Excessive blaming of other people, past life events or uncontrollable external factors can signal that an individual lacks confidence in their ability to solve problems, has difficulty regulating emotions such as guilt, shame and anxiety or fears judgement by others.
Social psychology research has shown that people who are happier and more psychologically adjusted are more forgiving, can maintain positive overall views of themselves while acknowledging they may be less than perfect, and assume other people will generally see them in a positive light, even if they reveal some flaws.
Here are 6 ways to take appropriate responsibility:
- Identify whether you have fallen into a pattern of blaming others by paying attention to how you explain events.
- Ask yourself what thoughts and feelings you are trying to avoid by repeatedly blaming others for your problems.
- Focus on how the role of your own behaviour in your problems gives you the power to change the situation.
- Becoming better at psychological forgiveness can boost your sense of self-respect and self-efficacy, and is even associated with being physically healthier.
- Notice and evaluate the usefulness of any general beliefs you have that might be contributing to your tendency to blame others.
- Notice people who are good at accepting appropriate responsibility or problems while maintaining positive self-esteem. Model your own behaviour on those people.