Without Playing “The Blame Game”
Article by Terri Levine
Have you ever purchased a product or service and felt that the company or person made an error? You didn’t get the service you wanted? Something wasn’t quite right? Ever had this happen with a person, item, or relationship. feeling something went wrong and someone else is to blame? Possibly even feeling a lot of anger and emotional charge or reaction?
Welcome to being involved in the “blame campaign”!
Often we get into a situation where we find fault with something or someone and get trapped into blaming others. This sure uses up a great deal of our time and energy. When we allow ourselves to feel anger, feel unjust or wronged, we allow ourselves to let in stress and not have a sense of connection and well-being. Knowing we get to choose exactly how we want to feel and that we are fully responsible for the emotions we choose, why choose feelings that don’t allow in peace and contentment? Wouldn’t you prefer to feel happy and aligned? In addition, when we come from a place of feeling anger or wanting to get even, we may say or do things that we regret and that don’t match who we are.
Here are five tips you can use when you must complain about some— thing with-out falling into the blame-game trap.
1. Don’t fire off an immediate missive.
Allow yourself some cooling down space. Stop. Don’t make that call, fire off that email or write that letter or say or do another thing. It is time to be still and quiet and to breathe and get yourself centered. Come to what we call in coaching a charge neutral (non-reactive) place. Allow yourself to disconnect from the emotions of the experience. If you can calm yourself, you will be able to communicate your complaint in a calm manner and receive a calm and helpful response in return. (This will also generate incredible benefits for yourself too and help you avoid high blood pressure and ulcers!)
2. Consider what is right and what is already working in the situation.
People, companies, things aren’t there to ruin your life, make things hard or mess up on purpose. In life, there are mistakes, errors and things that aren’t quite right yet. It pays to remind ourselves occasionally that everyone is doing their best and trying to do things right. In the human experience mistakes will happen and they aren’t done intentionally. Don’t take it personally!
3. Simply stop finding fault and flinging blame.
Although others may be at fault you have created how you feel – no one but YOU has created how you feel. You choose your own reactions / responses to each and every situation. How do you choose to feel? I’d prefer to feel joyful and happy and to come from a place of love, understanding and forgiveness. That makes my life experience less stressful and angry.
4. Notice what you have learned from the entire experience and how this can serve you in the future.
There is always a life lesson in what we experience. By learning to look at the lesson and how you can grow and benefit you’ll begin to embark on a new campaign – a campaign of accepting the world and others as they are and getting that they are perfect how and where they are. Yes, perfect. Digest that. Really breathe that in. They perhaps didn’t do or say or act as you thought they should or could and that is perfect, too. I know this isn’t easy to hear, so just allow it to sit with you. Release your anger and look at what you learned and send that person, company, thing, lots of thanks and be grateful for something, anything you can find about them.
5. It takes an evolved person to apply these principles each day.
If you aren’t quite there yet, don’t beat yourself up. use love and forgiveness of YOU just as you will of those who cause you to experience upset. If you can’t reach this level at first, then pretend. Pretend this is how you feel and eventually it will become second nature and it will be how you feel and react in the future.
Life isn’t about anger and blame. Come on, have fun and lighten up!
Terri Levine, author of “Work Yourself Happy” and “Coaching for an Extraordinary Life” http://www.coachinginstruction.com
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