Can you imagine how different the world would be if when we encountered a situation we were unhappy with that we first thought about our own part? Not to place blame but to gain perspective. Somewhere along the line we have confused accountability with blame and they are two very different things. Accountability is owning up to our part blame is creating shame. Empowerment stems from accountability and being a victim stems from shame.
Assessing our accountability starts with exploring a situation with a bird’s eye view and seeing ourself from the other person’s perspective so that we can actively look at our part in the situation. With the exception of some extreme situations we play a part. We are participating in the event either passively by offering silence when we want to speak up or actively by losing our shit and exploding and pretty much everything in between.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who is blaming you for something and you think to yourself (or say out loud), “Wow, this wasn’t all me.” It doesn’t feel good to have someone place all the blame on you without any trace of seeing his or her part. When we are figure pointing, make no mistake, that is blame. When we say, “Hey, I know this part was my fault I was taking my bad day out on you and I am sorry.” It’s SO much easier for us to say, “Yeah, and I was being insensitive and I am sorry.” It’s a much better conversation and we can move onto a solution and a better future. Blame doesn’t work that way. Blame keeps people exactly where they are, which is often a shitty mess.
We have a history of blame. It’s the human condition and it’s ruining us. “Look at what you did to me” not only places blame on the other person it makes you a victim, and being a victim sucks.
We could do this with co-workers, clients, boyfriends and mothers. We could even do this with our own thoughts and beliefs. Where do they come from? How do they serve me? What’s my part in expressing them and the repercussion?
When we see two people arguing we are really good at saying, “Oh, he shouldn’t have said that” or “She could have been nicer about that.” It then stands to reason that we are making the same errors and contributing to the to problem at hand.
Next time you find yourself finding fault in another person, take a moment and think, “What’s my part in all this?”