Okay folks what do you do when someone blames YOU for what went wrong? Last week I wrote a blog called Do We Love Blaming Others in which I discussed people (like the Blade Runner) who blame others for why they ‘messed up.’ But what I didn’t realise at the time was there is another side to this BLAME GAME issue.
I am grateful to the blogger Obscured Dreamer for alerting me to this ‘BEING BLAMED’ position and I promised her I would take a look at it. Thanks Obscured Dreamer!
When you are blamed for something, there are several positions you could look at it from:
- you are blamed because you DID do something wrong
- you are blamed because it was PERCEIVED you did something wrong
- you are blamed WRONGLY for something you did not do
Regardless of which category you might be in, it is an awful feeling when someone – be it your partner, friend, sibling or work colleague – blames YOU for what happened. They may not want to discuss it, they may want to treat you badly, abuse you or ignore you. Take your pick friends, it will be one of these things. And you will feel awful.
I should know this because I have been on the end of THE BLAME GAME on various occasions in my life. Sometimes, it worked out in the long run and other times friendships were lost because of it. It takes a big person to sort things out (and let go of the insult) when you are wrongfully blamed.
I found on one occasion, that a third-party blamed me for their relative (my friend) being upset and felt that if I just apologised, everything would be fine. However, it wasn’t quite that simple and I knew it. This left me very distraught and I wondered why … until I realised that I cared far too much what both parties thought of me. I was shocked at what I saw in myself and I was determined to lose my need for approval.
At that moment, I began to let go of it and work toward loving myself. I had done nothing wrong. I felt reckless and free! I will never forget the feeling that it gave me. It actually prompted me to write a letter of apology to my friend not because I had said anything wrong but because I realised that she was hurt by what I had said and PERCEIVED I had said something wrong.
Do you get the difference here? My friend felt hurt by what had happened and I needed to say “forgive me for hurting you.” Note that I did not say “forgive me for what I said” because my words were not offensive. The friend simply took it that way. But the thing was, because I had let go of needing approval, I was free to send a note of apology.
It worked at that time! ! However, in the long run it did not recover the friendship, but the third-party saw, over time, what her relative was doing and now understands totally and I received an apology. My friend is ill and needs help. Unfortunately I am unable to help her but at least I was freed by apologising. I had done everything on my part that I could do. Oh, it was such a hard and hurtful lesson to learn.
Another time, the friend involved yelled insults at me, accusing me of some thoughtlessness or other. As soon as my friend began expressing her hurt, I simply called her by name and said: “Oh ….. did I hurt you? Was I thoughtless?” She was so surprised at my reaction that her anger dissipated and we were able to discuss the situation more calmly.
However, some years later, a similar situation threatened to occur AGAIN but this time, she saw the truth of it and had an epiphany as to why she reacted so badly any time she was in a similar situation. It is not always so simple though folks, and I have certainly not always handled THE BLAME GAME this well but you could say I learned as I went along.
It is a shame that wisdom comes only after many bad experiences of getting it all wrong …
So how do we cope when a BLAMING situation arises? The first thing that we have to do is get some understanding of what happened. Was I in the wrong or the right? What can I do to make things better? If possible try to restore the relationship by talking with the person so you can sort it out.
If it is a husband or wife blaming each other, that is far harder to deal with but honesty helps and don’t be afraid to thrash it out!
And yes, this HAS happened to me … and still continues to happen on rare occasions. Many years ago, I was a pushover for being blamed for EVERYTHING folks! I would blame myself far too easily and I was always convinced that what the beloved husband said was TRUE!
Through a lot of work on loving myself through the years, I came to see the difference between HIS TRUTH and the REAL TRUTH and began to take responsibility accordingly. The balance is now just about right!! It is wonderful to be able to say “Sorry” when I feel I have done wrong, but it is equally wonderful to speak IMMEDIATELY (don’t wait) and in a loving manner “hey sweetie, don’t pin that on me” and elaborate until the matter is resolved.
So there you have it folks. Just a little of my own personal experience with BEING BLAMED and how I have learned to handle the situation. But know this: it hurts to be falsely accused. It can hurt like hell but there is an antidote I believe and it is about getting free of needing approval and praise in order to feel good about yourself. As we mature, we have to get past this. Also learn to apologise if necessary or eat humble pie if the relationship is very important to you.
This quote I found really gets to the heart of the matter for me:
“I do not know whether anyone has ever succeeded in not enjoying praise. And, if he/she enjoys it, they naturally wants to receive it. And if they want to receive it, they can’t help but be distraught at losing it.
Those who are in love with applause have their spirits starved not only when they are BLAMED off-hand, but even when they fail to be constantly praised.” ~St. John Chrysostom~
Let us learn to love ourselves. It is a journey that must be begun if we are to have peace in our lives. and not be overwhelmed by THE BLAME GAME.
What do YOU think causes you to feel so bad when you are BLAMED unjustly?