Blame, Which Side Are You On?

Blame, Which Side Are You On?

Bart Sharp

When a conflictual situation arises what is your immediate response? Do you blame the other person in the conflict? Or do you look at yourself as the one at fault? It is a knee-jerk reaction that somewhere in us there is an immediate response; we either shrink believing it must be our’s fault in some way or we project out to find the wrongness of another person/s.

Those who blame themselves judge from a place of self-criticism. They have an intrinsic fear the wrongness must be within them and it will be uncovered by others. The underlying emotion associated with this characteristic of shame, creating the point of view we are wrong and they are to blame.

Those who blame others project the energy of the situation away from themselves by making someone else’s fault. It is an immediate response when a problem really arises that they look at others instead of themselves as the culprit. The underlying emotion related to blaming others is most often fear and/or anger. From the “blaming others” point of view it is very fearful to be wrong therefore this point of view is about making sure you are right. The best way to make sure the “blaming others” person is never found as wrong is always to find the blame to others, therefore a false sense of safety is created.

What both points of view have in common is they are in pain from a conflict. One side takes responsibility even if they are not responsible and the other side avoids responsibility yet does not acknowledge their own fear in the situation. One side is immersed in pain while the other pushes it away onto others.

The “self blaming” person is always looking for what is wrong with themselves. In some ways this is an advantage because they will have the tendency to take responsibility for their own actions, therefore look inward for answers. They may have the greater potential to grow beyond this type of duality of blaming.

While the “blaming others” person it’s less likely to take responsibility for their actions or thoughts because they have trained themselves to look at others for the wrongness; not themselves.

There is one truth we can always live by in the world of internal or external conflicts. “If there is some kind of problem in my life; I always have a part in the creation of the limitation. I am part of the solution as well.” No matter what the situation is, if we are upset, bothered by it; it has something to teach us. We cannot always look at a situation and be in fear of being wrong, having a shortcoming, or making a mistake. Actually it is a natural part of life to do things incorrectly. So when we take responsibility for our actions and be willing to be wrong we are actually empowering our lives. We have an opportunity to create a new direction and attitude.

The opposite side would be, it is scary to be wrong or I will be hurt if I am revealed as making a mistake. What that requires of us is always to be on a defensive position. With many who blame; the best defense is an aggressive minded offense. Unfortunately, this point of view gives us less opportunity to learn from our mistakes.

The willingness to make mistakes separates us from the point of view that we are lesser because we are wrong, thus separating us from ashamed point of view and on the other side we do not have to blame others thus separating us from a fear-based point of view. What arises in place of blame is; curiosity, a greater ability to invent new ideals, and see a positive side to life’s challenging situations.

There was something about the polarity of blaming that locks up creative thought and we jump into old patterns before we know it and go down the rabbit hole we have been many times before with the same negative results.

The first step in breaking beyond the blaming polarity is to always take accountability for any uncomfortable situation. If there is a feeling of wrongness; always look to how you are part of the problem without any negativity projected towards yourself. We all have shortcomings and it is important to allow them to be a part of your perspective. Then shortcomings or mistakes become more of your ally instead of your enemy. As a result of dropping the blaming polarity we have a greater freedom in seeing the bigger picture of life.

Leave a Reply