Tips: The Blame Game: Tips for Avoiding Blame in Relationships
Dr. Dale V. Atkins, August 2008
The Blame Game, a dangerous game to play in a relationship. Nobody wins and everyone loses.
BLAME: the definition is to find fault with or to hold responsible. There is always a "subtext" of a desire to punish the person who is the object of the blame. If you are in a relationship with someone, your role is not to punish but to work out a solution. If you are only interested in blaming you are sending out a very clear message that you have little or no interest in solving the conflict between you and that you are totally blameless in the conflict.
When you blame your partner for something you take the focus off of the issue and put it onto the person, thereby pulling you and your partner further apart. One of you then becomes defensive, and the real issue gets lost in the tussle.
Following are two tips to help you put the focus on solutions:
• Commit to Figuring Out What is Really Going On - The real question you want to pay attention to is not who did what but what are we going to do about the issue. If you are into blaming someone you are surely going to prolong the conflict and move further away from a chance to resolve the problem.
• Ask Rather Than Blame - Your partner will be more likely to want to help solve the conflict if he or she is not feeling pummeled by blame and shamed into feeling awful and diminished. Examine one issue at a time and find a solution that works for each of you while avoiding blaming the other.
Remember to focus on finding a solution that helps you both take responsibility for SOME of what goes on between you and moving toward the conflict. In doing this, you and your partner can increase the likelihood of creating a way of working through conflict.