How to Stop Playing the Blame Game

“Whenever something negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it.” ~Eckhart Tolle

The most common conversation I have with other people includes the blame game.

The one where your job, your wife, your dog, your mother-in-law, your neighbor six doors down, the media, the government, the receptionist at your doctor’s office, or the dressmaker who measured you wrong is somehow responsible for the problems you’re having.

I too played the blame game.

I intentionally left a marriage that I was very unhappy in and then blamed him for everything. My finances, my unhappiness, my fluctuating weight, my broken-down car, and even my bad hair day were all entirely his fault.

It was then I had that an “aha” moment. I sat there thinking about the blame game wondering, “If games are supposed to be fun, then why is this one keeping me in such a bad place?”

Right then, I made the conscious decision—just like I had left my marriage—that I was going to leave this game behind, too.

I sat down, took a long deep breath, and thought about the ways I’d contributed to my own unhappiness. Once I came up with one way, countless others seemed to follow.

In that moment, I realized I was blatantly ignoring vital life lessons. It wasn’t just my ex’s fault; it was my fault, too.

I believe we are here to learn lessons. Once we learn a lesson we move on to the next one. However, if we fail to learn a lesson, we keep finding opportunities to learn it again and again.

Isn’t it weird that the woman who can’t leave her old unhappy relationship without starting a new one is always in an unhappy relationship? Or the man who quits his job because he can’t stand his overbearing and ungrateful boss lands a new job with a boss who seems even more overbearing and ungrateful?

Life will continue to throw us the same lessons until we learn from them. Here are some ways to start learning that lesson you may be resisting.

1. Believe there is a lesson to be learned and consent to learn it.

This is probably one of the most important steps. Unless you’re really willing to learn the lesson, even if it feels uncomfortable at times, you can never move forward. Consent to view the situation as something that can help you grow.

2. Admit that you might have helped create the problem.

Warning: This does require you to immediately quit playing the blame game! Just consider the possibility that you somehow contributed to your current situation. This doesn’t mean no one else played a part; it just means perhaps you did, as well.

3. Take some alone time and review the situation.

I’m sure you’ve done this multiple times. It’s time to do it differently. Try to view the situation from a different perspective. Get objective and see it from someone else’s eyes. Is there another way to interpret what happened and how it all played out?

This requires you to be really honest with yourself about your choices and actions. If you’re willing to change your perspective you may immediately see what lesson needs to be learned and exactly how to learn the lesson.

4. Let go of your attachment to the problem.

Trying to control the problem—your boss, your spouse, or your circumstances—will only keep you more attached to it and. The more you “leech” onto a problem, the more it “leeches” right back on you.

You will never be able to see the lesson or the solution if you dwell on all the little details about what seems wrong. Letting go could come in many forms: seeing the good in the person who seems difficult, accepting a situation for what it is, or seeing the other side of the story.

Any time we let go of our attachment to what went wrong or what should have happened, we create the possibility of growth—and we pave the path for more positive results.

My personal favorites were step three and four.  Once I reviewed my marriage from a third party perspective, I clearly saw all the things I could have done better. After that moment, I admitted the role I played, forgave myself, and was finally able to move forward.

Dropping blame allowed me to let go and move on.

Quitting the blame game and learning life lessons has allowed me to be in a loving, equal, and, best of all, relaxing relationship. It’s allowed me to build my dream career. It’s also allowed me to look at each obstacle I’m facing and find something positive to take away from it.

If you’re having an issue then there is a lesson to be learned. Learn the lesson then you get to move forward. That’s how a game should work!

Photo by Mendhak

About Rachel Woods

Rachel Woods is a vibrant, ambitious, self-exploring web designer.  She is committed to helping the small business community grow and prosper, which is evident in her blog entitled: Crazy Thoughts of a Fabulous Web Creator.

