For 36 years, I blamed someone or something else for most of my problems. For a brief moment in time, when things went wrong, it felt good to pass the buck. It was a relief to blame others and not take responsibility for my problems. Here’s what it got me…
Nothing. That’s it.
It got me nothing. It led me nowhere.
Why We Play the Blame Game
But it was so easy. And that is why we play the blame game. It feels easier in the moment.
Why blame myself for my difficulty making friends growing up? It was so much easier to blame my mom because we moved 13 times in 14 years.
Why blame my anger problems on my own unwillingness to change? It felt better to just blame it on my dad who taught me how to explode in anger.
Why blame my unhealthy habits, lack of exercise, and weight gain on poor old me? Instead, I blamed stress. I blamed my old boss. I blamed anyone else I could.
Instead of putting responsibility where it belongs, I played the victim. The sympathetic figure that was just trying to “overcome the odds.” In a warped way, blaming others was heroic.
Wow, that was an interesting revelation.
So why do we play the blame game? Because it’s easy. Because it feels good. Because it numbs the pain that we inflict on ourselves.
It’s like a drug that we take to wash away the guilt, the pressure, and the burden of taking responsibility for our own lives. And like any drug, the good feeling you get from blaming is only temporary, soon to be replaced by even worse guilt, pressure, and pain.
And like any drug, the blame drug is a liar. It promises one thing, but the reality is far worse.
Blame is like a drug. It feels good for a moment, but the consequences are dangerous.
Blame Makes us Helpless
The more I blamed my parents, blamed the government, blamed my boss, blamed God, blamed whoever and whatever, the more helpless I became to correct the problems in my own life. I gave other people and circumstances control over my life. That is a dangerous place to be.
The more control I gave others, the less responsibility I took myself…and a vicious cycle began.
Blame gives others control. The more control you give others, the less responsibility you take for yourself.
The Cycle of Blame
The hidden danger of playing the blame game is that the more you do it, the easier it becomes, until one day you wake up and realize that it has become your default. When problems arise, you no longer look internally for the solution, but you look externally for someone to blame.
It becomes a habit loop. A problem leads to blame, which leads to another problem, which leads to more blame, and so on and so forth. And like any habit, cycle, or addiction, it is difficult to break.
That’s why only recently I found myself in a dark place, realizing that I’d given up control of my life. I’d blamed other people and circumstances for so long, that I no longer took responsibility for my own actions or problems. I felt powerless and weak. I felt disgusted and knew that something had to change.
Why You Are Where You Are in Life
Here’s what I realized that day:
The reality is that I am where I am because of the choices I’ve made. That is it.
I had trouble making friends because I didn’t risk rejection. I chose not to risk. Not because we moved so often.
I stayed angry because I refused to get the counseling I needed. Not because of what my dad taught me.
I was unhealthy because I ate too much junk food and didn’t make the time to exercise.
No one was stopping me from making friends. No one was stopping me from getting counseling. No one was making me eat unhealthy foods or not exercise. These were all choices.
The same is true for you.
You are where you are in life because of the choices you’ve made.
You will never become all that you are meant to be if you are blaming others for your problems. It’s wasted energy.
You will never reach your full potential, or even a glimpse of it, until you take full responsibility for your life. Every minute of it.
You will never become all that you are meant to be if you are blaming others for your problems.
Getting to the Next Level Means Taking Control of Your Life
If you are going to get to the next level, you have to decide right now that it’s YOU and only you who controls your choices. You control your thoughts. You control your words. You control your feelings. You control your actions.
You are the one who took the job.
You are the one who ate the 3rd doughnut.
You are the one who skipped the workout.
You are the one who drank the fourth glass of wine.
You are the one who bought the house you couldn’t afford.
You are the one who listened to your friends when you knew you shouldn’t.
You are the one who chose your friends.
You are the one who wrote the angry email.
You are the one who didn’t ask for a raise.
You are where you are today because of one person:
Will you take full, 100% responsibility for yourself and your actions?
So you might be asking at this point: How do I stop playing the blame game? Well, considering that I am an all-star at playing that game, I’ll give you the formula I am using to work on it myself. Click here to download my free guide to stopping the blame game. You’ll learn to take responsibility for your life and get control back.
5 thoughts on “The Hidden Danger of Playing the Blame Game”
I can so totally relate to this! It took working a 12 step program for me to break that cycle. And a lot of hard words from good friends. 🙂
Congrats on breaking the cycle @DragonLady! I think everyone does this to some extent…
Thanks Mark! 🙂
You have a powerful story of redemption! Love it.
Thanks Matt! 🙂