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The Blame Game - Are there really any Winners?

Brene Brown has a brilliant quote that beautifully describes some of the issues around blame.

"Blame is simply the discharging of discomfort and pain. It has an inverse relationship with accountability"

So why does the Blame Game start? PAIN!!

Emotional, Physical, Psychological pain.

It creates the discomfort in our bodies that we don't know what to do with. As I have mentioned in other blogs, emotional and psychological pain is processed in a similar area of the brain to physical pain. It triggers our brains warning system that is there ultimately to keep us safe. So we can feel almost a sense of panic and urgency to shift this discomfort as quickly as possible (Flight - Fight).

Finding What or Who is to blame can feel like a sense of relief from this discomfort IN THE MOMENT, but shifting this discomfort around becomes a never ending cycle. A cycle that damages relationships, where there is no healthy resolution, no learning, no self discovery, no growth, no self responsibility or accountability. It does not see the grey but only the black and white.

Playing the Blame Game can also leave in us a destructive root of shame & bitterness because the process of reflection, self responsibility and self compassion is completely bypassed. This root ultimately sets up an avoidant pattern of behaviour that eats away at our self esteem and self confidence. There really are NO WINNERS!

So how do we not engage in the Blame Game?

First and foremost, loads of self compassion. We are in pain and our pain is valid!

Self compassion looks to recognise this pain, and meet whatever the emotional need is.

Secondly, and this is often the sticking point, reflect on our part in whatever may have happened. This is NEVER about punishment but the intention is to LEARN. Learning about ourselves, and changing anything that is destructive or damaging can increase our self confidence and self esteem if used alongside self compassion.

Thirdly, make amends where necessary and allow yourself to express authentically how an issue/situation has impacted you. This is so powerful because, it can bring real emotional resolution in ourselves and validation/healing to any other parties effected. Shame is also completely disempowered and cannot take root.

Yes these 3 steps need learning and practicing, and we won't always get it right first time. However what we gain from disengaging from the blame game is self-awareness, emotional literacy, self-compassion, healthier relationships, reduced shame, better mental and emotional health all round.


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