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  • It’s funny how these things happen but i’ve been thinking about two topics today: blame and disappointment. Every blog that i’ve read this morning has addressed one or both of those issues. i’m mulling over addressing the topic of blame in my own blog, because we waste so much time in our society trying to assign blame. Thanks for your insights.


    Good article…I literally last week just figured out that “blame” is a useless word! Nothing positive could possibly come from blaming someone else? And why blame yourself even? What good does it do? What, if anything, does blame propagate?

  • Once we let go. Everything seems much easier than if we held in the pain of hurt. Great post!

  • Rachel Woods

    Thanks! Letting go is an AMAZING thing 🙂

  • Rachel Woods

    Thanks! Letting go is an AMAZING thing 🙂

  • Amory Ann

    I genuinely feel I’ve made great progress in the last couple of years, in terms of being the person I really want to be, but this topic is one that I still often struggle with. Even when I’m fully capable of thinking about issues from an objective angle (and I do quite often), I still find myself “latched on” to the issue. So I kind of trick myself because I’m coming at it from two angles. From an enlightened perspective (seeing it from the other person’s p.o.v., which makes me feel good….really good, in fact) and also from a defensive / victim-like perspective (which needless to say, does NOT make me feel good), which often puts me in a deadlock. I’m not quite losing, but I’m not quite winning either. Anyway, this article at the very least has helped inspire me to look a little deeper into the root cause. Thank you for that. 🙂

  • Rachel Woods

    Glad it resonated with you! That was my intention when writing the article. Good luck on your journey!

  • Rachel Woods

    Glad it resonated with you! That was my intention when writing the article. Good luck on your journey!

  • This is something I am learning over and over again at the moment. At least I’m committed to the re-learning now & am finding myself playing the game less.

  • This is something I am learning over and over again at the moment. At least I’m committed to the re-learning now & am finding myself playing the game less.

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  • Gmwryan

    What a great perspective.  Makes perfect sense.  The challenge is how do you execute?  I am going to take your suggestion and start to work the porblem,  Do you think if you had realized this  earlier you would not have divorced?  I often wonder if you have to leave to get to the this place.  I have just realized I tend to blame and it is very damaging.  Have been doing it so long I don’t even know I am doing it.  It is going to take alot of work to stop this habit but it is good to know I am not alone.

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  • Jo-Anne

    You are the solution because you are the “problem”….

  • masculinazi

    love this article. FINALLY a woman I can respect!

  • John Daly

    The victim get’s the compassion and understanding; the victim is made to look better in their own eyes and the eyes of others. That’s why the blame game has always been around.

    To look inwards and criticise oneself is not something particularly desirable because then we just might have to stop, think, consider and ponder the inevitable question: Am I responsible?

    Searching for a scapegoat is so rewarding and effortless for most people, why make the problem any more difficult by truly examining the specifics.

  • sameboat

    Thank you – good advice!

  • Very Much The Truth

    Well i certainly do very much blame God for a man like me that would love very much to meet a good woman to share my life with, especially when i see so many other men and women out there that have been very blessed by God to have met one another and have a family just like many of us men would had wanted too. Then again, with so many very rotten women that are out there these days certainly doesn’t help the situation either.

  • PGH

    I agree 1,000%. Completely stop blaming others (narcissists, etc.) and admit to one’s own role is the key to true healing and inner peace within one’s soul. “It takes 2 to tango” really applies here. People tend to defend themselves by saying that blaming oneself for the problems lead to severe depression or even suicidal thoughts. That to me is simply adding excuses upon more excuses to justify one’s own behavior so that one doesn’t need to make the effort to change oneself. There is evil or sinful nature in all of us, no exceptions. It’s our own inner evil within that allows for oneself to be tempted by the externally charming facade of others, resulting in the creation of undetected problems. To want to commit suicide means to have no respect for the life that God has given to one. That, to me, is a sure sign of extreme pride, and the “low-self-esteem” just means that one’s PRIDE or EGO has been hurt. Why else would one feel “low”? To those individuals, I’d say do whatever the hell you want, because it’s none of my business that you choose to disrespect this meaningful and priceless life that Heaven has bestowed upon you. As for myself, I’m going to value this priceless life, accept accountability for all of my problems (because, like I said, it takes 2 to tango), change myself whichever way necessary, and cherish every moment of existence because I’m not entitled to ANYTHING whatsoever. To blame anything or anyone is to live in a state of entitlement, a state of self-delusion. None of us are entitled to anything. It’s ALL a gift from Heaven.

