What do you do when someone has let you down? When a promise is not kept, an expectation is not met, an obligation is forgotten, how do you handle it?
If you’re like most people, you blame the person who has disappointed you. Rightfully so, after all, you couldn’t possible be responsible for their failure.
And blame is the best way to solve your problem.
We can call out the actions, and broadcast another’s shortcoming far and wide with words that blame:
- It’s all your fault!
- Why didn’t you?
- How could you?
- Who caused this?
The truth is, we’re never 100 percent blameless. When we blame the other person, we are likely to cause despair and unhappiness and powerlessness. Further, when we step back and allow the other person to bear blame, we put ourselves in the role of victim.
Blame does nothing to solve the problem at hand or to affect a different outcome in the future. On the other hand, focusing on making it right shifts our focus away from being the victim to being the responsible problem-solver.
We can begin by replacing the words that blame with words that solve the situation:
- So, what happened?
- How can I help now?
- How do we make the best of the present situation?
- What shall we do differently next time?
Stepping up and saying yes this happened and it shouldn’t have and I am responsible brings a whole different feeling to us about ourselves and about the situation. Taking responsibility when things go wrong instead of blaming others is empowering. It puts us back in control of a situation by causing us to focus on doing things better or smarter next time. Having some degree of control and focusing on the future and improvement tends to make us feel happier.
You don’t need me to tell you that if you want to have a different outcome next time, then things must be done differently. Nothing changes if nothing changes.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
~ Albert Einstein
It works both ways, of course. Next time you are on the receiving end of blame, tell your antagonist he or she is failing to have a responsible attitude and is failing to get the most he or she can out of the situation.
Life Is Honest, Open and True: When we are disappointed by the actions of another, we can blame and find fault, or we can step up and take responsibility for making the situation better. When we choose the latter, we preserve the other person’s dignity and at the same time, we feel better because we’re doing what we can to get the most out of the situation.
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