Updated: Aug 2, 2019
Breaking the Victim-Blame Cycle Part 1
Blame puts the brakes on personal growth and happiness. It focuses outward and ignores the inward self. I see an epidemic of blame by people from all walks of life; politicians, parents, children, and married couples. We do it so much we don’t even know we are doing it. Every time we jump on the blame wagon we cease to understand that the key solutions we seek for real change begin with ourselves. Can you imagine walking into a dust storm and blaming the wind for your itchy eyes? It would be like trying to convince the wind to stop blowing to stop the itching and yet I'm the one choosing to go for a walk. Railing at the wind won't change anything. This is what we do with some of the people in our lives. Someone smacks their gum, constantly spills their drink, talks back, doesn’t listen to us when we talk to them. The list is endless. Some of us have been trying to convince our spouse or others for years to show more respect, be more responsible or nicer. This can go on for years with no end in sight. Stop for a minute and think about who it is in your life that you have been asking to change their behavior because it is hurting you in some way. You are angry with them because they haven’t responded to your blaming and complaining. In reality, you have decided that nothing will change unless they change. That makes you a powerless victim until they change. Think about it. Only you can change you.
Here’s my suggestion for trying something different. The next time you find yourself in a blame pattern, stop blaming and ask God a simple question; What am I missing here? What can I do about this when this happens? It might take a while for the answer, but it shifts me into a more powerful way of thinking, and it takes me out of the victim role and I become stronger. Who we are will have more influence on how others treat us than anything else we might try to get them to do. Others change when they are in the presence of strength. The goal here is to stop blaming, which is a position of weakness and become strong by living out of our core values and principles.
Bonus tip: Sometimes the best consequence for when others are treating us badly, including our children, is that they don’t get to be around us. Could it be simpler than that? No. But if you are addicted to the person who's treating you badly it complicates things. More on people addiction next time.
May all of your adventures be meaningful,
Doug Tawlks, M.A. Director the LifeBridge Ministries.