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The Blame Game


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Oops! My last attempt at this topic was deleted...I made a boo boo. Nonetheless, I think the topic is worthy of inclusion here. At various times of my life I resorted to the blame game in an attempt to seek a solution to my woes (usually related to my sexuality). :angry: But I soon (relatively speaking) discovered that blaming circumstances or other peeps led nowhere, and that my 'problems' either remained or were exacerbated. I've come to realize that there's a lot of truth (and even wisdom) in the adages 'shit happens' and 'deal with it'. Blame solves zip. It's not constructive. But, ya know, when a person is determined to play the blame game it's almost impossible to get them to see the light. And that reminds me of another adage: when the penny drops... Trouble is, the penny can take a helluva long time to drop. Any comments?

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Unfortunately it seems that few take responsibility for their own actions. It is always easier to blame some one else. Like idiots who spill hot coffee on themselves and then blame the restaurant making the coffee that it is too hot, rather than blaming themselves for drinking hot coffee while driving and talking on the cell.

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Blame is useful if it is done with the intent of avoiding the situation again. The person who uses a faulty ladder and hurts themselves as a result is a simple example. Blaming the ladder is useful if they take the lesson from it that the ladder should be fixed or replaced. Blaming the ladder and then using that same ladder without doing anything about it is useless.

 

But I think the key point being raised is that people are adverse about taking personal responsibility for things. Not everything IS their fault, but coping with unexpected or unpleasant situations is a life skill that everyone needs to develop. Pushing it back onto something else is like blaming the ladder and not fixing it. At least a portion of almost every situation is as a result of the actions (or lack thereof) of the person being affected. They need to realise that.

 

I'm married with two wonderful boys. Now that I have accepted my sexuality, I would love to go out and find a boyfriend, but I can't. Sixteen years ago I took a vow and I can't abandon that just because it's now difficult. Any issues in our marriage are due to me -- my wife has shown me how much she loves me. I have to take personal responsibility for what I've done and my goal is to be the best husband and father I can be.

 

Oh, and Mark? I thought takeaway cups of coffee now come with a disclaimer -- Warning: Contents may be hot. I know I've seen some that do....

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Personally, I take great care to avoid blaming individuals. As others have pointed out it's mostly pointless. After the fact the best thing you can do is just deal with it. It's also divisive and causes hurt feelings and defensiveness, all things you don't want if you have to continue dealing with the person. Finally, even excluding the fact that it does nothing to resolve the situation, and ticks off the people being blamed, it also seldom actually works as a means of making yourself look better. Most people either don't believe you, still think it's your fault, and also now think you're childish, grumpy, whiney, or whatever for attempting to blame someone else.

 

About a month ago I was getting together with a large group of friends and we were supposed to watch movies. The friend who was organizing the event was in a bad mood, and the first thing she said was "X forgot to bring the movies". Someone else even commented, jokingly, but undoubtedly with an underlying truth "aww, that's harsh. You could have just said 'we don't have the movies'". Later it even came up again in conversation with someone pointing out how moody she's been lately and once again referencing the "X forgot to bring the movies" comment. So clearly blaming someone else, DID NOT make her look better. This has been my general observation over and over again in situations like this.

 

As far as me personally, as I said I'm unlikely to blame an individual. I like to vent and I may very well blame general bad luck, the universe, or whatever. I'm also willing to blame large groups of people. I may say that "Our abysmal healthcare system is the fault of the government." I would NOT say "Our abysmal healthcare system is president Bush's (or any other one or two individual's) fault."

 

I also believe in taking responsibility for my own actions. Indeed I tend to try to accept more blame than I'm actually reasonably responsible for in most cases.

 

At various times of my life I resorted to the blame game in an attempt to seek a solution to my woes (usually related to my sexuality). :angry:

LOL, you mean sorta like, "It's all his fault for being so hot!"? :P:boy: j/k

 

I've come to realize that there's a lot of truth (and even wisdom) in the adages 's*&^ happens' and 'deal with it'. Blame solves zip. It's not constructive.

yes, exactly! I completely agree, and in general I try to take a "well what's done is done" attitude about things and just deal with them from there.

 

Oh, and Mark? I thought takeaway cups of coffee now come with a disclaimer -- Warning: Contents may be hot. I know I've seen some that do....

LOL the first time I saw that warning my reactions was: "The contents BETTER be hot!".

 

Take care all and have an awesome day (and remember it's up to YOU :P )!

