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

Photo: Demchuk Andrii / Shutterstock
stressed woman

Think about how you felt the last time someone blamed you for something. It was awful, right?

Whether you deserved it or not, feeling responsible for their upset probably felt pretty crappy. And it probably sabotaged your happiness pretty quickly.

But so many of us go about judging and blaming others for our problems, even if we don't frame it like that.

It simply feels easier at the moment to decide how to be happy to pass the blame, and think that the reason we’re not feeling great in any given situation isn’t our fault.

But like any situation where you give up your own control, the act of placing blame is actually a lie we chose to believe.

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Assigning blame only hurts yourself

When we look around for something (or someone) to blame for whatever negative thing is happening, that's believing the myth that by figuring out exactly what happened and placing the blame wand on it, somehow we can absolve ourselves of responsibility.

The problem is that blaming your spouse, yourself (your dog, the mailman, or whomever) for a problem doesn’t get you any closer to thinking about creating a solution to the larger problem

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Self-awareness takes a hit

When you blame, you circumvent the rational self-examination process that dictates whether you’ll be able to solve a problem, or simply find a scapegoat and then dump the responsibility off on them.

And it’s so easy to give up responsibility for our problems. It keeps our ego feeling superior and in control.

When we don’t use problems as opportunities to examine our lives and make changes, we're more likely to stay stuck and keep experiencing the same problems over and over again.

Of course, when we cast blame, we don’t usually think about it like that. It selfishly feels good to be able to say “that was your fault” and let yourself off the hook.

However, like eating a sweet and feeling crappy an hour later, blame is the junk food of your emotional world.

Sure, indulging in it frees you from taking responsibility for a while. But in the long run, you’re avoiding doing the real work you need to do to be happy and to create the kind of life you truly want to live.

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Get unstuck by accepting responsibility

By avoiding responsibility, you stay stuck. After all, if external circumstances created the problem, then how can you solve it? It’s an enticing trap to fall into.

So, when you tell yourself that story about why you don’t have that relationship you want, or how your ex is a terrible beast who ruined everything, and you're tempted to blame men, women, the law of attraction, the lack of opportunity out there in the dating world, ad nauseam — instead, look inside, own your part and take responsibility.

Only after you take responsibility for a problem can you get closer to what you consciously say you really want in your life.

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Elizabeth Stone is an author, dating coach, and personal development coach who helps women restore themselves to improve their relationships.