Blame wreaks havoc in any relationship. Aside from killing passion, connection, and openness, it also does something else that's really painful and that I wouldn't wish on anyone. Blaming robs you of the chance to see something about yourself and take responsibility for it, and therefore grow. When I blame you, I short circuit my own curiosity about myself and how I might have contributed to the experience I'm holding you responsible for. When I make you wrong or make it your fault, that's the end of the story. Why wonder how I may have contributed? I already know the reason this is happening: Because you're selfish, spaced out, inconsiderate, not masculine enough, not smart enough, too confused, or whatever other judgement is floating around inside me. Because it's your fault. And it's got nothing to do with me.
Blame creeps into our nooks and crannies. "He should have responded to me this way when I told him I was upset." "She's always making it about her." "He shuts down every time I want to talk about the relationship."
If I'm convinced about how wrong he is in shutting down, there's no room for me to explore that perhaps there's something in my tone, my timing, or my way of approaching him that's contributing to his shut down. If I get curious about what's got him shutting down, I might see a blindspot of mine and realize that my anxiety or my push is having an impact on him. And that I can work with. And then the dynamic can shift. Holding the other person as wrong (blaming), puts it all on them to change or be different. And you sacrifice your power and loose out on a chance to see yourself more fully. To me, seeing a blindspot is gold. It's the coveted breakthrough in the direction of my own evolution.
So let blame be an invitation. The next time you're blaming, judging, or making him wrong in your head (or even out loud), bring it back to you. Put the focus on you. Not looking for how to blame you, but how to include you. Lovingly. Start simply. When you notice the blame, pay attention to how you're feeling. What emotions are present? Stay with yourself. As your attention shifts back to him, keep bringing it back to you.
Knowing what's happening with you will help you bring your vulnerability to the connection, so you can drop below the blame and into a more true place. If in paying attention to yourself, you find that you feel sad, scared, angry, or insecure, you can share that, rather than what the other person is doing wrong. Because sharing your vulnerability supports connection, while blaming supports disconnection.
Make sense? Leave me a comment and share something specific you blame someone for. What are you feeling when you do that?
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