One of the things I really dislike is Finger pointing, whether it's someone actually pointing their finger, or whether they are using the words to point the finger of blame at me. I know it has a really negative effect on me. So often this happens in relationships and is likely to start arguments.
Playing the Blame Game gets us nowhere.
Just like most people, there are things in my life that I wish hadn’t happened, or that I had done differently. There are countless incidents I could recount, and with each one of them the blame I felt left me feeling shamed. That shame left me nowhere to go.
Shame is an awful feeling, leaving nowhere to go, and we become stuck. We feel we are a bad person, through and through, and that everything we do and everything that goes wrong is our fault. I see this happening over and over again with the couples I work with. They are so focused on what their partner said or did, there is no room to consider alternatives.
When we are stuck in the blame cycle, it becomes a finger-pointing exercise.
This then leads to more feelings of shame. We feel so bad that we can’t face past mistakes or own up to the part we played. The sense of shame is too great. So we not only lie to others, but to ourselves as well.
I encourage couples to stop playing the blame game, and instead focus on WHAT is wrong, rather than WHO. Whilst at the same time, encouraging them to take responsibility for their part in what has happened, and often continues to happen.
When we take responsibility, we also become accountable. This means we accept that we all make mistakes, that we can learn from them and we are able to do something different.
There can be so many reasons that people behave in certain ways, often patterns created in childhood as a way of surviving in the world. But they can be destructive when taken into adulthood and relationships. Having an understanding of those behaviours can empower each of us as well as strengthen the relationship.
A behaviour that may seem irrational and controlling could be rooted in a devasting event in the past that has left either you or your partner fearful of it happening again.
Most parents will recognise this example. If you cut yourself badly with a sharp knife as a child, you will be worried that your child may do that. You want to protect them from hurting themselves. So may stop them from handling knives, but without explaining what happened to you.
You just react.
Your child will not understand and get frustrated.
This simple example gets played out over and over, in other situations. Being cheated on by a previous partner. Or being abandoned by a parent, either because they died, or through parents splitting up. Whilst a parent hasn't deliberately abandoned you, the effect is the same in all cases. Leaving you finding it hard to commit or trust in other relationships.
So, when your partner reacts in what may seem an irrational way, or come to that if you don't quite understand why you have reacted in that way. instead of getting angry, and dismissive, try being curious and compassionate, instead of blaming. By doing that instead, it can lead to a better understanding of yourself and your partner, allowing for your partner to view things from another perspective.
It can be uncomfortable, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, but it will deepen your relationship.
PODCAST NEWS Love ~ Listen ~Talk ~Repeat with Wendy Capewell
#113 - Lillian Victoria -Her journey of Self Discovery and the Value of Positive Affirmations
Lillian Victoria had a traumatic childhood, grew up with a single parent, and experienced childhood sexual abuse. She entered the entertainment business but felt something was missing - like her work defined her. She had also become unhappy in her marriage and she decided that something had to change. At that point, she started looking at herself, and so began her journey of self-discovery, and instead of focussing on the negatives, she realised the power of gratitude.