The first ‘Friday the 13th’ of every year is “National Blame Someone Else Day. Did you celebrate? This year it was August 13, 2021.
It’s been described as the compulsive liar’s dream day! It’s the one day when you (supposedly) have permission for a full 24-hours to blame others. On this day, you can tell all the people who annoy you and make your life difficult, and let them know that your issues are their fault. Ha Ha.
At first, it’s funny.. only… it’s not really funny…
Complaining, blaming and shaming are ways we push people away.
When someone is blaming everyone else, the speaker is left a victim. In the moment it might feel good because they are not to blame (at least in their story); others are. Being the “Avoider” may feel like they dodged being blamed; but if they did have any responsibility and didn’t honor it, others will not trust them. No winner here.
It reminds me of the cartoons from Daily Circus where the parents are asking the kids “Who did this?” – Who kicked the table? Who broke the good plate? Who spilled the sunflower seeds all over the floor? The four kids are always innocent – they blame “Not Me”, “Ida Know”, or “Nobody.”
Do you complain? You might get sympathy (which is nice sometimes in the moment), but you are a victim, someone who is powerless in your life. Unfortunately, the joy of avoiding being blamed leaves you unhappy, resentful, and/or unfulfilled.
Most people will limit contact with you or totally avoid you because, over time, when you complain to someone else, it’s the energy of fear, regret, resentment, thankless, and ungrateful. And others won’t feel safe with you if you complain about them, because they’ll never know when you are going to “attack” them. Yes, complaining about what someone did or didn’t do often feels like an attack.
Blaming at Work
In my roles as a leadership coach, organizational development, and Human Resources Manager, I have seen this happen over and over when people work together.
Do you want to work on a team with others when they don’t do their job and have a good reason why but no results? And even if they didn’t cause the problem, if they never step up to fix problems and just blame others, they are not a true ‘team player.’
The definition of “team” is two or more people working together to achieve a common goal. No one will want to be on a team with them because they haven’t committed to be a partner with the others on the team.
Blaming and Complaining in our Love Relationships
Does your partner or children or other family members usually have a reason why they can’t do their chores or follow through on promises? Do they say they will be somewhere to support a family member and then never show up, and have an excuse that something else was more important than being there for another.
If a parent says they’ll be at a child’s event and often doesn’t show up, they are saying to their child “You are not important enough to me” by their actions. Many of my clients have stories about not being confident or feeling undeserving of love because parents weren’t there for them – in the ordinary moments of life and the big moments.
Our Words Matter
Our words really do matter. Blaming or complaining about others undermines others trust in us. And blaming someone usually makes them defensive, what I call the “Loop of Insecurity.” Both attacking the other and defending themselves.
When others don’t take responsibility for what they say or do, we can’t trust them. Without trust, there is no partnership or real relationship.
The More We Complain, The Strong Our Habit of Complaining
The more we blame and complain, the more this becomes an automatic habit. It’s a pattern of behavior that kills partnership, joy, play, coordination with others to produce results, success and peace of mind.
OK, maybe you got in a few opportunities to point the finger but what is the cost?
The national calendar has Happiness Happens Month. How do you become more happy now? There’s also Pardon Day where you can ask for (or give) forgiveness; and don’t forget Positive Thinking, World Smile Day, and World Gratitude Days. But the habits of blaming and complaining need more that a day to flip to being positive and happy.
What do you do?
Don’t wait. Start right now. Changing how you interact is possible by recognizing what you are doing and creating new habits that build connection.
Listen to your words. Is what you are saying from the energy of love that is uplifting or the energy of fear that is negative and shuts down joy and happiness?
You can change if you practice noticing what you say and catching it more and more. Once you can hear or feel the complaining and blaming, then you can begin to rewrite what you say by practicing being grateful or focusing on what is positive (not what is negative). Make changes in your life. Have a conversation from partnership instead of blame and see what you can create working on the same team. Practice observing yourself and seeing how the energy of blaming drags you down.
The first step is to notice when you complain and stop it. Take one step at a time (baby steps) – and be super kind to yourself, so you learn how to flip from “blame to bloom.”
Learn how to trust and be trusted. Set boundaries and honor them. Show respect to others. Own your voice and ask for what you want. Imagine making a request for help and people honor it. Let go of resentment and regret, blaming others for your difficulties, and set yourself free of suffering. Resolve conflict –with compassion and connection, and even a sense of partnership.
You can learn to love and turn your relationships and life around. These are so many skills no one taught us that you can learn, and even one can transform your relationships!. Are you ready?
Want support? Get my Kindle book “Why did you load the dishwasher like that? 9 Whopping Mistakes that Push Love Away.” One of the Whopping Mistakes is “The Avoider.” And if you are someone who blames others, you might see the impact by reading about “The Insensitive One” or “The Dominator.”
Want more support? Take the Relationship IQ Quiz, and get a free call with me to go over your results!