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Blame is Useless

https://www.raptitude.com/2009/11/blame-is-useless/

raptitude.com

Blame is Useless
'I hate the person who invented Mondays.' I saw that phrase on someone's Facebook status a week or two ago, and it made me smile. It's definitely an understandable sentiment. I remember miserable grade-school mornings, being dragged out of bed by my mom. All I could do was grumble bitterly, 'I hate the person who invented school!'

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Blaming Others

We have a tendency to find some part of our environment to scold — a person or thing — whenever we run into some kind of problem in our lives.

We search for a source to our suffering and we tend to settle on people as the source of the misery because we know that people are capable of being responsible for what they’ve done.

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Why We Blame

Blame is a defense mechanism. What we’re defending ourselves from is our own responsibility for dealing with the unpleasant experience we’ve been given.

The benefit in blame is that it allows us to avoid feeling like we’re failing ourselves, that we lack the strength and maturity to come to terms with the reality of unfairness or bad luck.

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The Blame Reflex

We can feel safe in pretending that our distress is not evidence of inadequacy in ourselves, but of one in someone else.

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Enforcing Responsibility

Assigning responsibility to others is sometimes possible, but blame itself doesn’t need to be a part of it:

  • When we blame, most often we are attempting to delegate responsibility to somebody who isn’t willing to accept it.
  • Pinpointing one single person as the ultimate cause of a particular problem is a little nearsighted. Causes and effects are never conveniently cut and dried.

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Blame is an Emotion

Blame is not responsibility. It is the absurd act rejecting the reality we’ve been given and charging an unwilling and perhaps unwitting party with improving it, even if that party is an inanimate object sometimes.

And blaming is not useful.

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Life’s Ultimate Skill

It is taking responsibility for what happens to us, regardless of who we might think caused it. 

When blame enters the picture, we start rejecting reality itself, which is the very definition of suffering.

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Moral Luck

We judge ourselves and others morally for things that didn't come out as intended, were unforeseen, or were influenced by factors beyond one's control. 

The judgment we should rece...

Feeling Morally Responsible

Some people do their parenting in difficult circumstances, and nothing that is done by them as parents is fully under their control.

The good and bad traits that parents possess can find their way in the child, with them having no say as to what the child will eventually become or do.

The Inner Paradox

Due to so many factors at play, parents are relying on good luck, pulling off a gamble on the child that is being raised. They don't have much leverage on the outcome, the net result of the actions of their offspring.

There is an inner paradox, a duality that exists in the minds of parents, which can make them accept and also reject the responsibility they have towards their kids' actions.

Habit-formation apps are aspirational tools

They're less about distilling your life into a series of data points and more about becoming your ideal self: If you use their app, you too can become a person who practices good habits. You can be...

The 4 tendencies when it comes to habit formation:

  • upholders: disciplined and respond to both internal and external expectations;
  • obligers :can’t keep commitments to themselves but respond to expectations from others; 
  • questioners: ask why and can keep a habit if they understand the logic reasoning; 
  • rebels: hate being told what to do by others, so it has to be something they want to do.
Depending on your habit-formation tendency, habit-tracking apps may or may not work for you. 

Habit apps use the psychology of habit formation

  • Many rely on a “streak” feature: they track how many consecutive days you’ve completed the habit;
  • Other apps offer accountability features to pressure you into completing your goal; 
  • Some apps turn habit formation into a game: The app rewards users who complete their habits with badges and other virtual incentives.

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Take total ownership of everything

Take personal responsibility for your successes, failures, your health, your happiness, etc.

Personal responsibility does not involve blaming yourself or anyone else. It's a...

Make the shift

... from a blame-based mindset to one of solutions and collaboration. 

When you're feeling stuck, unfulfilled or disconnected from who you are, it can be easier to blame outside circumstances and people.

Take a step back in every situation and ask yourself what you did to allow this to happen. Once you are aware of how you contributed to the situation, you can make the necessary changes in your life.

When it is not your fault

Regardless of what happens to you, be it a disease or a natural disaster, you are 100 percent responsible for how you choose to react.

The life-changing magic happens when you make the choice to respond positively. That is how you take personal responsibility when something completely out of your control makes an impact on your life.