"It's not me, it's you". How many relationships (both personal and business) have ended with those words. And the truth is, it's most likely a lie. But apportioning blame is more detrimental to those who initiate it than they might imagine. After all, it is not a game you can play where you improve with practice...
According to an article written by Elliot Cohen in Psychology Today one of the most destructive pastimes we participate in is the 'blame game'. Both individuals and organisations are guilty of engaging in this diversion at some juncture. So, let's be clear, what exactly does that mean? Well according to the piece it...
Consists of blaming another person for an event or state of affairs thought to be undesirable, and persisting in it instead of proactively making changes that ameliorate the situation.
In order words? Throwing someone else under the bus to protect yourself. Sound familiar? I'm guessing it probably does to most of us, whether it's because you have found yourself being propelled under the screeching wheels or because you've given someone a little nudge in the direction of the number 14 to Staines.
It transpires that there are 4 'irrational beliefs' which underpin this need / desire to play the blame game:
So why are these beliefs irrational? Well, lets take them in turn.
So why do we play the blame game if it is all based on these irrational beliefs. Well, psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne has discovered 5 reasons why:
Ultimately, participating in the blame game is a short term solution to an immediate problem. And, I'm sorry to say, in that respect it often works. However, that in no way means I am advocating it's usage. In fact, the aforementioned Dr Whitbourne goes so far as to say that every time you employ the tactic you are running the risk of failure and being caught out:
Unlike other games, the more often you play the blame game, the more you lose. Learning to tell when you need to own up to your role in a bad situation will help you grow from your experiences, and ultimately help you achieve more fulfilling relationships.
So have you ever played the blame game? If so, what were the circumstances? Alternatively have you ever been blamed for a situation that went awry and what was the eventual outcome?