It’s easier to blame others for our mistakes. Largely, we find it a lot easier to explain what happened when we want to point accusing fingers at someone else than it would have been if we were to point those fingers at ourselves.
In Nigeria, we blame the government for everything. If we lose our job, it’s the government’s fault. If our car breaks down in the middle, it is the government. If we spend our salary within a week, it is still the government’s fault. We are always the innocent victims.
This is the same way we blame our neighbours, spouses, parents, teachers, associates and so on for our mistakes and failures. We even blame others for our ill health and low income. If we don’t see who to blame, we turn it over to inanimate things or supernatural forces and powers. That’s where we have gotten to.
A lot of people may not really know why they easily engage in the blame game. If you, like most of us, do it, I’ll suggest that you go through the list below to see if you can identify with any of the reasons given.
Reasons People Blame Others
- To Protect their Ego: A lot of people blame others because they want to maintain their self-worth. They don’t want to face the embarrassment that comes from owning up to their mistake. So the only way to escape the shame is by telling people that it wasn’t their fault.
- To Destroy the Reputation of Another Person: This usually comes from hate or unhealthy competition. In this case, the person that is pointing this finger may be saying the truth, but the intention isn’t to correct, but to destroy.
- To Control Others: Sometimes, blame game is used as a form of blackmail. The person blamed may be made to feel bad and responsible for the blamer’s predicament. In return, he may decide to give him (the blamer) what he asks for.
- To Hide Incompetence: You remember this saying about bad workman quarrelling his tools? Well, that bad workman was actually blaming his tools for the bad work he did. So, most times, people blame others because they don’t want their incompetency to be discovered.
- To Avoid Punishment: Most mistakes and failures comes with punishments, such as replacement of what is spoilt, demotion, loss of incentives, dismissal and so on. In order to avoid such punishments, people tend to push over the blame to someone or something else.
- To Justify Mistakes or Failures: A good example of this is when a student blames his teachers for his failure in exam. You may hear something like, “I didn’t pass because our teachers don’t teach us well.”
In as much as other people may contribute to our mistakes and failures, we don’t have to dwell on that as a reason for failing. Any time you have this compulsion to blame someone else for your condition, remember the following as the consequences of blaming game.
- Loss of Reputation and Respect: You know the funny thing about blaming people, the person blamed and some other people will know the game you are playing. And when you play the game with someone else, it will be common knowledge that you don’t accept responsibility for your mistakes and failures. It will then be only a matter of time before someone tells you that to your face.
- Loss of Relationships: Anyway, I know I won’t want to relate with someone who will blame me or someone else for his mistakes. No one who is wrongly blamed is happy. He will also make sure that he stayed away from the person that caused him pain. If this person happens to be someone who will help you in the future, believe me when I say that you have just lost a good one.
- Lack of Improvement and Growth: We learn from mistakes. If we willingly take blame for mistakes, we will truly seek out ways not to make them again. But when we blame others for that mistake, we won’t look for how to improve. Even if we want to improve, we will be uncomfortable asking people for help because they will wonder why we want to learn what we already know.
We have seen the consequences of blaming others. We have seen that involving in such a game doesn’t pay in the long run; in fact it is self-damaging. So, we need to find out ways to stop playing this game. Below are some suggestions:
- Remember that mistake is the fastest way to learn. There is no need to be ashamed of making one. Besides, everybody makes mistakes and fails at one point or another of their lives.
- Don’t be afraid to apologize for your mistakes if need be. It may seem difficult but it has its advantages.
- Focus more on yourself and concentrate on things that will help you to grow. Don’t let the growth and progress of someone else get to you so that jealousy doesn’t take the best of you.
- Silence: Sometimes you just need to be silent so as not to get involved in the blame game. You may have to let it go before pointing that accusing finger.
Remember, even if someone directly or indirectly caused your mistakes or failures, you played a role by allowing it. So, don’t play the blame game, it doesn’t pay.