-Kevin

Edited by AFriendlyFace
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... and most judges dismiss about 69% as frivolous. :boy:

Only 69%?!? Yikes! :wacko:

 

This could easily diverge into a stupid label thread -- with associated wondering what law suit prompted the label in the first place. Like the label on a folding pram/stroller: "Remove baby before folding pram." Now, if I was every STUPID enough to do that, I certainly wouldn't be blaming the manufacturers of the pram for not telling me to remove the baby first....

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Only 69%?!? Yikes! :wacko:

 

This could easily diverge into a stupid label thread -- with associated wondering what law suit prompted the label in the first place. Like the label on a folding pram/stroller: "Remove baby before folding pram." Now, if I was every STUPID enough to do that, I certainly wouldn't be blaming the manufacturers of the pram for not telling me to remove the baby first....

 

I bought sandals a while back, made in China. The little printed thingy attached said: "Please wear socks of matching color." Oh, dear...

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My store sells a lot graphic tees in the mens department. One such tee has the caption, "TO ERR IS HUMAN NATURE... TO BLAME SOMEONE ELSE SHOWS GOOD MANAGEMENT SKILLS." I find this to be quite true!

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I... don't get it.... blame game with sexuality?

 

I spent most of my life pretending I didn't have this sexuality, fearful, at some times even hateful of myself for it. The most obvious person to put blame on, my molestor, never occurred to me as someone to blame since I spent too much time fearing that I owed most of who I am to being molested, given how young I was when it happened. I was too busy being afraid that everything I am, was owed to a detestable act to think it should be used as a cop out for my faults. On the contrary I was faced with the problem of if I turn out well, then that could conceivably mean that child molestation was not bad - a premise that disgusted me. I eventually got out of that trap by realizing that although I was molested, it was having a stable family and nearly all the other events of my life that are responsible for who I am today, not one negative event.

 

I suppose there are those who, as part of their evolving sense of self, blame their parents for genetics or blame the objects of their attraction, or as is very convenient in religious circles to blame the phantom "devil."

 

If you mean to criticize people who blame others for their circumstances in general... understand that the "blame game" as you put it cuts both ways. There are people who take no personal responsibility and there are those who take too much personal responsibility and are taken advantage of by people ungrateful for anything more than a scapegoat. The artificial Martyr and the effective coward, two extremes, neither of which are good for an individual to take up as a character trait. Yet, people more often criticize for the 'blame game' than artificial martyrdom... why? I would posit that its because its far more convenient to the coward to have a martyr around to take responsibility for them than someone to absolutely refuse blame and force them to accept some of it.

 

When something goes wrong, its not all one person's fault, and trying to take all the blame for everything that goes wrong in your life Will Kill You inside. Its much healthier and far more ethical to look at a situation and acknowledge fair responsibility for one's circumstances than to take all the blame, than to push it all off or take it all on as a personal burden.

 

I would warn though, against rushing to judgment as to what the correct amount of blame is that another person should take on themselves. By our nature as human beings, our perspectives are limited and if you're not careful, it is easy to mistakenly criticize someone who far better knows and understands their own situation.

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:hug: I didn't know this about your history before. One of my friends was molested as a ten year old and he's still getting over the consequences. Send me a PM if you want me to pass on any details.

 

If you mean to criticize people who blame others for their circumstances in general... understand that the "blame game" as you put it cuts both ways. There are people who take no personal responsibility and there are those who take too much personal responsibility and are taken advantage of by people ungrateful for anything more than a scapegoat. The artificial Martyr and the effective coward, two extremes, neither of which are good for an individual to take up as a character trait. Yet, people more often criticize for the 'blame game' than artificial martyrdom... why? I would posit that its because its far more convenient to the coward to have a martyr around to take responsibility for them than someone to absolutely refuse blame and force them to accept some of it.

 

Very true. The person who won't take responsibility is very visible, but the person who takes responsibility when it isn't their fault, or too much of the responsibility when it is partially their fault, is also unhealthy. I can think of a few examples in my own life (not me -- people I've met) and it ranges in scale from minor things to major. Thank you for pointing this out. It's one of those things that is obvious in hindsight, but I hadn't considered it before, while reading this thread.

 

I would warn though, against rushing to judgment as to what the correct amount of blame is that another person should take on themselves. By our nature as human beings, our perspectives are limited and if you're not careful, it is easy to mistakenly criticize someone who far better knows and understands their own situation.

 

Words of wisdom. :worship: Also words to live by. Too much criticism in this world is done from an incomplete understanding of what has been going on. I prefer to try to find a reason that could justify someone's behaviour whenever possible -- it may not always excuse it, but it may make it explainable.

 

Thanks, Demetz. A very thought-provoking post. :)

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