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How to Tame the Lame Blame Game!

How many times have you looked at your partner and thought: If only he/she were different, then I wouldn’t feel like this. It seems logical that if your partner didn’t talk to you in a certain way, didn’t say certain things, didn’t act the way they did, or did what you told them to do, then the relationship would be better and everyone would be happier.

This type of thinking/blaming has existed through many generations and few people think to question it. The blame game. What is wrong with that way of thinking or blaming you might ask? Well, what you are essentially doing is blaming your partner for your unhappiness and looking to them to make you happy, which does not work.

Let’s look at what is really happening when you are blaming your partner for how you feel and want them to change. Whenever you want your partner to act in a certain way in order to make yourself feel better, you have stopped being responsible for your own emotions.

This falls along the same lines of “I’ll feel better when I have a new job, new living situation, new partner, etc”. You put the responsibility for your happiness and well being outside of you and into the future without addressing what is happening inside of you.

An interesting thing that happens when you communicate to your partner that they need to change, you essentially say to them “you are not lovable and acceptable exactly the way you are”. You are giving them conditional love; with the condition that they be what you think they should be in order to fully receive your love and acceptance.

Going back to the idea of not being responsible for your emotions, what emotional needs are you are projecting onto your partner? We are not talking about judgments like: “That habit drives me crazy, I’m tired of them not picking up after themselves, I hate it when my he or she withdraws and won’t talk to me, etc”.

We are talking about the feelings and emotional needs that are underneath those kinds of judgments.That is the blame game. We are taught to comb our hair, brush our teeth, get dressed in the morning and undressed at night, etc. all on our own, but we haven’t been taught to fill our own emotional needs.

In fact we do much of our learning as children by watching our parents and they watching their parents before them, and what we are all used to doing is demanding that our emotional needs be met outside of ourselves. Our emotions are like the food that we eat. We need to choose the foods that will nourish us and give us energy to get through the day.

With emotions, we need to choose the thoughts that nourish us and that make us feel good throughout the day. If we choose not to eat or eat unhealthy food, we get hungry and experience physiological reactions that cause stress to our bodies, which react by being fatigued, not being as strong, and storing fat along with a number of other symptoms.

When we choose thoughts that are unhealthy or that are hurtful, our own emotions start to slip, become negative and set us up for blaming others for our sadness, anxiety, depression, and unhappiness along with a number of other symptoms. The blame game of blaming your partner or anyone else for how you feel is feeding yourself unhealthy food.

You may not even be aware that there are other choices out there, because you have done the same thing, have thought in the same way for so long that it has never even occurred to you to question your choices. Many behaviors are automatic and questioning them on occasion does lead you to healthier choices.

Instead of blaming your partner for how you feel, the option is to look at why we think the way we do and look for ways to change it. So when you start to automatically feel that your partner is to blame for how you feel, stop.

Stop your thoughts of blame and choose instead to take a deep breath and think to yourself: “What am I feeling right now”? Am I being resentful for something? Am I angry about something that was said or done? Do I feel hurt by what just happened? What am I feeling?

Once you identify the blaming feeling, you then have the power to step back and observe it without all your emotions getting in your way and clouding your judgment.

Yes, it is your perception of the situation that is causing the hurt. As long as you are not being physically attacked, the other person is not hurting you. It is your reaction to a situation that causes you to feel hurt.

To some of the readers, this may be a brand new concept that is difficult to accept. Yet with deeper understanding and practice, you can and will make yourself happier and you will experience less and less hurt with your partner as you change your perceptions of this blame game.

After stopping the automatic response of feeling hurt, the next thing that you do is to think about what just happened. Your mind will want to tell you flat out, that that your partner hurt you..blaming them for how you feel.

The way to shift your blame game thinking, is to start to think about what the different reasons are that would have caused your partner to act or speak the way they did? What kind of fears could they be dealing with in that moment? Let's look at a few of them:

Your partner could be afraid of being judged. They could be afraid of being rejected. They may be afraid of you seeing the turmoil inside of them and want to distract you. They may be afraid of being hurt so they put up an offense as a defense. They could have said something that they did not know had so much meaning for you.

Now let's look at your possible role in this: you could be feeling vulnerable. Your association with that tone of voice is that it caused you hurt in the past. Certain words trigger hurt from your past and re-experiencing those words brings that hurt back, even though it feels all new again.

If you are tired then it is easier to emotionally react. Perhaps you had a bad day or just got bad news or just got up feeling down. Then what you hear or see takes on a different meaning than if you felt great to start with. There are so many different things that contribute to the feeling of being hurt.

When you stop and look for other possible definitions, you realize that whatever your partner said or did was not intended to hurt you. It’s up to you. You are the only one who can choose to see things differently and not play the blame game. Try it and see what happens. You might just be pleasantly surprised at how useful a tool it can be to stop playing the blame game with your partner, and taking control over your own feelings.

If you want to stop the blame game or want help with any other issue, get The Help You Need. Right Here. Right Now.

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Ewa Schwarz
OnlineCounseling.org

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