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How Blame Affects Relationships

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How Blame Affects Relationships

How Blame Affects Relationships
How Blame Affects Relationships
When a problem gets out of hand, we often hear people blaming others or even blaming themselves. It’s usually driven by fear/anger or some heightened negative emotion.
How Blame Affects Relationships

When I was small I had no brothers or sisters and when I spilled my drink or something was broken etc I would tell my mother “Teddy did it”. I would say this to side step any trouble and exclude myself from any responsibility. Of course, we laughed about it when I was grown up and I vaguely remember feeling guilty that poor Teddy had to take it on the chin when it was me all along.

I hadn’t been taught to do that and I think it was some kind of self protection instinct  Having 4 children of my own I noticed the same thing happening and it often created big arguments between them. Blame was affecting their relationships like I’m sure it does in most families with growing kids. Luckily they have all grown up as good friends now, but it was a bumpy ride at times!

Unfortunately, we also seem to live in a blame culture – you only have to watch the debates in parliament to see that! The narrative simply goes… it’s not me, it’s you!

This type of behaviour doesn’t address the problem or find a solution. Blaming in relationships is a distraction from any part we might have played in contributing to the problem. It deletes the opportunity to learn and move forward in a constructive respectful way.

So, what if we did it differently?

How Blame Affects Relationships

I have worked with many people struggling with their relationships. It’s their spouse, their child, their mother-in-law, their father, their boss, their neighbour and even their best mate. In order to unpick what’s going on I invite them to identify a typical scenario. We pretend we are in the back row of a theatre, a safe distance away and together we watch the play unfold. We notice who says what to who, we note the body language displayed by each individual, we identify the feelings of all parties involved and watch how the situation builds and concludes. More often than not the client can identify the part they play in the relationship and they can see how this triggers the other person.

It’s so obvious when they step out of it and take an objective view. It creates an opportunity for them to do things differently, make different choices, take responsibility for the part they play and change their approach. In so doing they get a different result, a different reaction and a solution can usually be found.

If you are finding a situation difficult and you notice blame is affecting your relationships, then try this one out when you have a quiet moment to yourself. Make sure you are right in the back seat of the pretend theatre, put the blame finger away and you will find some positive leverage so you can move forward.

I’m happy to talk to anyone who would like some help on this topic so please feel free to book a consultation using the link below, it’s free! … or alternatively find a good NLP Practitioner to guide you through the process.

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