  • Anonymous

    Bullshit. Sometimes others are to blame. People like to bully others or set them up at work for failure. Bad shit happens, and sometimes its not your fault at all, it truly is others fault, especially if your worth a damn. People do not want you to be successful. This article is just fucking naive.

  • Jason Holborn

    I did enjoy the post.
    I have taken a few years (almost five!) to learn the lesson from a painful experience I had. I don’t even think I yet have discerned and distilled the personal lesson completely yet, however, I have seen its shape and each day it comes a little clearer to me how I personally might have changed the negative situation. It is a rough lesson and hard to digest, however I am working on it.

  • Still Sore

    “It takes 2 to tango” and “tempted by the externally charming façade of others” – are you a homewrecker? If so, DEFINATELY take responsibility. And Karma.

  • Linda Smith

    Not so sure I agree with this article! My job coach deserves alot of blame for increasing my stress levels at work than what the managers he was speaking to me for already raised them!

  • Shmoops

    There must be some type of a lesson / learning experience / soul expanding experience that you will take from this difficult time… so that maybe in the future, you might possibly be able to look back with gratitude for having been given this experience to learn and grow from (even though it seems negative and difficult at the time). I have found that this way of thinking has helped me through many difficult times! <3 Love and Light

  • AlwaysLearning

    Though this article seems to have been written a while back, it has such a deep meaning to it

  • eight path fold right career

    Words of wisdom I shall work on letting go of all blame and forgive my self Im in a situation where I realize this is the first point in me having a choice after realizing all the dynamics knowledge is everything when it comes to reacting appropriate and I will and will always choose love I hope it chooses me I believe it did other wise it wouldn’t have been so drawn out and complicated nothing worth alot comes cheap
    but once its right everything falls in to place and its not so rough I will today and six weeks from now choose my love I promise

  • John

    I am fat. I could blame the food culture of america, but really I just eat too much. It’s an addiction but not. I do things I do not want, but not due to such a strong temptation as much as its due to that I have extremely low will power. I am a nihilist and “incapable” of tricking myself into finding more meaning in life which could help me achieve goals.
    The problem of low will power extends into half of my life. I am very happy at home and love my wife and family. I can be very productive there if I want/need to be. However, at work I am very distracted. I accomplish nothing and feel lazy. This is important because this will bleed into my family life eventually. If I don’t get a job (I am a PhD student/researcher), this will perturb the comfort and happiness of home.

    I am a failure (or almost a failure). I’ve dug myself a hole. Except in a hole you know the way out. I am more lost in a dark forest. There is no indication of which direction to go. There is no guiding light. I can move, but I am afraid there will be no use to it. I put myself here. No one can help. Why would anyone care? There are so many much worse off.

    Do you know that image of the fat ugly computer nerd that sits at the computer in his mom’s basement making arrogant assholish comments on the internet. Do you have sympathy for him? He’s lazy. No other has played a part in who he is now. But what if inside he doesn’t want to be who he is? It doesn’t matter; he will never change. Can anyone save his life? Does anyone want to? Does he deserve it?

    Disclaimer: I am a naturally happy person. Despite the dark comments, I am not a suicidal person.

  • Liam

    It places responsibility on the person who’s, well, responsible for what’s happened. Blame is not just good, it’s necessary. Without determining responsibility, we allow corruption and destructive people to act without consequence. Stop blaming everyone else for things that are your fault, but don’t allow anyone to continue hurting you, or pretend you shouldn’t give credit where it’s due. And no, being hurt is not “all in your head.” You don’t fix a problem by ignoring it, or assigning blame to yourself. You fix it by assigning blame and correcting misconduct.

