ERP 067: Why blaming is a problem in relationship and how to avoid it

By Posted in - Podcast June 15th, 2016 0 Comments

Why do we blame the people we love?

Most of the time, we are not trying to be mean or hurtful when we blame our partners. Underneath the blame are usually feelings of pain, discomfort, or insecurity, and we don’t know how to deal with it.

Here are two reasons why we blame in relationship:

1. It is self-protection. We want to protect our image, and we try to control how people view us. “It’s not my fault. It’s your fault.” We want to look good, appear smart, and competent (or whatever attribute we value…kind, loving, thoughtful, etc.).

2. It is deflecting or discharging negative feelings. We don’t know how to face our discomfort and painful feelings, so we put it off on others. When something bad happens, we want to assign blame.

Negative effects of blame:

  • Separates couples and leads to disconnection.
  • Lowers relationship satisfaction.
  • Reduces intimacy.
  • Lowers self-esteem.
  • Increases the victim role and powerlessness.
  • Increases resentment and bitterness.

How to avoid blaming in relationship:

1. Let go of being the victim:

Being in the victim role can be a difficult habit to break. It can almost feel as compelling as an addiction. It is so hard to stop the pattern.

Initially, blame seems like a good strategy as it alleviates bad feelings. “If it is not my fault, then I am off the hook.”  However, we give away our power in the situation. If we are not responsible, we do not have the ability to create positive change.

“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.” Robert Anthony

2. Take healthy responsibility

One of the quickest ways to get out of blame is to take 100% responsibility for your experience. This is not taking responsibility for the relationship or for your partner. By taking 100% responsibility for your experience, you create the space for your partner take 100% responsibility for their experience.

3. Face the discomfort:

Taking responsibility for your experience can feel like a vulnerable process. Because you are getting real and honest. You are getting in touch with what is most true.

You may feel hurt or sad. Acknowledging your feelings, fears, and worries can be uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and scary. Here are some examples:

  • “I feel embarrassed.”
  • “I am scared I don’t matter.”
  • “I feel hurt. I am worried you don’t care about me.”
  • “I feel bad. I don’t feel good enough.”
  • “I am afraid of getting it wrong.”
  • “I feel so much pain when I think about letting you down.”

4. Focus on the positive:

By focusing on your partner’s shortcomings, you may be overlooking or missing what they DO bring to you and the relationship.

Speaking negatively about your partner pushes them away, where as speaking positively about your partner draws them closers.

Be sure to listen to the podcast episode to hear more examples, tips, and stories.



Click on this link to access the transcript for this episode: ERP 067: Why Blaming Is A Problem In Relationship And How To Avoid It [TRANSCRIPT]

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Shifting Criticism For Connected Communication

Shifting Criticism For Connected Communication.

Stop the criticism loop, learn new ways to communicate
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Dr. Jessica Higgins ~ Relationship and Transformational Coaching