Blaming someone else. How many times have you done this? How many times have you considered the consequences? How can we change our approach to blame? So many questions to open this post! But I have been thinking about personal blame and have been considering my actions and reactions to it and I am holding my hand up high in the air, I am as guilty of this over my lifetime as I am sure some of you will be.
The very thought of taking ownership of my blame when I was younger was an alien concept that never entered my head, the ease of blaming someone else for your failures, whether it was family, health, friendship or relationship was exactly what happened in my world, it was just what I did, what I thought was the easiest option and what would make me look so much better than the person I had blamed. But, I now feel grown-up enough at the age of 52 to own my blame and be responsible for my failures for wearing my vulnerability in a way that I never considered in my past. When I talk about blame I’m not talking about the insignificant blame, the white lie blame, like when you are late for an appointment and blame the traffic when in reality it was because you got out of bed 15 minutes after the alarm, I want to talk about and consider the blame that makes us vulnerable when we don’t take ownership of an event or failing in our lives and instead of sitting and reflecting on our actions our mouths open and we blame someone or something else other than ourselves, we take the road most travelled, the easiest route, we disown the blame.
In our work or personal lives when someone hasn’t done what you have asked them to do, should we blame them for not doing it? Or start to look at why they haven’t completed the task you have asked of them, is it a personal attack on you? Are they purposefully withdrawing their help from you? Or have you not allowed them to fully understand the significance of them not completing the task you asked, are you controlling a situation because you feel you are the only one who can complete this job (control freak…again my hand is up!) how this effects not just you but others around you and potentially how it will affect themselves. If you haven’t been open and vulnerable then you need to look at blaming yourself, take ownership and take back the blame. If you are unhappy at work the ease in which it becomes second nature to blame management for failing you, when they actually might have, ultimately you should look at yourself, you allowed the failings to evolve and manifest into negativity, stepping back and looking at the times you allowed people to fail you, exposes your vulnerability and sometimes makes for an uncomfortable untangling of your thought processes but becomes a necessary step to sorting the tangled mess in your head and allowing you to move forward and not stand still and fester in the negativity.
The situations we find ourselves in, carrying an emotional load around it’s easy to blame others for their failings of not helping you, not engaging with you in the situation, but have you asked them for help truly asked them? And been honest in your explanation, if you feel you are drowning in a situation then you need to make sure you ask the right people for help, don’t blame the people who don’t understand your burden, consider your choice of ally make sure it’s not an enemy, think about those fleet of women around you, your friend-ships, these are the ones who will help you if your truths become too much for you.
My blame at the moment is the weight I have put on in lockdown, I blamed lockdown for the many extra pounds I have piled on when in actual fact it was me putting the chocolate digestives in my mouth, it’s me that has become idle in any area of fitness, not a global pandemic stripping away lives and livelihoods around the world, it is me, I am to blame. But it is also me that likes my curves, is enjoying saying sod it and eating the cake, that was called ‘curvy’ for the first time in her life by a friend and couldn’t stop smiling (yes I took this as a compliment and I know this goes against most women’s thoughts on weight and I will explain my reasons for this one day soon). By becoming more sedentary and not rushing around like I need to hold the world up, it is me that has re-found her creativity that makes me sit still and reflect, from this potential negative blame I have pulled out the positivity and looked into what makes my heart happy, I have taken ownership of blame. By really starting to unravel parts of you and begin to love yourself for the amazing wonderful human you are that road is less travelled but far more satisfying.
P.S. But if someone really is a complete and utter twat after you have shown your vulnerability and still will not help you with your emotional or work load then you can squarely sit the blame at their feet and hope they trip over it!