Blame it on Rio

March 9, 2016 Self Esteem


Excuses for Blame

When I was actively working as a counsellor, I held to a policy of No Blame, No Shame & No Sympathy. This will be the first of three posts covering these issues.


Blame it on Rio was the name of a movie that has been done a couple of times dealing with how people’s behaviour is very much different while on vacation. Away from their normal routines and responsibilities, they blame their situation and locale for cutting loose and misbehaving.

• Temptations and unexpected situations come into our lives from time to time. Do you maintain your ethics and accept responsibility for your actions in all circumstances or find something or someone to blame?

• When caught doing things you should not do, is your first reaction to claim innocence while directing the blame elsewhere?

• When caught red-handed, do you blame the influence of other people or the situation?

For many years, I chose to weasel my way out of predicaments and even found some twisted satisfaction in getting those I did not like in trouble. I prided myself in not getting caught. Prideful alright, but not happy. My actions put me on guard for retaliations from those who held resentments against me.

There are those, as well, who find a need to blame someone or something for everything that goes wrong in their lives. Unfounded suspicions creep in as they blame the weather on the Russians, higher taxes on the immigrants who are all lazy welfare bums, etc. I even heard one man blame Walmart’s frequent washroom breakdowns on the Jews. Pointing fingers at others lets them off the hook for any responsibility and neatly gives answers to the troublesome questions of life.

Putting others down is a classic attempt by those of low self-esteem to make themselves feel superior. Blaming and making excuses are a means of not accepting responsibility for one’s actions. This is how victims react, not those who feel comfortable in life.

Before You Lay Blame

When next you are about to lay blame, stop and take a look at your part in what has upset you. Perhaps there is blame enough to go around. Even if the other person is 100% at fault, what is the purpose of laying blame. It is not just a matter of who did what. The problem goes much deeper. It has to do with your inner pain.

I mentioned how prideful I was. I was thin-skinned and suspicious. What would people think if they knew what I had done? I had been put down (mostly by myself) for far too long. Blaming seemed to be the logical path to keep skipping out of responsibility.

Negative thinking always makes life much harder. Positive solutions need to be adopted. Instead of worrying about what others will think of you after finding out what you have done, face the music and own up to it. That opens the door for sincere apologies. However upsetting that might be for some, your integrity will ensure that whatever bad feelings may ensue will be much less than those who distrust and resent you.

We habitually erect a barrier called blame that keeps us from communicating genuinely with others, and we fortify it with our concepts of who’s right and who’s wrong. We do that with the people who are closest to us and we do it with political systems, with all kinds of things that we don’t like about our associates or our society.

It is a very common, ancient, well-perfected device for trying to feel better. Blame others….Blaming is a way to protect your heart, trying to protect what is soft and open and tender in yourself. Rather than own that pain, we scramble to find some comfortable ground.”
― Pema Chödrö

First posted on November 23, 2014

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