Be. U. TY Podcast is Here! The podcast that will help you unveil your authentic self so you can show the world who you are confidently. In today’s episode, our host Adozie Duffy talks about blame. Blame is such a powerful insidious concept. It is something that we all take on as a society, as if it is just a fact of life. But blame is just a completely made-up concept.
“ We use blame as a way to make sense of a world that we can’t control, and a world that often doesn’t go our way.”
“ Looking for someone to put the blame on ultimately doesn’t serve much of a purpose, because you can never really know for sure.”
“ It’s not only unhelpful, but it’s outright useless to spend time trying to find someone to blame, trying to push someone to take responsibility, or trying to make someone pay for what they did..”
“Stop blaming yourself and others over things that were never in your control in the first place.”
What to watch for:
1:50 – Blame is such a powerful insidious concept
4:20 – Blame is a completely made up concept
6:37 – Blame is just a way for people to take turns hurting each other.
8:37 – It’s outright useless to spend time trying to find someone to blame.
12:29 – Pointing a finger at ourselves or others after a mistake has happened doesn’t improve any part of the situation.
16:48 – Every scenario is of your own creation.
19:55 – Remind yourself, nothing has gone wrong, there is actually no one to blame.
Connect with Adozie
Blame! Oh my gosh. What a constant area of life I personally always find myself coming back to, & having to redirecting my mind on.
Blame is such a powerful & insidious concept. It is something we all take on as a society as if it is just a fact of life, We believe that if we experience pain or suffering, it is the direct cause of someone or something. & that person or that thing should be held accountable for the feelings we are experiencing. & the way we choose to hold them accountable is through blame.
As humans, we want short and convenient answers. We want to be able to solve for who’s responsibility something actually is, in seconds. This way it is out of our hands & into that of someone else’s. Not only do we value convenience. But also, we have this overarching belief that things in the world always have to add up. That something has to be perfectly square & even for it to be true, & that’s the only way we get to stop fixating on it & move on.
What a cute & sweet concept that is for us to want to believe in.
We use blame as a way to make sense of a world that we can’t control, and often doesn’t go our way. We use blame as a way to put responsibility on someone or something so we can say that it or they or even we caused the problem, so therefore it, or they, or we should do something to either come up with a solution to solve it, or, that it, or they or we have to offer up something so that both parties have suffered a loss. We do this so we can feel a sense that things on the planet make sense. It allows us to wrap our heads around the fact that we are just animals on this planet that have no real control over what happens any given day. It gives us a sense of comfort to believe that if people take responsibility for the consequences of their actions, then we can avoid anything going wrong in the future. When we think it’s possible for things to be made squared off, or even, It makes us feel that the eb & flow of daily life on this planet actually serves a purpose. To believe that there is a way that things “should’ be, gives us a small sliver of security over our lives that can often feel out of our hands.
But what if we just accepted the reality that that was just a completely made-up concept? That there is no such thing as “even”. & That it is actually impossible for us to know which part of any circumstance is actually responsible for the “consequences”. Therefore looking for someone to put the blame on, ultimately doesn’t serve much of a purpose, because you can never truly know for sure.
Okay follow me here.
For example, can you really pick a part a relationship to the point that you can say for a fact that one person is responsible for it ending? If there are two people constantly interacting with each other, then to pull them apart & try to look at them as two completely separate entities would be impossible. It would just be a bunch of chain reactions. On person is angry over the dishes, so the other reacts by not taking care of their duties, which then leads the first person to be even more upset & withhold affection, which leads the other person to avoid going to social events together which leads the other person to talk bad about them behind their back, which leads the other person to not come home for 2 days which leads the other person, & the possibilities go on & on. In all of this, can you really say that the only catalyst to this is the dishes not being done? Couldn’t you equally say the catalyst is the first person’s reaction to this dishes not being done? There is no clear cause because all of these actions & reactions are so intertwined. On top of that, it’s all so much more complex then this because each person already has their own thoughts & feelings that they were having right before this took place, so who knows where the actual beginning of this whole thing is? We have it in our head that blame is a useful tool to hold onto, but from my experience, in practice, it’s just a way for people to take turns hurting each other after they themselves have been hurt. It’s a way to feed the flames of our self-righteousness & lends us to having big emotions and impulsive reactions we feel entitled because something is “their fault”.
