It is far easier to put the blame on someone else when things go wrong. You can blame your boss for how miserable your job is. You can blame your teacher for your inability to understand the lesson. You can blame your romantic partner for your failing relationship. You can blame your parents for your emotional struggles. And you can even blame the government for the poverty that you suffer.
It actually makes you feel much better when you find fault in others, because placing the blame on yourself opens you up to feelings of regret, guilt and even shame. Doing so makes you focus on your own flaws and mistakes. And this may allow feelings of worthlessness to set in.
But blaming others for your problems does not solve them. It only adds bitterness to your already miserable state. And by believing that others are at fault for your troubles removes your ability to take control of the situation. It renders you helpless and paralyzes you into simply accepting things as they are. In effect, it makes you surrender to your unhappiness.
Blaming others may very well be a defense mechanism because it protects your ego from the pain of seeing your failures. But it also distorts reality and hinders the possibility for any meaningful change to occur. Instead of engaging in this, it may be far better to take responsibility for the situation in which you find yourself. Doing this allows you the opportunity for self-realization, self-correction and further growth.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frederick Edward Fabella, PhD is a research director, dean and graduate school professor in the Philippines.