Forget Playing the "Blame Game"
Part of being a responsible adult is taking the ownership of our own actions. Too often with a partner, we play
the "blame game" instead of figuring out what we can do to help the relationship.
When we take ownership of our behavior and actions, we may not see an immediate reaction from our mate. He or
she may still get angry over forgetfulness or social faux pas, or other missteps, but over the long haul, you will
see a difference in attitude.
In his book, Grow Up!, Doctor Frank Pitman says, "Without responsibility there can be no happiness." By taking
responsibility for our behavior, we are open to a more fulfilling life with our partner.
In The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck said that many people seek to avoid the pain of their
problems by blaming other for their failings. This never solves anything.
If we accept the blame for our screw-ups, we are taking steps in the right direction in our relationships, our
lives and we are on the road to fixing our problems.
Playing the blame-game is also a characteristic of mentally disturbed people. Instead of acknowledging when they
make a mistake or act badly or cause some damage, they shift the responsibility for their actions to someone
This is referred to "projecting the blame" in shrink-talk. The implication is that the disturbed miscreant is
projecting their feelings and actions into those around them as a means of sharing wrongful behavior.
In an intimate relationship like a marriage or close partnership, we should not project the blame for our
actions into our partner. It only produces angry reactions and leads to schisms in the relationship.
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There are no winners in the blame-game. No one likes a finger pointed at them, when in fact they are innocent of
any wrongdoing. The finger-pointer is labeled as a liar for not admitting their mistake and the accused is really
Start the healing of a breach of this nature by accepting the ownership of all your flaws, mistakes, social
blunders and other acts of idiocy, foolishness or just plain stupidity. Then work at what you can do to correct
these character flaws.
You are not alone. We all have flaws, but how we respond to them is what separates adult from
immature behavior. Our response is also what affects our relationships with mates, family and our circle of
Your intimate relationship will flourish when you avoid
the blame-game. Your partner will still get upset when you mess up, but they will more inclined to be forgiving
and work with you to correct your flaws, than they will to respond stridently to an accusation.
None of us are perfect, so if you make an honest effort to correct your flaws, or at least to minimize them, you
will have a less contentious relationship with your partner.
What do you do if your partner plays the blame game with you? Refrain from blowing up is the first step. Then
respond by asking why they are blaming you. If you keep asking questions instead of responding with anger, you may
ultimately make them see how foolish they look.
At a later time, when there is no blame being passed around, have a calm discussion with them about their
blaming other people for their own mistakes. Try to get them to accept the responsibility for their actions.
If this doesn't get the desired response, you might consider an "intervention" with a group of your partner's
family and friends. This works in other circumstances where anti-social or bad behavior is evident, maybe it will
work with a blame-gamer.
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