This article was based on the RSA video, “Brené Brown on Blame”:
|Brené Brown on Blame|
It’s All Your Fault
Brené Brown shares a story about dropping a cup of coffee one morning and immediately blaming her husband. He wasn’t home at the time, but in an effort to hold someone responsible for the incident, she blamed him because he came home late, keeping her up, which lead to her having a second cup of coffee. Had he been on time she wouldn’t have been drinking that second cup which meant there wouldn’t be a broken mug and coffee all over the floor.
For most of us when something goes wrong, the first thing we want to know is whose fault it is. Having someone to blame gives us some semblance of control. It would be better for something to be our own fault than to have no one to blame.
Blame is Toxic
Research shows that blame is the discharging of discomfort and pain as well as a way to release anger. It has an inverse relationship with accountability which is a vulnerable process. People who blame seldom have the tenacity and grit to hold others accountable because their energy is spent raging and blaming. As you are trying to make the connections to place blame, you miss out on the real story and the opportunity to experience empathy, making the blame game toxic to healthy relationships.