A thing happened this morning albeit just a wee thing in the grand scheme of things but a thing nevertheless and it got me thinking. Well to be honest it got me raging for a quick minute and the irony was literally 5 mins before the said thing I was thinking about how us humans like to blame at the drop of a hat, for big stuff of course but also the little stuff too and what a waste of energy this is. So to give a bit of context this morning my gorgeous (and also hormonal) 12year old baked a cake for a school shared lunch celebration, as per that age group it was deemed a dam good idea to up spec the level of chocolate in this cake, to take it up a few notches. I agreed wholeheartedly as it would use up the unused stuff in the pantry and sugar overload was happening at school (teehee). When the cake needed a lot longer to cook (context here I know stuff all about baking) I exclaimed oooh I wonder if the extra chocolate has caused this, to which said gorgeous 12 year old responded with "oh so its my fault is it, so I am to blame, I AM ALWAYS TO BLAME" - (yes shouty capitals are required here).
So yes before y'all roll your eyes and say she's blinking 12 she's randomly raging about almost everything..... yes I know that and I do try very very hard to keep that in perspective but it created an inner wonder (tinted with slight rage) in me about people in general and how the freakin heck did we get to this point in society where everything, literally everything has to get blamed on someone. And we are at this point and have been for quite sometime, small example: in my previous job I used to teach some safety stuff and the law clearly had me to take the fall should any student do anything unsafe, that law changed twice over those years with different levels of blame to be apportioned to me but the basic scenario was I got thrown in front of the firing squad before the actual perpetrator did.
I do get the concept of responsibility and of expertise responsibility and of looking for solutions and the err of the way when something does go wrong, I'm not like ah she'll be right - move on, move on people. And I am aware that when change in society is created often the pendulum swings way to far before a reasonable place is reached, so this blog is not about that level of the blame game and its definitely not gonna touch on some of the crazy stuff happening out there in the law suit world. Instead I want to focus on how it is creating a norm in our daily lives of looking for blame in things that we never used to or shouldn't do, and how we do this sub consciously half the time as our human self is programmed to it more than ever.
Its like one of those insipid things that crept in almost unawares, partner says something, you (in a split of a split second) think seriously what does he mean by that, or that was his fault, or is he blaming me......
Kids in school be like throwing blame around more than candy in a lolly scramble, it's got to be deflected to the nearest person before the brain even thinks about the context. Yeah thats also part of being a kid but it is happening all the time now, even with the kids whose personality wouldn't really gravitate to that, its like a survival instinct on steroids. We carry it through to adulthood, it's very hard to take any constructive criticism, its very hard to deliver any constructive criticism. Neighbours fight, friends fall out, relationships crumble and half the time it's because defence mode kicks in, blame must be given or deflected all before theres a chance to look at the context. For me I know this was occurring around me a lot when I was growing up, it was at the insipid level mostly, not a lot of real big fall outs just constant grumbling defensive energy when anyone felt a bit pointed at. This was at home, at school, at any jobs I've done, pretty much all around me for as long as I can remember.
Looking at context is everything, we only see through our lenses based on our experiences, no matter how fabulous you are you won't actually know exactly what the other person really means or why they are that way so pause for 10 minutes or 24 hours, what other information is there in order to see this in a bigger picture, maybe understanding another persons perspective if able, working out if its even worth the negative energy required to defend and deflect. Some stuff is bigger and may cut deeper but even that stuff has context and capability for some level of misunderstanding so is the reaction really worth the trigger. I guess for me the frustrating bit is to observe how many little things are reacted to, how deflection from blame has reached some pretty innocent levels of human interaction, its become a default setting so happens without awareness half the time and the super sucky part is once a person has reacted in a defensive or deflective way it creates a cascade of similar responses which becomes a bit harder to reverse out of the deeper it gets.
Back then to the concept of what can we control and fundamentally it's how we respond, how we choose to view our interactions, our people and our world. Create some awareness of how you respond, is it defensive or deflective and how often is this the way you respond. If you feel that kind of response bubbling up, pause for a bit, take a couple of breaths, then ask could this just be a comment that isn't loaded with insinuation or some information thats being shared or even someone just being themselves and the way they are without any reflection on you. If you want to take it a bit deeper ask what is this triggering in me, what is the pattern that has me respond like this and then undo that old way of being ( I can help with this part). Is it worth a response from you that makes you feel a bit rubbish and will create a rubbish kind of energy going forward. I think by default we are sweating the small stuff and it only takes a bit of reflection and some new choices to eliminate this pattern from our repertoire.