“It’s all his fault!” Kids love to blame others when things go wrong. I wonder where they get it. I know a few adults who like to blame too. Sometimes I’m even one of them.
We blame our spouses for marital problems. We blame our unruly kids for our short tempers. We blame our bad lot in life on our bad childhood or controlling parents. “If only I’d had a happy childhood, I wouldn’t be so dysfunctional.” We see it all the time in politics. Both sides blame each other, and nothing gets done.
And it may very well be true. We may have had a controlling parent or lousy childhood. We may have kids who don’t listen to us or an angry husband who is hard to get along with.
But the problem with blaming is that it propels us to victim status. If everything is always someone else’s fault, we don’t have to take any responsibility. And maybe that’s okay for awhile – we never have to actually do anything. Except maybe complain. But after awhile we realize we’re stuck, unable to move forward.
Focusing on solutions is much more productive. When your kid spills his juice, blaming him doesn’t get the mess cleaned up. Giving him a paper towel and showing him how to use it does. Being angry all the time at your spouse accomplishes nothing. Trying to find ways to improve your marriage accomplishes a lot.
When was the last time we made a situation better by blaming? I would venture to guess probably never. What if the next time we’re tempted to place blame, we try something different? What if we focus our attention on looking for a solution or an alternative we hadn’t thought of before? It might just save us a whole lot of angst, frustration and stress. And wouldn’t that be worth it?