Why taking the blame won't make you less of a person

Why taking the blame wont make you less of a person
Taking the blame for anything you're responsible for solidifies relationships, improves your credibility, and makes you and others happy.

Dubai - Blaming others is a poor strategy. Not simply because everyone can see through it



By Shilpa Bhasin Mehra
 Viewpoint

Published: Mon 16 Sep 2019, 2:53 PM

Last updated: Tue 17 Sep 2019, 4:57 PM

We start blaming others at an early age, usually to escape parental anger and punishment, but also to preserve our own self-esteem and self-image. Then the behaviour sticks, often well into our adulthood. I am sure you see people in organisations point fingers all the time.
Blaming others is a poor strategy. Not simply because everyone can see through it. Or because it's dishonest. Or because it destroys relationships. Or even because, while trying to preserve our self-esteem, it actually weakens it. There's a more essential reason why blame is a bad idea: Blame prevents learning.
It's not natural to take the blame. It feels better to blame the other guy... like when we are late - to blame it on the traffic, nanny, the kids. Whenever we mess something up, we try to come clean and say it's not our fault.
When you take the blame, you have a chance to improve. Only when you admit it was your fault and take the full blame you can really improve. You can find the reason of your fault and search for an improvement in the future. Like when we fail to deliver a task on time, next time when I promise a new deadline to my customers, I'll be more cautious.
I know it's really hard to deliver some tasks on time and we failed at it in the past - but we're getting better and, sincerely, I believe we'll get to the point where we'll be really predictable with all this. Anyway, we're getting better at this because we learned to take the blame.
When you want to be taken seriously and be perceived as a person with integrity, take the blame. Admit to your mistake. You're not perfect and nobody is. At least you know that. Taking the blame doesn't mean accepting suffering. You mustn't take the blame to punish yourself and suffer. That's not the point. It's all about learning from the mistakes. You cannot learn from your mistakes if you don't admit in front of yourself that these are really your mistakes. Take the blame, take ownership of your mistakes and learn how to avoid them in the future and become a better person, team and/or organisation.
There are certain types of individuals who live by this rule. They are used to always getting their way, getting attention, and most of all, blaming anyone but themselves for the mishaps in their lives. Pay attention to the small details when someone tries to lay blame on you. If you've ever met the eternal "victim", then you know how difficult getting through to them can be. While they seem harmless at first, their words and actions can be toxic. The victim never lets go of past hurts or offenses, always blaming others for their inability to move forward in life.
The "victim" will blame even the most obvious of their own flaws on anyone they can reach or talk to. If they have an angry outburst, it is because of the abuse they suffered in childhood. If they steal, it's because of their misfortune in the past that has lead them to a life of crime, etcetera, etcetera. They will relay sob stories and if you have ever failed them, they will remind you, for many years to come, of your failure. The blame game comes naturally to their mentality.
People with low self-esteem would seem like the last ones who you'd think would shift blame. However, sometimes the self-esteem falls so low that, in defense, these individuals may desperately try the blame game in order to improve their self-image.
Basically, it's time to take responsibility for your own actions. You are an adult and fully capable of making mistakes and owning up to those mistakes. Instead of spending so much energy looking for a way to deny your issues, use that same energy to become better at your downfalls. Take the blame for anything you're responsible for. This solution transforms all the negative consequences of blaming others into positive ones. It solidifies relationships, improves your credibility, makes you and others happy, reinforces transparency, improves self-esteem, increases learning and solves problems.
The writer is founder of LegalConnect. Views expressed are her own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.


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