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Blaming is Not a Constructive Coping Technique

When we are in conflict, it is common for many of us to blame the other person for what happened in the dynamic. It may well be that the other person has done or said something to offend us, and we have done nothing we can think of to warrant his or her words or action. Or, we may have done something to which he or she is reacting and we choose a defensive or blaming response to counteract his or her accusations. Or, some combination of these and other circumstances may have occurred that result in blame as one of the coping mechanisms for ourselves or the other person.

At these times when we choose to blame, we actually have a moment of choice about how to proceed. Do we react or respond or leave it alone? Do we blame? Do we ask to have a conversation? Here are some more questions to ask yourself based on a conflict situation you are having or had where blaming is happening or has happened between you and the other person:

  • For what are you blaming the other person?
  • What makes his or her actions (words) offensive for you?
  • What choices do/did you have rather than blaming him or her (if you are)?
  • What response or responses that you could choose may serve you best of these various choices? Why that choice/those choices?
  • If you let go of blame, what may you replace it with that will be more constructive?
  • How may you have contributed to the dissension for which he or she is blaming you?
  • If you think you did not contribute, to what may the other person be reacting to about you, the issues and/or the situation?
  • How does blame help you as a coping mechanism?
  • What makes it challenging for you (if it does) to change any tendency to blame?

Any other comments about this topic and/or what other ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may be helpful here?

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