So you could spend a lot of time & energy saying who is to blame for an end of a relationship, but is that really as useful as we make it out to be? Is it actually helpful to us to know who caused what, & who’s responsible for which part? In the end, if the relationship is over, why does it matter? We think that if we can pinpoint the part, the problem, we are suddenly going to have the ability to make sure things never go wrong again. Either by picking a partner who doesn’t do X, or making sure we never again do thing Y. But when we are using blame to inform us of what to do with ourselves, we are using a very weak tool. We are using this subjective concept to try to help us avoid pain, or stress in the future, without really looking at the whole picture. Instead, if we want real change, we should be looking inwards at ourselves to get curious about a more effective way to avoid a so-called unwanted consequence in the future.
So, what if we stopped seeing everything that didn’t go our way as a problem? What if we stopped saying that something was a mistake, or believing that something has gone wrong, when things don’t go “how we planned”?
If we allow ourselves to look at our lives in this way, then would there ever be a reason for blame? No. Because we would recognize that we don’t really have a choice in the matter of something that has already happened.
It’s not only unhelpful, but it’s out right useless to spend time trying to find someone to blame. Trying to push someone to take responsibility, or trying to make someone “pay for what they did”.
& you might be like uh, excuse me, no. When people fuck up, they deserve to take responsibility. It’s on them to right a wrong. If something is their fault, then they should solve it.
But here me out for a second, you know why else this would be a good way to think? Because then you would stop doing it to yourself as well. Anytime you baked a cake that was inedible, you wouldn’t spend the whole rest of the day berating yourself about how you should have known better, and how it was a waste of ingredients and how you shouldn’t have tried in the first place. Because you wouldn’t be blaming yourself for trying. You would just allow yourself & your reality to coexist & you would try again another time & maybe this time with a different recipe. No drama. Because if there is no problem, nothing has gone wrong, recipes don’t always work out.
That’s not your fault, that’s not the blogger who’s recipe you followed’s fault. That’s just what happens sometimes. That’s just how life works.
I know you don’t like the way this sounds. I know right now you’re thinking – well if I messed up the ingredients then it IS my fault. Or if the blogger wrote a bogus recipe then it IS their fault.
But I want you to just stop for one second, & ask yourself, who does this help? What does putting the blame on anyone do in this situation?
In theory, we think if we put the blame on someone else it will automatically make us feel better. It will take the weight off of our shoulders, and therefore let us off the hook for this unwanted emotion & we can move on with our lives, because we are free of guilt in this instance. We are innocent of any wrong doing.
But let’s walk through the reality of a situation like this. Do you just blame the blogger & move on? Or do you blame the blogger, get huffy, bitch about it, agonize over the wasted ingredients, start questioning why you followed the recipe in the first place, kick yourself for thinking you could pull something off in this amount of time. The list goes on & on. But if you noticed, even in the scenario where you are blaming the blogger, you are also still blaming yourself as well. Because you listened to the blogger in the first place.
All in all, it’s just a mess. & you still don’t have an edible cake for the party in an hour.
What was the point of all the drama? I’ll tell you the point. It was solely to make everyone feel bad. That was the only purpose it served. To make you, & the blogger, & possibly anyone near you at the time, feel bad. That’s all it did. That’s all it accomplished, and that’s all blame ever really does. Make us feel bad about things that we can literally no longer control.
