really was had I been given a chance to speak. But I was glad as somehow I stopped being the object of intense argument and happily escaped to my room. Somehow my neighbors, my grandparents, my maid or my friend’s brand new video game was responsible for something going wrong in our home!
We grow up with this blame culture so unintentionally and habitually as part of our lives that we do not even realize when this starts hindering our self-development and prosperity. For example, the day I was caught bunking class, as ecstatic as I was to escape from my parents’ wrath, I should have been made to realize that it was an irresponsible act from my side which might bear consequences in future. (I had eventually learned it the hard way when I flunked in that subject!)
“When you blame others, you are avoiding some truth about yourself.” So I had read.
It is a simple fact that we can not prosper unless we start taking responsibilities for our actions. Blaming might help us escape the situation temporarily but then until we work on our issues and improvise; personally, professionally, and morally, we will find ourselves facing the same debacle again. So it is important that we accept and take ownership of our doings. We spend so much time and energy in figuring out who to blame that overcoming the obstacle becomes secondary. The whole point of discussion revolves around finding the scapegoat rather than fathoming and resolving the mess. Like they say “Don’t find fault, find the remedy!”
So the next time when you think of pointing fingers at someone just take a pause and analyze from a different perspective. Do you really think that you have no control over your own life, that every time someone else is responsible for all your setbacks and unfortunate events and how come all your actions are devoid of any negative consequences? It takes a real strength of character to concede that you could have erred after all!
I am not advocating that you should never blame others and always find yourself guilty. Being overly self-critical is as gibberish as being overwhelmed in an illusion of self-righteousness, but find a middle route. As much as you might be shocked, or outraged or disappointed and baffled, when something falls apart, take a pause and direct your flow of thoughts onto something like “Okay, so this is what it is now, how do I handle this” or “Is it his fault, let me change my perspective” or “as much as I am shocked that I made this blunder, let us take this set of action now”.
It is just a matter of time before you stop dwelling into the bygones and start perking things up. So the next time, leave for the office a little bit early because you know there will be traffic; let your colleagues know that you could not meet the deadline and that you would make up for it; or let your child know that you should have given more attention and time rather than blaming your boss; or let your partner know that you were selfish for once rather than saying hurtful comments; or let your parents know that you forgot to call rather than saying you were caught up on something.
No points in guessing that made my friend a nice cup of coffee afterward and asked her to dial her boyfriend and this time concentrate on fixing the issue.
Thank you for sharing this thought-provoking experience with us Ayushi ❤