How To Stop Blaming Others: Start Making Positive Changes In Your Life

Medically reviewed by Laura Angers Maddox
Updated February 20, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Blame is generally a natural human tendency that may arise when you feel you have no control over a situation. When faced with a challenge or a setback, it can be easy to look for someone or something to blame for our problems. However, this behavior can be harmful and may prevent us from taking control of our lives and finding solutions to our problems. Once you learn to shift from blaming external forces to taking control of your life, you can focus on finding solutions and making progress. A licensed therapist can help you do this; you may connect with a professional online or in your local area.

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Take control of your life and reduce blaming behaviors

Understanding the impacts of blame

Blame can have several negative impacts on our lives, including:

  • Reduced sense of personal responsibility: When you blame others, you may give up your power and responsibility for your actions and decisions. This may lead to a lack of motivation and accountability and could make it challenging to make positive changes in your life.
  • Increased stress and anxiety: Blaming others can also increase your stress levels, as you may feel frustrated, angry, and powerless. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, which may further impact your mental and emotional well-being.
  • Strained relationships: Blaming others can also damage your relationships, as it may create conflict and tension between individuals. Doing this may lead to a breakdown in communication and make it difficult to resolve problems and find solutions.

Shifting your perspective

You might start by changing your perspective to shift away from blaming external forces. Instead of focusing on what others are doing wrong, try to focus on what you could do to improve the situation.

Here are some tips that may help you change your perspective.

  • Practice gratitude: Gratitude can be a powerful tool to help you shift your focus away from blame and toward the positive aspects of your life. You might try to take time each day to reflect on what you are grateful for and focus on these things instead of what could be causing you stress or frustration.
  • Take personal responsibility: It can be helpful to acknowledge your role in the situation and take responsibility for your actions and decisions. This can empower you to take control of the situation and find solutions that work for you.
  • Focus on solutions: Instead of blaming others, you might try to focus on finding solutions to your problems. Ask yourself, "What could I do to improve this situation?" and work on finding answers to this question.
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Developing effective communication skills

Another key component of shifting away from blame can be to develop effective communication skills. Good communication may help you resolve conflicts, negotiate solutions, and build stronger relationships.

Here are some tips for developing effective communication skills:

  • Listen actively: When communicating with others, try to listen actively to what they are saying. You might pay attention to their words and body language and respond in a way that shows you understand their perspective.
  • Speak clearly: When expressing your thoughts and feelings, it’s generally best to speak clearly and concisely. You should usually try to avoid using blaming language and focus on articulating your thoughts and feelings in a respectful and non-judgmental way.
  • Avoid assumptions: When communicating with others, try to avoid assumptions about their thoughts, feelings, or intentions. Instead, it can be best to ask questions and clarify misunderstandings to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Embracing self-reflection and self-awareness

Self-reflection and self-awareness are often crucial components in reducing blaming behaviors and taking control of your life. Through self-reflection, you may better understand your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and identify patterns or triggers that could lead to blaming others. Additionally, self-reflection can help you identify the root cause of your blaming behaviors and develop new, healthier coping strategies.

Similarly, self-awareness is generally defined as the ability to understand and observe your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors without judgment. This awareness can allow you to recognize your biases and tendencies and take a step back from your reactions to choose more productive responses. By increasing your self-awareness, you can become more conscious of your blaming behavior and take steps to shift your perspective and find solutions to your problems.

There may be several ways to try and increase self-reflection and self-awareness, including:

  • Keeping a journal: Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you identify patterns and triggers that may lead to blaming others.
  • Practicing mindfulness: Mindfulness can involve paying attention to the present moment and observing your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment, which can help you become more aware of your thoughts and reactions and develop healthier coping strategies.
  • Engaging in self-care: Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally can help you increase your self-awareness and reduce blaming behaviors.
  • Seeking feedback from others: Asking friends, family, or a therapist for feedback may help you understand how others perceive you and identify areas for improvement.

By engaging in self-reflection and self-awareness, you can gain a greater understanding of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and take steps to reduce blaming and increase personal empowerment.

Seeking support

Shifting away from blame can be challenging, but you don't have to figure everything out on your own. Seeking support from friends, family, or a licensed therapist can provide you with the guidance and support you need to make positive changes in your life.

Here are some tips for seeking support:

  • Talk to someone you trust: Talking to someone you trust, such as a friend or family member, can be a helpful way to process your thoughts and feelings. They may give you a different perspective and offer support as you work through your challenges.
  • Seek professional help: If you're struggling with persistent negative thought patterns or behaviors, consider seeking help from a professional therapist. A therapist can provide tailored support and strategies to help you overcome challenges and make positive changes in your life.
  • Join a support group: Joining a support group may also be a helpful way to connect with others who are facing similar challenges. Support groups should provide you with a safe and supportive environment to discuss your experiences and find solutions to your problems.

Benefits of online therapy 

One of the biggest benefits of online therapy for those who struggle with blaming can be the opportunity to work with a licensed professional to identify and change negative thought patterns. A therapist can help individuals understand the root causes of their blaming behavior and provide them with coping strategies and tools to shift their perspective and take control of their lives. Online therapy can also be more convenient than in-person therapy, as it can empower individuals to get help from home at a time that fits their schedule.

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Take control of your life and reduce blaming behaviors

Effectiveness of online therapy

The effectiveness of therapy in addressing blaming behavior, according to the Journal of Family Psychology, utilizing a tailored therapeutic approach, resulted in a decrease in blaming statements among the participants. This suggests that a consistent therapeutic approach can benefit individuals who struggle with blaming behaviors. Additionally, this study reports that the efficacy of online and in-person therapy are generally the same, meaning that both options can be valid for those interested in reaching out for professional help.

Takeaway

Blaming external forces can be a natural response to challenges and setbacks, but it may also prevent you from taking control of your life and finding solutions to your problems. By shifting your perspective, developing effective communication skills, and seeking support (such as online therapy), you can break the cycle of blame and take control of your life.

Release the weight of guilt

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
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