So why do we hold on to this notion so strongly? We think that if we aren’t pointing the finger, then people won’t be willing to take responsibility. But that’s not true. Because if you messed up the cake, and there was no drama about it, you would just go out and buy new ingredients & try again. Sounds pretty responsible to me. Or go to the store & buy one off the shelf & actually be proud of yourself for even trying to make one from scratch when there are so many delicious & affordable cakes you can purchase instead.
People don’t need to be berated in order to be responsible for something. People don’t need to be bashed on, shamed, & ridiculed when an outcome of their action goes differently than anticipated. People, humans, we have a way of trying to do the best we can in any given situation. Sometimes our best isn’t it. So what? Pointing a finger at ourselves or at others after a mistake has happened, doesn’t improve any part of the situation. It doesn’t make it go away. & it doesn’t prevent it from happening again. We have this misconception that the only way to get people to handle a situation that went array is by force. But that’s just so not true. Force actually makes people even less likely to handle a situation adeptly.
The part of any situation, or event when things go in a direction you weren’t intending, does not have to be a problem. Especially after the fact! If something has happened, and you wish it hadn’t, the only one that is suffering is you. The only one that is miserable is you. Because you’re trying to start a fight with the reality of what is, & it’s a losing game, period. There is nothing you can do. I’m not saying give in, or give up, or don’t try in the first place. I’m saying you never had any control, so stop blaming yourself & others over things that were never in your control in the first place.
Sure of course, we have some choice in the world. I’m not telling you to believe you don’t. But I’m telling you to look for the things that are actually helpful for you, & let those be the things you lean on in times of frustration, or stress*.
I’m saying that regardless of if we have control or not around the circumstances that pop up in our life, we do have control of how we react to them. & if you remember, how we react to them is really the only thing we have in life. Our thoughts, our emotions, it’s the only thing that truly shapes our human experience. So why are you spending so much of that time and energy tracking down the next person you can come at with a pick ax?
It’s actually insane. & a lot of the time it is you that you come for. But even when it’s someone else. Even when you blame your boyfriend, or your best friend. Does it feel good? Maybe initially, but after the first bit of self-righteousness subsides, you just end up feeling hateful. & the interesting & amazing thing about the feeling of hatefulness, is that it is not the other person who feels it, it is you. When you have hateful, blamey thoughts about someone you love, they do no magically feel the fire of your hate while they’re sitting peacefully across town at work. It’s you. You feel it when you’re driving, and when you’re cooking breakfast & when you’re going through the motions of your day. You’re rehashing what “should” have happened, or how someone “should” have been, or how they “should’ have known better. & you’re doing a lot of judging, and blaming, and hating, and the only person’s whose day you’re ruining is your own.
This applies when you are blaming other people, but it also applies when you are blaming yourself. At the center of all of this emotional drama is you & your “Shoulds”. Which only leaves you feeling angry & disempowered. & thinking this way gives you no clarity on how to get through this scenario. How can you do anything, or change anything in a positive light from this state of being? Which is ultimately what you want right? You’re over here talking about all the should & should’ves because you know better right? Because you have a better way of doing it- right?
Isn’t that why you’re upset? Because it was done “wrong” which is bad, and now you’re yelling, and screaming and complaining because you know how to do it “better” – so what is better? Easier?, more positive?, more convenient? What is better?
In your mind, Better is the feeling that you believe you should be having instead of the one you are having right now.
You believe that if someone didn’t come in & ruin Circumstance A, then you wouldn’t be feeling spun out. You would be feeling the other feelings you would have had if everything had gone your way. But because circumstance A got ruined that’s why you’re unhappy.
But that’s not true.
Because this whole scenario is of your own creation. If you didn’t believe there was anyone to blame (including yourself) in the first place, then if something went differently then you had planned, then that’s all that would have happened. Something went differently, so you went with it. & maybe you’re not having the same exact emotion you would have had if Circumstance A had gone off without a hitch, but you could still be having a multitude of other pleasant, and lovely emotions with Circumstance B instead.
