We’ve all done it. We’ve all made sure that someone else knows that a problem was most definitely caused by them.
As Brené Brown puts it: Blame is simply the discharging of discomfort and pain.
Blame may relieve some emotional discomfort short term but it is not productive in the long-term or in any other way. It leads to disconnection and what we long for, what we need for well-being is deep healthy connection.
So what are the options?
Let’s talk about a great foundation for dealing with frustrations that arise in your relationship. If they aren’t there now, wait for them. As humans we will always have our own unique way of seeing things and inevitably cause each other pain.
Today, in the construction going on at my property, concrete is going to be poured for the foundation to our dance hall.
A lot of work has gone before making sure that everything is ready for today. Boundaries were put in place. Reinforcing steel was placed in a grid. Pipes for refreshing water to enter and waste to leave are all in place. There are floor drains in place. Many very intentional features.
There are so many parallels to what we need for building a great relationship.
Blame does not make use of the best waste disposal options for emotion. There is a crude analogy here but I’ll let you make that leap on your own.
Blame simply transfers pain to someone else. It doesn’t bring real resolution or solution.
Blame looks backwards.
I’m writing in Texas and I’m referencing the building of a dance hall so, let’s call the better way the Texas Two-Step!
1) We are each responsible for our own emotional well-being. First thing is to discharge some of the pain but in a healthy way. Journal, talk it through with someone who cares, go in the woods and yell or have a therapeutic cry.
2) Have a conversation where the focus is on moving forward. What can we do differently next time? What would be a better option?
Blame is problem-focused.
Blame doesn’t look for a solution. In the moment it is being used, we see it as the solution. It isn’t.
This is not to say that we don’t need to share with our partner how their actions hurt us. How much better though if that conversation focuses on a way forward at the same time.
E.g. “When you commented on our kitchen always being a mess because I’m lazy that really hurt. It felt very unfair. Instead of us talking about who’s fault it is and why, let’s look at what we could be doing differently. We both love a clean kitchen.”
Imagine if this approach was built in to your relationship! What a great foundation it would make for staying connected! Think of how much resiliency it would give to your relationship!
Where are you cheating your relationship by blaming instead of creating a solution together?
Until next time,
Marilyn Orr, The Luv Life Coach
Marilyn Orr, MA, CEC, PCC is a relationship coach with Luv Life Coaching, passionate about equipping couples with the tools for real and lasting intimacy.
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