In my opinion blame should be avoided at all costs. However I don’t think this means abdicating Responsibility, Accountability, Admissibility, Apology and Reformation or, as I abbreviate it, RAAAR. It’s no coincidence that those of us who appear most angry, aggrieved, upset, miserable and sad are those of us who are constantly blaming everyone and everything else for all that is wrong in our lives.
Most of us are quick to find fault elsewhere and slow to admitting fault in ourselves. In my view this is a consequence of a malfunction in the Parent and/or Child – see my previous article on Perspective for a description of the Parent-Adult-Child (PAC) model developed by Thomas A Harris. More specifically it is, among other things, a consequence of the admonitions stored in our Parent and the fear of punishment stored in our Child. Furthermore our need for acceptance stored in our Child and the foisted directives stored in our Parent cause us to automatically go on the defensive, a state which almost invariably leads to conflict – read more about conflict in my previous article on Conflict.
Brutally honest self-examination is invaluable in correcting the learned patterns stored in our Parent and Child that result in blame, finger pointing and excessive defensiveness – for more on self-examination see my previous article on Introspection. It is one of life’s most liberating moments when we stop entirely blaming others for all of our woes, realise we have RAAAR and admit “I have contributed to things going wrong in my life”.
Those who have realised that they have RAAAR and do something about it are the most content. These are the people who have extremely healthy doses of what I describe as EISS (Emotional Intelligence, Strength & Serenity). Read more about emotional intelligence (EI) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_intelligence.
Our current mood can be a significant contributing factor to our acts of blaming. In his book ‘You Can Be Happy No Matter What’ Richard Carlson says of moods in relationships (the words in [italics] are mine):
“In our low [bad] moods, we lose our perspective (or bearings) and life itself seems hard and frustrating, Our relationships seem to be a burden and other people seem irritating, or in some way out to get us. In low [bad] moods, it seems an affront to us when people don’t see things as we do, and we have a sense of urgency and doom. In a low [bad] mood, every problem looks like just the tip of the iceberg to a much greater problem.
When we are in a high [good] mood again there is little on our minds. Life and our relationships seem to flow and somehow work out in a nice way. When our mood drops, our minds are again filled with concerns. It is in our lowest [worst] moods, when we are least equipped to do so, that we are tempted to try to solve problems or resolve issues with others.”
My view is that:
- When we are in a bad or low mood “let’s talk about it later” is perfectly acceptable
- Blaming is not acceptable no matter what mood we’re in
Stay strong and serene.