Blame yourself or someone and the door is shut. This devaluing label of guilt denies us a chance to change. It reignites pain and destructive emotions when touched. Blame verdict skews our perception, manages reactions and impacts our lives. However, if we look closer: there is no blame.
What is blame?
Suppose an event has occurred that our current worldview and emotions portray as “negative”:
- someone else was “unjust” to us
- or we have been far from perfect…
What happens next?
It is not just a neutral “this person is responsible/I am responsible” thought we are dealing with. A web of connected internal issues gets triggered: anger, offense, anxiety, psychological dependency on morals, perfection, previous unresolved conflicts, traumas, etc. We are often not aware of our obsolete views and emotions that make the situation and the person responsible look unjust, wrong. Our agitated unforgiving consciousness does not want to see a human being, a wider picture or other causes. It creates a “wrongdoer” inherently worthy of “blame”. Basically, a license to devalue the target and justify mental violence/disproportionate response.
Blaming someone goes far beyond acknowledging their responsibility. Instead of acting constructively, holding someone accountable based on reason, cooperating in promoting change, we unleash our destructive emotions and aggressive responses. Based on artificial, non-existing “blame”…
Blame deprives us of an ability to change
It is easy to simply react, put a blame label and deny someone (or ourselves) a chance to change. Devalue to a “bad” person instead of helping a “good” person overcome the causes of “bad” deeds. Forgiving is not about corrupting someone by not holding them accountable for their actions. It is about constructive motivation behind our actions, not hatred, offense or fear. Especially, if “the other person” is us. Self-blame, hating ourselves, being depressed are poor companions for becoming better us.
Unless we understand “blame” is an artificial object we ourselves created and we can dismantle. Un-seal our perception of a human being. Separate a person/us from their actions, consider internal and other causes. Which might require a bit more than changing a single “blame-people” to “don’t-blame-people” story.
Holistic framework: worldview and emotional regulation tools
How do we accept an unpleasant situation without blaming anyone? See it as an opportunity for everyone’s development and growth? Remember that people normally can change? Prevent destructive reactions from tunneling our vision? Become compassionate and embody constructive actions?
An ecological worldview is a prerequisite. A theory of compassionate human interactions that can be adopted, practiced, and, eventually replace our obsolete views and destructive reactions. A secular or spiritual worldview that we would actually strive to make functional in all aspects of our lives. The one that integrates well with a holistic framework of emotional regulation tools. So that we can actually progress from a theoretic knowledge to acting based on it naturally.
After some practice we become better in monitoring our reactions, become aware of arising disturbances and prevent them from unfolding. If they do prevail in some situations, we are well equipped to handle: recognize emotions produced and address their internal causes. Maintain emotional hygiene.
A world of caution before helping others
I remember getting so inspired by mere theoretic understanding 10 years ago and rushing to “help” others out of “compassion”. 🤣
Well, we are not helping anyone resolve their internal issues unless we have resolved them within ourselves first. Our theoretically “sound” advice would be undermined by our unresolved internal issues and act adversely. A simple self-check: how do we feel when someone doesn’t follow our advice? Do we maintain balance, joy, and gratitude? If yes, it does help the other person to tune-in and even, possibly, start “hearing” us.
The same goes for “fixing corporate culture of blame”: it starts from what leaders embody, not merely declare (fake) and require others do.
Blaming vs. holding accountable
Consider the amount of destructive emotions that cloud our critical reasoning and decision making. We are easily manipulated, our energy is drained and actions are much less productive. Blaming does not help holding someone accountable. My vote goes to a balanced state of mind, sharp critical reasoning and constructive motivation — seeing a blame for what it is and not being managed by it.