What is it about blame that attracts us to doing it? Blame happens at work, it happens when we hire people to do a job and don’t feel they’ve done it well; parents have been known to blame their kids, kids blame their parents, spouses and significant others blame each other…the government and various political organizations have been known to blame us. What is it about it that’s so appealing…such a draw? We all have blamed someone else in our lives. Some of those times it has been for a real wrong doing. Then there might have been another time or so that it was when you didn’t want to admit your actual level of wrongness. For some of us, the last time we blamed was when we were young(ish), and for some others it was yesterday.  But there are those that seem to do it as a sport. When blame is more than dabbled in, it’s destructive for both the blamer and the blamee.

Blame can be complicated. It can be openly judgmental, which while not good, at least you know who is doing the judging and when they don’t choose to like something or someone. Then there is the passive aggressive blamer. Instead of communicating honestly when they feel upset, angry or disappointed, they blame others for situations rather than taking responsibility for their own actions. It’s a psychological chess game in which neither player ends up being a winner. Blame is about control, don’t you think? If the blamee is made to be responsible for wrongdoing, then the blamer feels in the clear. Who doesn’t like the clear?

Blamers will ask for the advice of others, and even take it, as it’s perhaps an unconscious way to avoid taking blame for their own failures-it’s more proverbial “food for fodder”.  It’s easier to blame someone else for what they didn’t, couldn’t , shouldn’t be or have done.  The reason we ask for advice is because we wish to hear it…we want another point of view, or we want information we don’t have. If we take this advice, we’re responsible for taking it and are appreciative for it. It’s our choice. In a normal situation if it doesn’t work out, we don’t come back afterwards and reprimand the individual for doling out what we believe is wrong information. We’re the ultimate deciders. That’s what grown ups do. We have some lapses, but generally that’s what we do. Let’s not forget, some of our best lessons are learned from our mistakes!

Blamers are prepared to fault anyone for their problems. It’s too anxiety producing to conclude that they were mistaken. It’s an ironic twist that they will blame themselves for having listened to the poor advice of others. They may say that in the future they won’t consider anyone else’s suggestions-they will follow their own instincts next time…but that actually doesn’t seem to happen.  It’s the blaming that helps give them a feeling of self-worth. If they were to have followed their own feelings, they might have made the same mistakes.Then who to blame?

Some ways to deal with a blamer’s blame is to point it out. Also, let them know that they had the choice when they took a course of action. If their answer is that they felt pushed, then tell them they had the choice not to be pushed…they can take control of their own lives. If the blamer blames you for your decision or input, then you know not to give them advice again. Blamers have perfected that “come into my parlor said the spider to the fly” attitude. You step into the parlor-who knows how you may come out. If a blamer pushes to ask for your advice (blamers like to do this), then it’s important to say something to the affect that in the past when you’ve been asked for advice it often has turned into blame and you don’t want to go there-you’d rather that not be a part of your relationship or friendship. You may want to also think: do you want this kind of a relationship? Do you want to always have to think about what you say because it could be used against you? What are your thoughts about the Blame Drain? Have you experienced it?