  • Wayne Northam

    I would like to know what is wrong with the person in this following description of something that recently happened to me.
    A person ( female came to my house drunk ) she drove there, she got upset again and wanted to leave. I spent the best part of 30 mins trying to persuade her to stay as she was unfit, she admitted being unfit, but despite my offer and an offer to drive her home she would not accept any help or listen to reason. and in a fit of rage drove off……. not even 1 min later she called me on the phone and cussed me out for letting her drive off. she returned to the house screaming and shouting that I was an ass for not physical restraining her. I then managed to confiscate her keys, she argued for a further 30 mins many times saying she was unfit to drive and blaming me for letting her, she then managed to start her vehicle with a spare key she had hidden. and leave once again. she made it home by the grace of god and then immediately yet again called me and cussed me once again, she knew she was unfit but did it any way , refused numerous attempts to help her, and despite being offered a ride home … her logic was even though she knew it was wrong I should of physical forced her to the ground and stopped her….. my offers in her mind were not forceful enough so she drove any way then bitched immediately that she wasn’t stopped. what sort of personality disorder thinks like that.

  • WomenAreToBlameForSingleMen

    Well i can certainly Blame the women of today for so many of us Good Single men out there that really wanted to meet a Good woman to settle down with to have a family since many of us are Not Single by choice which i am sure many other men will Agree with me on this. Now that so many women have their Careers today which Most of them are very high maintenance, independent, selfish, spoiled, greedy, picky, narcissists, and so very power money hungry since many of the women now do want the Best of all and will Never settle for Less which made it very Sad how the women of today have really Changed for the Worst unfortunately. And Most of the Good old fashioned women of years ago were the Best of all since Both men and women in those early days had to really Struggle to make ends meat since they Hardly had any Money at all back then which they had to live with their Parents too. Since many women have become very Liberated over these years and given the Right to Vote which has really Changed them Unfortunately since it is all about them now. So for many of us Good men that really wanted to get married which i had just mentioned this already, you can see how very Difficult it is for many of us that really wanted this since it really does Take Two To Tangle since the women of today are very much to Blame for this like i mentioned before when there is No Reason to Blame us men. Our Parents were very Extremely Fortunate to have been born at a much Earlier time since finding Love for them sure came very Easy which is the Real Reason why Millions of us are here today thanks to them when there are many of our Parents that are still together today as i speak. Born at such a Wrong Time for many of us men that Should Have been settled down already.

  • Danie Russell

    Thank you fir this post it really heeled me a lot

  • Bhavya Jain

    I don’t really blame anyone but sometimes in that specific situation when i am angry it just happens even though i know it’s all my mistake I think about the blame thing i created i even know about the lesson it teached me and i promise myself that i ill not do this again but my mind keeps saying that don’t make promises you will not be able to do it it keeps saying that you will fail so that is why i feel scared. I literally have done a lot of mistakes i have doing mistake from past 12 years and 5 months i found my purpose and because of my purpose i changed myself into a better person. I convert myself into a person i have never imagined i would be but suddenly i feel like i am converting into that same old person again. I did it when it was impossible but why am i not able to do it when it possible. I am scared now i don’t why. I feel like i am not that hungry for my dream as i was . Now days i am not able to control my anger like i used to

  • That Is So True

    Well with the kind of women that are out there nowadays is a very excellent reason why many of us good men are still single today since most of the women now just can’t commit to only one man anymore like most of them did in the old days.

  • Reality Check

    Well i certainly blame the women of today why many of us good innocent men are still Single now since the real good old fashioned ladies that we once had years ago are all gone and taken by now, and the women of today are so very horrible and are Nothing at all like the real ladies were back then. Enough said.

  • Amen

    Just blame these very pathetic loser feminists women for that one.