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The Blame Game

14-04-09 Newsletter The_Blame_Game

We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘The Blame Game.’ It is very easy for most of us to play. We have been programmed to play it since childhood. “He did it!” “She did it first!” “It’s your fault!” Finger-pointing is so simple when we’ve been disappointed. If a situation has not gone our way, and we find ourselves feeling ‘wronged,’ we can usually find someone else to blame. However, blaming is generally not helpful, and may even be perceived as abusive. In fact, it is an attitude that will easily embitter any relationship. This is because any relief the Blamer may experience from taking a blaming position will usually be more than matched by the bitterness, anger and guilt that the ‘Blame-ee’ will feel.

Fortunately, there are alternative ways to communicate disappointment without accusations or ‘dumping,’ even when we have been legitimately wronged. If someone has caused or contributed to a difficult situation, the transgression must be discussed. Instead of accusing or blaming, try resolving. In other words, focus on a future preventative solution. “I understand that you did not purposely (drop the ball, blow the account, insult the client), so, if we find ourselves in this situation again, I’d like you to (fill in the blank).” If a colleague has messed up, frame your response in terms of, “should this happen again, here is an alternative way to handle it.”

It is okay if the other person feels badly because of what he or she did or did not do, but it is not okay to hurt or humiliate them with your words or attitude. If you use this new approach, your relationship will likely not deteriorate. The other person will probably breathe a sigh of relief, and thank you (silently) for not chewing him or her out, and most people will appreciate getting a second chance. Try it. Let me know how it goes. Let’s keep this conversation alive. We can all be more collaborative.

Your friend,

Ronald Melin Supancic
Certified Family Law Specialist
The Law Collaborative, APC
T: (888) 852-9961  F(888) 852-9962 


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