Thursday, October 14, 2010

Winning the Blame Game

I was watching TV and a commercial came on regarding an acne product. It said something to the effect of, “Don’t blame chocolate or fried foods, blame your hormones.” Another commercial, this one for a weight loss product, it said blatantly, “Your weight isn’t your fault”A search of news stories show we are looking to blame somebody for the economy, the recession and the oil spill. Of course, every day there are sports stories blaming some player for their team’s loss.

Outside of making us feel better, what purpose does it serve to stand around and point fingers? “It’s not my fault,” we exclaim. “He did it,” we say as we point an accusatory finger at a co-worker, family member, spouse or friend.

Accountability is part of responsibility and sometimes (the only time I can think of) blaming someone is a way to get them to be accountable for their behavior when they are trying to avoid owning their mistakes.

However, blame gives people an easy out. If it’s not your fault then it’s not in your control. If it’s not in your control then there is nothing you can do about it. If there is nothing you can do about it, then you don’t have any obligation or any need to try to change. If you can blame someone else, somehow, it lets you off of the hook.

It’s comforting to hear that it’s not your fault, but it’s also dangerous. People who have become adept at playing the blame game are people who usually aren’t getting the results they want. Who wants to be with someone who is constantly looking for a reason not to take action or an excuse not to act or for someone to blame. These people aren’t often the ones in line for promotion either.

In my mind, blame is linked with victimhood. A victim is powerless. They have given the power and control to another person or entity. Personal transformation and growth cannot happen if you are looking at the world through gray-tinted victimization glasses.

Instead of wasting precious time pointing fingers and placing blame, spend that time creating solutions and solving problems.

There is no winner when you play the blame game.

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