By Jayaram V
Blaming others for one reason or the other is a common
act in which most people engage. It is an important aspect of human
relationships. The closer they get the more likely the chances are
that people blame each other even for the most trivial reasons.
A young daughter may blame her mother for spoiling her weekend because
she has asked her to stay at home and clean her room. She will keep
blaming her mentally and silently till she gets over with it.
A grownup one may blame her parents for sending her to a boarding
school or a distant university for which they have a special attachment.
A spouse may blame the other for losing his independence or peace
of mind or credit worthiness. Children blaming parents, parents
blaming their children, bosses blaming their team mates and team
mates blaming their bosses, people blaming their leaders and leaders
blaming their predecessors or the opposition, teachers blaming students,
students blaming teachers, neighbors blaming neighbors, these are
common facts of life, in which we not only reveal our hidden resentments
but also our proclivity to let out our fears and frustrations through
the criticism of others.
We do not spare even God from this blame game, even though we
have never seen Him directly and we are not sure what role He actually
plays in shaping our destinies or owning up our mistakes.
It is easier to find a scapegoat or blame others, with or without
reason, but it requires a lot of courage to own one‘s faults and
accept responsibility. We all look for such people but rarely assume
that role ourselves. We are conditioned to seek approval and we
know that we have an inherent desire for appreciation from other
people. So we always strive to win the approval of others, trying
to meet their expectations, putting on our best faces, but when
things do not happen according to our expectations, we use the same
human weakness to control others and make them feel guilty or submissive.
It is necessary that people need to be told at times what is
wrong with them or where they can improve or excel. Constructive
criticism is useful and necessary for nurturing relationships, building
trust and improving people, whom we love or whose welfare we dearly
want. But there will be a problem, if we use blame and culpability
to control others, feel ourselves good or hide our own failures,
imperfections and frustrations from others. Many people do it, especially
in work environment, where accountability and responsibility put
people under severe scrutiny and subject them to the high stake
game of reward and punishment based on their actions and contribution.
I am not sure whether animals have the tendency to blame each other.
They do fight but not sure whether they fight because someone made
a mistake or a wrong decision. But humans do. For us it is a natural
defensive reaction, a part of our survival instinct, in which our
intelligence and reason often follow a devious path to safeguard
our image and interests or by which we let out our strong emotions
and unburden ourselves. While we cannot entirely remove it from
our behavior, here are some ways in which we can curb our critical
attitude and learn to appreciate people for what they are.
ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS
You may not be aware, but it is true that you are responsible
for whatever that happens in your life. You are the author of your
life and the creator of your reality. Every event and moment of
your life is created by you, with your thoughts, intentions and
actions. You have that spark of divinity in you, which gives you
an unlimited ability and a wonderful opportunity to mould your life
and carve your cherished path. You are endowed with the power to
direct your life, using your intelligence and exercising your free
will. You can use it effectively to carve the course of your life
and the shape of things yet to come. The environment in which you
live, the people that come into your life, the problems you encounter
as you pass through the portals of life, the successes and failures
you experience in your endeavors are not the work of some invisible
force or twisted fate, but your own consciousness. You may blame
a thousand people for myriad reasons. But your life is your responsibility.
You have the freedom to choose the best of the options that are
available to you in any given circumstance. You always have the
freedom to choose the correct response as well as the right action.
You have the power to control your thoughts and your actions and
mould them in whatever way you want. Certain factors in your life
may be out of your control. But you always have the ability to adapt
yourself to them and minimize their impact. There are many ways
in which you can solve problems and you always have choices to deal
with them. So if something goes wrong, instead of blaming others
and outside forces, ask yourself how you precipitated it and how
you can resolve it.
EXAMINE THE MOTIVE
Before you set out to blame others for whatever mistakes they
might have made or the real blame they deserve, examine your own
motives. Search your heart and be truthful and honest to yourself.
We blame people for several reasons. Some are valid and some not
really valid. If you blame others because you want to avoid being
blamed, you have to be more introspective and true to yourself.
You should do the same in case you are doing it to suppress your
own feelings of guilt or remorse. Sometime we also tend to blame
others out of deep seated prejudice or past resentment. Once you
form an opinion about a person it is difficult to erase it from
your mind. We tend to criticize those whom we dislike most for one
reason or the other. So it is essential to examine our motives when
we begin to think about others critically and see from where the
thoughts are arising. If genuine criticism is due, make sure that
it is given for right reasons, with no hidden or ulterior motive.
KNOW THE CONSEQUENCES OF NEGATIVITY
If you think negatively or indulge in negative actions, be assured
that you will face negative situations in your life. On the contrary,
if you think positively and act positively, you are bound to attract
positive forces into your life and create happiness, peace and prosperity.
These things may not happen immediately or as you expect. But your
dominant thoughts and emotions do precipitate reality, sooner or
later, in ways you may not even imagine. Blaming others is in itself
a negative act and if you do it out of your own negativity or frustration
or anger, you will attract many negative forces into your life,
besides impairing your relationship with those whom you blame and
attracting their displeasure and enmity in return. No one likes
to be criticized, especially for wrong reasons or in a negative
manner. So make sure that you remain positive even when you have
to criticize someone or fix accountability and make it impersonal
and objective to the extent possible. If you explain to the other
person what you have to say and why you have to say it, chances
are the other person appreciates your compulsions and your obligations
and does not harbor any ill feelings towards you.
Source: Reproduced partially from
the article, "Stop Blaming Others" from the book Think Success by
Jayaram V. You may purchase this book from
our online store or from
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