By Sue Siebens
Who is to blame for the disappointments and missteps we experience? Is it us? Or is it THEM?!
Blame shifting, or blaming others for our mistakes, is a defense mechanism or self-protection. As a coping strategy, we sometimes project our failures onto others by using them as scapegoats.
Avoiding difficult and challenging emotions such as shame, guilt, hurt, disappointment, sadness and feelings of inadequacy or powerlessness, by blaming is a quick escape. It can seem natural to look outward for a cause rather than turning inwards on ourselves. It’s often done unconsciously.
· I was late because of the traffic.
· They never call me, so we don’t talk anymore.
· I failed the test because the teacher was awful.
· My partner doesn’t love me enough, so I feel bad about myself.
· That cop had it out for me. I was going to get the tail light fixed soon.
· That driver is insane. Don‘t they know the rest of us can occupy the road too?
· The government is not helping its citizens.
· My job is tedious because management doesn’t care.
It’s making someone else responsible for choices and decisions that are ours to make. To be clear, this is not to suggest that the other party is blameless. But we have a part in every situation we attend. Perhaps we have a blind spot about our ability to change the situation. And to be a little brutal, there is a familiarity and laziness in complaining --not taking responsibility for our side of the problem and growing a little as a result.
Get out of the blaming rut
Blame shifting is sparked by someone doing something to us. We ignore all responsibility for asserting our needs, saying no or going elsewhere for what we want or need.  Emotions are triggering this behavior, and we are self-soothing by pushing it off on others.
Triggered emotions are prompted by current environmental cues, but the emotion being played out is from the past. Emotions felt in this provoked way keep us stuck in the same behavior pattern. We don’t see that we could react differently. And so we are bound to repeat the blaming repeatedly in countless situations.
Part of the problem is that our feelings feel justified--They did wrong, and I’m in the right.
And the triggered emotions that lead to blaming can be subtle. They may not feel like typical emotions of anger or frustration. It can sometimes feel like we are just along for the right—it’s out of our hands. We didn’t initiate it, and it is not our fault.
When we experience blaming behavior, the underlying emotion originates in the past. Unprocessed emotions from high-stress events can linger in the body and be awakened by similar situations as we move forward. Emotions, and behaviors triggered by emotions, that last longer that a few seconds are triggered and have a unprocessed component that can be remedied.
Emotional Resolution, EmRes, is an emerging technique that addresses the underlying causes of triggered emotions through vicerosomatic quieting. In the private, calm and safe space of an EmRes session, the emotion is processed through interoception, feeling body sensations.
This way, the lingering emotion is resolved permanently and will not return. The blaming behavior is broken completely, and the relationship with the other party shifts.
We find that the “bully-victim relationship” is undone. With the trigger gone, new ideas and behaviors for handling similar situation spring up unbidden. They can act their way, but we have access to more choices.
Are you ready to change your blame game?
1. 7 Consequences of Blaming Others for How We Manage Anger, Bernard Golden PhD, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/overcoming-destructive-anger/201811/7-consequences-blaming-others-how-we-manage-anger
2. 15 types of distorted thinking, 12/15: Blaming, Peter Ledden, https://abatecounselling.ie/2018/11/23/blaming/ Image by Afif Ramdhasuma from Pixabay
Sue Siebens uses Emotional Resolution, EmRes, to work at a fundamental level, where the roots of the illness, fear, and pain can be accessed and resolved. Sue teaches and writes to raise awareness about this new technology so that as many people as possible can find relief and peace in their life. Sue is based in Dallas, Tx, USA.