• blame smallI’m not sure why, but over the last several days, I have been hyper-sensitive to how much and how often we blame others for our circumstances…and how much we criticize others in the process!!

    And while I sat in this sort of funk, Chase Mielke’s blog post came across my inbox this morning. I think it’s spot on.

    Chase, a school teacher, says “our society fails to take ownership for personal circumstances.”

    And I completely agree. We all do it!

    Students. Parents. Co-workers. Spouses. Leaders.

    Over that last five days, I’ve heard myself and others say things like:

    We can’t because she….

    It’s not my fault. He….

    I try, but he….

    They didn’t listen to me, so I….

    No one cares so now we just…

    They don’t participate because she….

    As I sat and listened, I realized that blaming has become totally acceptable and even a “go to” tactic when dealing with challenging situations. So that got me thinking.

    At the risk of blaming “blame” on survival, it seems that blaming has become a learned pattern of behavior that we use when we feel threatened. It’s become a way that we protect ourselves.

    Check out these examples.


    Parent: Jimmy, you used to love Math. I noticed this year your Math grade is really dropping. What’s happening?

    Jimmy: My teacher sucks. Everyone in my class thinks so.


     Co-worker 1:  Hey how come you didn’t speak up at our meeting?

    Co-worker 2: Nothing ever changes anyway, so why bother.


    Friend 1: Were you able to schedule your appointment before we leave for our trip next week?

    Friend 2: Would you believe I called today and they can’t even squeeze me in? They are so rude.


    If blaming is a form of protection, what exactly are we protecting?? Maybe it’s:

    Our egos.
    Our reputation.
    Our emotions.
    Our images.
    Our abilities.

     

    So what’s the answer?

    I think it begins with learning to:

    1. Catch yourself in the act of blaming.

    2. Pay attention to what is going on internally when you are about to blame someone or something. What thoughts are running through your head? What are you feeling? How are those thoughts and feelings impacting your need to blame versus accept responsibility for your choice of action?

    3. Choose to accept responsibility. Rarely are you ever forced to do something. You have a choice. And let’s face it. We don’t always make the best choices. But rather than blame your choice on someone else, choose to accept responsibility for the choices you are making., and learn from it. You might be surprised with the outcome!

    4. Pay attention to what you are modeling to others. If you model blaming, the people around you will think that is acceptable. If you model admitting  when you are wrong, when you don’t prioritize well, when you misjudge, you will create an environment that says “it’s okay to make a mistake.”

    Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

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    ABOUT KELLI SCHULTE, CPLC, ACC, CEQA

    I have the best job on the planet! As an Emotional Intelligence Coach, I will help you learn how to navigate the stressors of life so that you can reach your goals, achieve balance, and enjoy all that life has to offer. I love working with leaders, parents, students, and young adults.

    I am a certified coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF), a Certified EQ Assessor with Six Seconds, and a Panelist with the Six Seconds EQ Community Forum.

    With over 25 years of experience as a Performance Consultant, my focus is on helping individuals and corporations achieve their personal and leadership goals. My combined experience working as a consultant with Fortune 100 organizations, and working with students and adults in church ministry gives me a unique coaching platform.