Why the Blame Game is Harmful
Probably one of the most destructive things people tend to do is play the blame game. This behavior has been responsible for many mass casualties like war, acts of road rage, social issues, family issues as well as work-related issues. Placing blame on someone else has a lot to do with unhappiness and frustration. When a person plays the blame game it consists of blaming others for the state of affairs or an event they might consider to be undesirable and then persisting on keeping up the blaming instead of being more proactive in trying to make changes that might help the situation.
Four Irrational Blame Game Beliefs
There are four irrational beliefs that help to fuel those who often place the blame on others:
- If something goes wrong or doesn’t go the way it should go then there is the belief that it’s someone ease’s fault and they need to be identified and blamed for causing whatever has gone wrong.
- They believe that the person they have placed the blame on are diminishing the respect they believe they deserve as a person.
- They also believe that it’s perfectly alright to treat the person they are blaming poorly such as ignoring them, calling them names, and even physically assaulting them in more extreme cases.
- They refuse to believe that they should accept any degree of responsibility for what might have gone wrong. If they did that, this would mean they are being diminished as a human being and that they too deserve negative treatment and that they won’t stand for.
These four blame game beliefs can be seen playing out quite often in mainstream life. Something as simple as a person is late to a family dinner or holiday gathering and they might be treated by the host as if they weren’t even thereby giving them the cold shoulder or giving them dirty looks the rest of the night. Another example might be when a student fails a test and then becomes nasty and belligerent with the teacher and even other students. More seriously is when a man might beat his wife and then blame her for not being understanding or a woman cheats on her husband and then places the blame on him because he works too much.
Of course, there are many cases where a person should be blamed for their malfeasance but acknowledging that blame doesn’t involve playing the harmful blame game. With these cases there constructive ways of settling disputes. An example would be by assigning legal responsibility in civil matters. This type of assignment of blame is done through objective standards and it doesn’t involve any kind of disrespectful treatment of other people.
When there is a need for blame in personal life between two people usually both partners are willing to admit to some of the blame and then come up with ways to help them toward making more constructive ways to move forward and into the future.
Difference Between Rational Blame and Irrational Blame
There is a huge difference between what’s considered rational blame and irrational blame that involves the harmful blame game. The irrational kind of blame is one that involves a very systematic playing out the four blame game beliefs. Here’s a look at each of them closer.
Irrationality of the Four Blame Game Beliefs
The first one is believing that someone else is always to blame when something goes wrong in life. This first bled is not true because in a lot of cases negative situations really aren’t the fault of any one person. A simple example of that is a car accident, most of the time they are truly accidents, that’s why they call them accidents. Personality conflicts can cause situations where people don’t get along or don’t like each other but you can’t place blame there either. You also can’t blame someone for catching a virus from someone and not knowing it and then passing it on, no one really to blame there either.. People get cancer or have heart attacks and those can’t be blamed on some else either.
The problem with playing the blame game people will often also engage in even more irrational thinking so that they can continue to justify blaming other people. It’s far easier to cast blame on others than being logical and scientific about a situation.
Lose of Respect for Those Being Blamed
This second belief is also quite irrational because it has a way of confusing the deed with the one who is the doer. It’s not simply stating what they did was wrong but instead, it’s more like treating them as if they have fallen from their good graces and that they are less of a person and aren’t worthy of any kind of respect. If a person is worthy of blame then they don’t deserve respect which is a big rule when it comes to playing the blame game.
Most of us realize that games are generally not realistic and the blame game is no different. In fact, it’s far from realistic. Even if a person does do something wrong or makes a mistake does not mean that they are truly a bad person and they deserve less respect than other people. If this were true it would mean that all of us would be shed of our respectability because all of us make mistakes or do things others may see as wrong. This means we really need to stop damning the doer because to hate the deed.
Treating People You Blame with Disrespect
The use of personal attacks, use of force, or the silent treatment are all very classic ways in which we can alienate other people and shut down any avenue for any kind of meaningful conversation and that in turn shuts down any way to rationally address disagreements. However a person playing the blame game doesn’t want a constructive solution to their disagreement. What they do want is some type of unrealistic, vague, and negative end game or goal and that the person they are blaming gets what they believe they deserve.
This type of thinking doesn’t get anywhere when it comes to building interpersonal relationships that are fulfilling. What it does is tend to continue to create unhappiness and malcontent among all of the people who are involved.
Refusal to Take Any Personal Responsibility
Much of anyone’s unhappiness comes from refusing to take any kind of personal responsibility for the situation they might find themselves in. Everyone makes mistakes and often engage in actions that might be regrettable. If one fails to take any personal responsibility can but up a roadblock to any kind of change that’s constructive. This kind of refusal is often triggered by their belief that for some reason it’s not alright to make mistakes in life. The belief also includes the idea that it’s much better to blame other people than to admit to their own mistakes. After all, when one makes mistakes it means that they are flawed and when a person is flawed it means they are not worthy of being respected.
What’s flawed here is the demand for perfection. Even though no one is perfect, they still can learn from any mistakes they might make, however, they must admit to them in order to make any changes in their behavior. But, when a person plays the blame game, they look outside themselves in order to cast the blame. It is never their fault and it always has to be the other person who is at fault.
Stop Playing the Blame Game
Placing the blame on others is not only harmful to them but it’s also harmful to the one who is placing the blame. A conscious effort is needed to give up on your blame game beliefs and always trying to find someone else to blame and pay for something that’s gone wrong. It’s important to understand that life isn’t supposed to be treated like a court of law and none of us are entitled to be the judge and the jury. We need to accept ourselves as well as others unconditionally for who we are. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t negatively rate the actions of others or even our own actions, however, it does mean that we should not berate others or ourselves. Just because someone does something we might not agree with or it may seem stupid or bad does not always mean that they are truly a bad person.
Learn to accept responsibility as a way for you to learn from your mistakes and even learn from others. Understand we are all fallible and we need to accept that as fact and by doing that it can help us move toward improving ourselves.