Are you Busy Blaming or Busy Learning?

It is better to be busy learning than busy blaming.

Releasing the need to blame and replacing it with our need to learn helps to create a more forgiving climate in our inner world. If we think about people we know who are Blamers we may notice that they do not seem to learn much from their experiences. Their focus on what they believe others need to do differently rather than what they themselves need to do differently. They are so busy blaming everyone and everything that there is not much space inside them to learn anything. Someone who is busy blaming The Government, Politicians, Men, Women, or some other ‘them’, is not likely to be in a frame of mind to seeing how they can improve their situation by learning something new. Blaming is aggressive victim stance as the person feels harmed by others, but feels powerless to do anything about it. It comes from a feeling that all that is available is to bewail our fate through expressing blame, “They did this to me!”.

Probably all of us, at one time or another, take a walk along Blame Street. We may notice that it is not a happy street and the people who end up living there seem to be caught up in some kind of misery or other. They have many ‘reasons’ why their feelings are justified. They seem to spend a long time polishing up their ‘reasons’ and adding bits to them so that they get bigger and bigger. Some of those people end up with a very long list of reasons to be unhappy. The really smart ones have particularly ‘smart’ reasons why they need to be miserable. They can be unhappy better than anyone and set out to prove it. Some can find amazingly complex and sophisticated arguments that really boil down to, “I am not happy and it is their/his/her fault”.

We may find that we are not allowed to be a friend of people on Blame Street unless we confirm what they are not happy about. To be their friend we would need to agree that they are right to feel so down or angry and that they are completely justified in feeling that way. Odd as it seems, people living on Blame Street think a friend is someone who helps them to stay miserable. If we were to disagree with the reasons why they are unhappy they would probably get very angry and maybe even hate us. They might even think that we are an enemy. After all we would have tried to take away their favourite toy.

Blame can be a temptation, but it is a slippery slope to misery. The more we express blame the more we need to justify it and bolster it. The more we take blaming as stance in life the more we need to defend it. Unfortunately what we are defending is our right to be a victim. We are holding ourselves in a victim pattern when we blame. If we want to stop blaming what is outside ourselves we are faced with what seems like a terrible alternative: to turn the blame inwards and blame ourselves instead. This is a horrifying prospect and one we naturally want to avoid it. But that is how blame works, it wants to go somewhere.

Of course, the real answer is to stop blaming altogether. Working from the basic principle that it is better to redirect energy rather than just trying to stop it, we can redirect it into Learning. We can do redirect our attention by asking ourselves questions. How can this situation help me learn and grow? How can I handle this challenge so that I feel empowered? How can I let my happiness come from inside and be more independent of things which are external?

The more we look within ourselves the more we find that other people often treat us the way we treat ourselves. They may also react and treat us the opposite of how we treat ourselves, if they feel we have gone too far. Our demeanor, body language and tone of voice broadcast a lot about us. What we do not say speaks as much about us as what we say. All the time we send out cues of how we expect to be treated, all the time we pick up clues from others about how they expect to be treated. If we feel that we are not worth bothering about, then we send out clues to that effect. Some people will then treat us as if we were not worth bothering about. A few people may see past our unconscious signals and treat us well anyway, but most people will respond to us in ways which match our signals. Some may even go to the extreme and be particularly rude or abusive. However, this can have as much to do with what is going on in them as it is about what is going on in us. We co-create our relationships with others, so it behooves us to look at our part as that is the part we can change.