For some reason, I have a lot of “blamers” in my life. And blaming others is something I do expect from my kids. Kids are wired to not accept blame; accepting responsibility requires maturity, it is a skill we need to teach them as parents. Unfortunately, many adults seem to have not quite learned that lesson yet. They still exhibit this behavior.
My mother always blamed everything that happened to her to the fact her mother died when she was very young. There is no doubt in my mind that this very traumatic incident definitely had tremendous impact over her life. It molded how she creates and reacts to relationships.
When you are eleven, fifteen or even in your early twenties, it’s hard to realize that you DO have a choice on how you respond to the things that happen to you. You can DECIDE to move on. You can DECIDE not to let them define you. Passed a certain age, you can’t persist in blaming people or mishaps for where you end up. By then, you should have had what alcoholics refer to as “a moment of clarity”. You should have changed the channel.
When push comes to shove, if you miss a deadline, if you are late, if you can’t pay your bills, you are responsible. If you can’t fit in your dress, can’t keep a job or can’t commit to a relationship, you are to blame. You took a string of decisions, bad decisions, which contributed to your failure and you can’t hide behind lame excuses. Or you simply decided that something else was more important than what you had committed to in the first place. Telling people that you failed because of some uncontrollable circumstances affecting your life will make you look weak and deceitful. If you screw up, own up!
Sure, BIG stuff can happen. An accident, a death, a breakup… Those are major things, in which case failing would be expected, but being responsible also means you do all you can to minimize how your crisis impacts others.
As for all the “blamers” in my life… Don’t’ worry, I take full responsibility for letting them continue using that behavior. I choose not to set them straight or kick them out of my world. I’m the one to blame for what they do to me. So are you.
“Parents can only give good advice or put them [the children] on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.”
― Anne Frank