Archive for April 6th, 2011

How to Stop the Blame Game

Yesterday we talked about becoming aware of our stories, so we can let go of the damaging tales we tell, quiet down, and make better choices. There’s one fundamental action that can help us do that: stop blaming—others, circumstances, and even yourself. Blaming only escalates and dramatizes any situation.

Instead, the moment you recognize yourself getting upset, see if you can shift into “neutral.” That doesn’t mean denying your feelings, it means observing them. It doesn’t mean disregarding what someone else is doing, it means seeing it without reacting. It doesn’t mean inaction, it means pausing to discern productive action.

Here are some steps that can help us to access neutral and initiate resolution:

1. Take a break from the situation. Call time-out and step away for a moment. You could say, “I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. Do you mind if I take a break for a few minutes? I’ll be right back.”

2. Walk, stretch, shake out your body, and take several deep breaths.

3. Imagine that you are looking down on the situation from above it. Witness yourself and the others involved from a higher perspective.

4. Re-enter the situation by asking to hear the other person’s point of view. You could say, “Can we start again? Would you begin by telling me your side?”

5. Listen with full attention on what the other person is saying, eye contact, and unconditional positive regard—without countering with your opinion. Repeat back to them what you heard them say to make sure you got it right. For instance, “So, are you saying ________.”

6. State your point of view taking into account what the other person has said.

With the above steps in mind, as you go through the day or take in the news, notice how much “blaming” tends to rule interactions in our world. Each of us can make a difference in that.

I would love to hear what works for you in stopping the blame game.


Kevin Schoeninger

P.S. Spiritual Growth Monthly is an online community in which we support each other to live from a spiritual perspective

Comments (2)