But, no, you missed that train & ran off with the blame game. So now you’re having emotions that revolve around resisting Circumstance B because “it’s not supposed to be this way”. So instead of just having the emotions that come up naturally for you within the new circumstance, you went and added a whole layer of drama. The layer you know so well. You know exactly why you’re getting when you open this up. Resentment, spite, self-righteousness, the whole lot. What a choice! You did that! You could have had a multitude of other decent, lovely, calm feelings & instead you decided to pull the blame card.
Why do you do it? Why do we all do it? Because we are committed to the belief that we have control over our circumstances, and that when the circumstances are not what we wanted we go berserk & we feel this is a perfectly reasonable reaction. But who told us that? When did we become so entitled to think that everything in the world was just supposed to bend at our command?
& you know what’s funny about this reaction, the reason we think that it makes sense for us to behave this way, is because most of the time things aren’t going array. In our usual day to day,things are going just fine. But you don’t see us sending our thanks and passing on our love letters to the planet when the sun comes up & we wake up in the morning. No, that’s just a given, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Look at that entitlement! Look at us go. How easy it is for us to ignore the things that are going right in our lives!
But then your alarm doesn’t go off in time, or you spill coffee all over your outfit & now you’ve gone and decided to throw the whole day away. You’ve literally let this one event change your mood & started an argument with yourself & reality over it.
You’re trying to find someone or something to blame. When there is no one! There never was. Because nothing has gone wrong. It has just gone. It has just happened. The same way it’s always been—things just happening. But you- you’re the one who decided that this happening is suddenly a bad happening.
But the universe isn’t plotting against you, it didn’t do this to you- It’s all the same to it. Just a rising & setting sun everyday – what you make it all mean is on you.
So why do you insist on suffering? What if every time things went differently then you assumed they would you reminded yourself that nothing has gone wrong? There is actually no one to blame. This is just how it went today. No big deal. How much stress would you cut out of your life? How much time would you get back?
If you stopped ruminating on the things that are OVER. & I mean over as in happened 10 years ago, just as much as I mean over as what happened 5 minutes ago. What if you just let yourself & other people off the hook for things we couldn’t control? How much less judging would you do? How much more space for understanding & curiosity would you have?
Think about the amount of heartache, drama & exhaustion we cause ourselves by pinpointing where things went wrong & trying to solve back into the past. We have no idea what could have of would have happened had circumstances been slightly different. & there’s no way to even tell for sure. It’s not like there’s like a Planet Head Office where we can email our theory to find out it’s valid. It’s just us in our brain coming up with new & creative ways to torture ourselves in the present day about the past all as a means to keep us safe from harm. Meanwhile, in this day & age, in 2021, there is no real harm besides the hurt we are constantly experiencing, from us to us.
So when you find yourself getting frustrated, and making a big stink about something whether it’s big or small, try to start first by telling yourself that nothing has gone wrong. That this is just life. & that it’s okay. Then tell yourself that there is no one to blame, even when your brain inevitably tries to pick someone. Just talk it down a bit & see what happens.
See how much you let go of tension, and just allow you & those around you to just exist as you are. See what happens when you can stop trying to fight reality, & just try to go with the flow of it. It will not only make you feel better, but it will actually make things easier for you in general.
The universe & reality is a really powerful thing, & it’s so far outside of you & your control & honestly You should see that as a relief. Because it means it’s none of your business. It means it’s not your responsibility, & it never was. So you can just let it be, all of it. & You can stop using all of your energy & brainpower trying to control yourself & others to fit some grand plan. The universe has already got that covered, seriously. & instead, you can focus on where things are going right in your life & see how grateful you can become about those aspects. Give yourself the gift to see what is feels like to be focus on the good, for a change. & let go of all that stuff that’s not even yours to be messing with.
Okay girlies, that’s everything I have today, so I want you to think a little bit about this concept & I will talk to you next week.