The Easy-To-Fix Reason People With One Specific Personality Trait Find Relationships Challenging

Photo: Mas Water, Wiyada Arunwaikit and Anetlanda / Getty Images via Canva
unhappy couple blaming each other

Picture this: you're in a funk, feeling blue, and the blame game begins. Most of the time we don't even realize we're doing it.

Maybe your partner is around and being a little annoying, or maybe they're not even nearby but you can't stop thinking about the things they've done in the past that have been bothering you. Without pausing, your brain goes to: "I'm unhappy... you're obviously the problem!"

It's a script many of us unknowingly follow, like a default setting in our emotional software. As human beings, we are wired to escape pain and discomfort — it's a survival skill — but we aren't as hardwired for the introspection required to take a beat, do a little emotional inventory, and figure out what's truly making us feel cruddy.

Unhappy people create unhappy relationships

RELATED: 7 Unfair Reasons You Blame Him For Everything

It's easy to misattribute our discontent to the people around us, and that's where things get tricky, especially if we're prone to being unhappy.

But the instinct to blame our partners for our unhappiness can be over-ridden, as long as we are willing to do the work. 

It's time we unraveled the complexities of this emotional roller coaster, where the tendency to point fingers can be replaced with understanding and positive change.

A tempting emotional trap

Dr. Stan Tatkin, a brilliant mind in the field of psychology, sums it up beautifully in the YourTango podcast "Open Relationships: Transforming Together": "The human condition is 'I’m unhappy, and I don’t know why,' and 'Oh yeah, I just remembered it’s because of you.'"

Sound familiar? It's a trap we all fall into, assuming that the external world is responsible for our internal turmoil. Spoiler alert: it never works.

Unhappy people tend to blame others 

Facing our own unhappiness is no walk in the park. It's messy, uncomfortable, and downright traumatic at times. So, what's the easier option? Point fingers, of course! The default mode is to look around and say, "This thing is right in front of me, and it's being annoying (as we all are sometimes), so it must be you." Oftentimes it creates a bad space in a relationship.

A self-perpetuating cycle of unhappiness 

This blame game is a breeding ground for resentment.

Picture this as a seed — your initial dissatisfaction plants it, and with every blame, every unfounded accusation, it sprouts and grows. Before you know it, you're in a garden of negativity, and the person you're pointing at is just as unhappy as you are.

Congratulations, you've created a cycle of misery, and guess what? You're stuck in the center of it with your partner.

The truth is, that blaming others is a cop-out. It's a temporary Band-Aid on a wound that needs serious attention. Assuming someone else is responsible for your happiness is like expecting the weather to change by yelling at the sky. It's ineffective, and deep down, you know it.

Dr. Tatkin hits the nail on the head — when you assume someone is going to work on you, and you're going to work on them, it's a recipe for war. And guess what? Wars don't fix anything; they just leave destruction in their wake.

How does this affect our relationships?

Unfortunately, this blame-game default we have can have far-reaching consequences on our relationships. The blame game is like a toxin that seeps into the foundations of our connections with others, particularly in the realm of romantic partnerships, friendships, and even professional collaborations.

When unhappiness becomes the default lens through which we view the world, it inevitably spills into our relationships. Suddenly, the person in front of us is not just a partner or a friend but a convenient scapegoat for our discontent. This not only creates tension but also erodes the trust and intimacy that relationships thrive on.

The blame game doesn't just stop at assigning fault; it fosters a toxic cycle where unresolved issues lead to resentment. Your unhappiness, projected onto others, becomes a breeding ground for their unhappiness in return. It's a vicious circle that can escalate, turning a minor disagreement into a full-blown conflict.



RELATED: You'll Never Be Happy If You Keep Trying To Solve Your Problems This Way

However, the good news is that understanding this dynamic provides the key to breaking free. By acknowledging the impact of the blame game on our relationships, we empower ourselves to make positive changes. Instead of pointing fingers, we can foster open communication, actively listen to our partners, and work collaboratively towards solutions.

In essence, recognizing the ripple effect of the blame game on relationships is the first step toward creating a healthier and more harmonious connection. By addressing our unhappiness and taking responsibility for our emotions, we pave the way for stronger, more resilient bonds with those around us.

Remember, it's not just about fixing yourself; it's about creating a positive domino effect that transforms not only your world but the world you share with others.

How do we break the cycle?

It's simple, but not easy. We have to face our demons head-on, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Instead of pointing fingers, we need to work on problems and find solutions together, dispassionately in our relationships, according to Dr. Tatkin.

Sometimes that means forcing yourself to pause when you're uncomfortable, feeling unhappy, or plain old crabby. Take a breath. Maybe take a walk and think, "What part of this is me, and what part is objectively my partner?" Be quiet with yourself and see if you can take an honest inventory that doesn't place undue responsibility on either of you.

The process is about taking responsibility for our own happiness and actively participating in the creation of a positive environment.

In the end, happiness isn't a blame game; it's a team effort.

So, let's put down the fingers and pick up the tools to build something better. After all, as Dr. Tatkin wisely puts it, "without dispassionate collaboration, we can't fix it."

Let's break the cycle, take control of our own happiness, and make the world a better place — one blame-free day at a time!

RELATED: The Trance-Inducing Cuddle Position That Helps Couples Fall Deeply In Love

Deauna Roane is a writer and the Editorial Project Manager for YourTango. She's had bylines in Emerson College's literary magazine, Generic, and MSN.