Ahhh, the Blame Game!
Not a long talk, just a 'short' from the RSA from the lovely Brene Brown. Who isn't bit of a blamer - most of us are? And why should we give it up? In this witty sequel to the most popular RSA Short, inspirational thinker Brené Brown considers why we blame others, how it sabotages our relationships and why we desperately need to move beyond this toxic behaviour.
And why do we do it?
Blame is an excellent defence mechanism. Call it projection, denial, or displacement, blame helps us preserve our sense of self-esteem by avoiding awareness of our own flaws or failings.
Blame is a tool we use when we’re in attack mode. It is, however, a destructive conflict resolution method as blame is a way to try to hurt our partners.
We’re not very good at working out the causes of other people's behaviour, or even our own. The attributions we make can be distorted by our tendency to make illogical judgments. We're also just as bad at making judgments involving actions in terms of intent vs. outcome plus blame.
It’s easier to blame someone else than to accept responsibility. There’s less effort involved in recognising our contributions to a bad situation than in accepting the fact that we're actually at fault, and changing so we don't do it again.
People lie. It’s easy just to lie and blame someone else even though you know you’re at fault. You may think that no one will know it was really you who spilled coffee all over the staff room, so you just blame someone else who’s not there (and hope that person never finds out).
The more often we play the blame game, the more we lose. Being honest when we need to own up to our part in a bad situation will help us grow from our experiences and ultimately help us achieve more fulfilling relationships. Plus, what is the worst that can happen?