As people, we’re good at lots of things. We’re innovative, so we invent new technology; we’re creative, so we express ourselves artistically; we’re sporty, so we strive to win; we’re intelligent, so we come up with new ideas.
But there are other things we’re also good at, and maybe we shouldn’t be. As human beings, we’re really good at blaming. We blame everyone and everything. We blame others for our failures, for our shortcomings, for our disappointments, for our bad decisions. We blame the weather, we blame our neighbours, we blame the teachers; we blame the doctors. You name it, we blame it. Blame! Blame!
Why do we do this? One of the reasons is because we’re very reluctant to look at ourselves. For some reason, we don’t like looking at our own flaws and weaknesses, and taking responsibility for them. It’s just too uncomfortable, and it involves personal change.
But alarmingly, and more often than not, other people can perceive what we can’t see about ourselves! Let’s say that again, put another way. We know we can see other people’s faults, because they seem so obvious to us. But what we don’t realise is that our faults, the ones we don’t see, are just as obvious to them! As people, we’re probably more “blind” than “seeing” where self-insight’s concerned.
What we’re talking about here, are our blind spots.
What are blind spots? At the simplest level, blind spots are what we don’t want to acknowledge about ourselves, or what we simply don’t see about ourselves. They come in a multitude of complex forms from defensive behaviour to denial. But if we look at blind spots in more obvious ways like tendencies, they can be the tendency to complain, the tendency to play the victim, the tendency to make judgements, the tendency to get bitter, or the tendency to blame!
So now we’ve come full circle. Blaming! Do you know, quite frankly, I think blaming is a waste of time, because let’s face it, we’re all to blame. So, if we’re all to blame, why blame at all? Far better to work on ourselves!
So how do we do this? How do we work on ourselves, if we can’t “see” ourselves? Here’s a suggestion: If we can’t “see” ourselves, we can ask someone for help, someone we trust, someone we can be genuine with, someone who loves us, and who will give us honest feedback. They may have wanted us to see this for a long time!
Why would we do this, you ask? It’s hardly a feel-good experience, and why would we want to know?
Well, I guess ‘growing up’ isn’t always a feel-good experience. But, bottom line, we’ve got nothing to lose. Because here’s the truth; if we don’t start working on ourselves while we’re younger, our not-so-good tendencies will only get worse as we get older. Our faults don’t miraculously go away. Instead, they get entrenched. They stand out even more. Cringe! Do we want to be nice to be around, when we’re older? Or do we want other people to leave us to it?
So here are the facts. In order to stop blaming, we have to be prepared to take responsibility for ourselves. This involves an honest look at who we are. A good clean-up yields benefit. Benefit to us, benefit to others. We’ll be better people in the end, and there’ll be, (great news), fewer blamers in the world!