Are you quick to blame others? Are the usual suspects—those close at hand—often the recipients of your frustration?
Sometimes accidents are just accidents. Right? That’s what I’ve always believed. If there’s one thing I hate (okay there’s no real ‘if’ there) – it’s when people feel the need to blame someone – anyone – when things go wrong. It always has to be someone’s fault.
Without question, this is a symptom of our litigious society. It’s also, I think, a result of our generation bringing up the next generation with way too much ‘It wasn’t your fault, darling’. Because sometimes – sometimes it really IS darling’s fault, and darling should own it and learn from it so darling doesn’t find herself doing the same thing again.
But then last night happened
Last night, after drinking my bodyweight in margaritas, I stayed in the kitchen to clean up the Mexican feast we’d just hosted while the guests made their way home and the rest of the family went to bed. Job done, I turned out the kitchen light and walked downstairs.
As I moved through the living room, I banged my knee against the coffee table that the kids had moved so they could play Wii. It hit so hard I could hear the crunch. And my first reaction, my very first thought process as I writhed in agony, was: he’s to blame for this! He being my husband who had innocently gone off to bed not even knowing I’d decided to make a drunken post-midnight attack on the dishes.
Well, it was his fault, obviously, because he turned the light out in the living room. He had to know that when I eventually turned out the light in the kitchen, it would be pitch black, and I would of course run into the coffee table, which he neglected, despite all this light/dark knowledge he possessed, to put back in its usual position. Bastard! Absolute inconsiderate bastard!
So I hobbled into the bedroom, mightily unimpressed that all my wailing had not even managed to wake him from his intact-knee slumber. I turned on the light and started wailing some more. And then I saw blood. Now he was really in trouble. It hurt like hell and there was blood. He was going to have to pay. He was certainly going to have to wake up!
‘What? What’s happened?’ he mumbled.
‘Look at me! You made me break my knee!’
‘I made you? What did I do?’
Brave question, buddy! I told him everything he did that led to my injured state. In my tirade I forgot to mention that he also made the margaritas, so he was to blame because of that too. Admittedly I was in a serious amount of pain. It hurt so much I cried. Real tears. And in my agony I went looking for my defendant.
So I’m thinking the tendency to blame others might be relative to the grief you’ve been caused. Last night, when my knee was pissing out blood and I thought it was broken, it was all my husband’s fault. Now I’ve woken up and it’s just a little sore and bruised … now I’m prepared to wear it myself.
A blame-allocation threshold
I now know I have a blame-allocation threshold. Maybe we all do …
What about you? Do you ever blame your partner for things that weren’t their fault?
Do you think people – in general – need to take more responsibility for their own actions?