Why do people prefer to blame over change? Blame takes less effort and doesn’t require acknowledgement of responsibility. Many people go to great lengths to justify, defend, deny, and blame others as a means of avoiding wrongdoing. Avoiding responsibility is rampant in our society, with wrong-doers seeking to blame others for their actions. You don’t have to search very hard to find headlines in the newspaper about a high-profile person who is blaming someone else for his/her mistakes. It doesn’t help that people who have clearly violated the law, ethics, moral standards, boundaries, and relationships are walking away with few to no consequences and little remorse. Some families reinforce the avoidance of responsibility by not having appropriate rules, consequences, or repercussions for inappropriate behaviors. The mindset that our society has adopted is “anything goes if it feels good.” We live in a stress-filled world that has limited accountability, overwhelming accessibility to negative influences, and irrepressible acceptability of lower standards. All of us need to take a good look at this problem that exists in our families, marriages, and communities. We as a society need to hold people accountable and not reward inappropriate behaviors by eliminating consequences. Many of the couples I work with would rather blame than change themselves and believe that changing to a new partner will fix the problem. My job is to help couples figure out how they contribute to the problems in the relationship and learn from their mistakes. Next week I will cover specific ways to develop emotional maturity and personal responsibility.
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