Blame is the act of holding another accountable or responsible for wrongful or undesirable behaviors. It is the opposite of praise.
Brene Brown says it best in her video titled "Blame"
"When something bad happens, the first thing you want to know is who's fault is it. I'd rather it be my fault than no one's fault. Because why? why? Because it gives us some semblance of control... here's what we know from the research. Blame is simple the discharging of discomfort and pain. It has an inverse relationship with accountability."
- Brene Brown
I woke this morning at 11am, crazy late for me, and my first thought was "Ugh, who brought covid to my party and infected all of us?!? This sucks." I had so many plans and projects to work on and complete that I now do not have the energy for so I was looking for someone to blame.
But my next thought was does it even really matter? Would it help if I knew who brought it? What would I do if I knew? Would i unfriend them or publicly shame them? What if I was patient zero and unknowingly infected everyone?
The truth is, knowing wouldn't matter and it certainly wouldn't help solve my discomfort and exhaustion. Yet it's amazing how quickly we look for the person responsible.
My children broke my expensive sound bowl today. I only had one because, well, they are really expensive, but I really liked it. Almost immediately they placed the blame on any and everyone but themselves.
I feel like that's all my household ever does. Blame and yell. Yell and blame. I can't stand it. My kids don't know how to play and have fun without screaming at a deafening decibel. So I find myself having to yell just to get their attention. If we aren't screaming in joy, we're screaming in blame and I'm so sick of it. I don't know how to make it stop but it seriously makes my skin crawl.
"Accountability by definition is a vulnerable process. It means me calling you and saying 'Hey, my feelings were really hurt about this' and talking. It's not blaming. Blaming is simply a way that we discharge anger." - Brene Brown
I am a mental health therapist. My kids should live and breathe in vulnerability, shouldn't they? Yet, here we are. I'm blogging as a way of being more vulnerably transparent and my kids are screaming at the top of their lungs (fun? rage? I honestly don't know) right outside my office door.
Where did I go wrong in teaching accountability? I say I'm sorry whenever I've screwed up. I admit when I'm wrong to them. Yet, I just realized I do this AFTER the fact. Not typically in the moment. And my children are able to do the same - expressing their vulnerability and regret AFTER the explosion.
Fuck, man. Parenting is hard. Especially when you're unwell.