When Your Worst Critic is You (The Blame Game)

Who else read that title and said: ‘That’s me’? I know I did. And I’m the person that wrote it.

How many of us lie in bed at night thinking and dwelling on something we said or did that day? How many of us wish that we might have behaved differently in a given situation? How many of us have said something in a conversation only to question internally mere seconds later as to why we said it?

We beat ourselves up over things that have passed. We beat ourselves up over things that have yet to come. We beat ourselves up.

The real question is though, when thinking on those times, are you being too hard on yourself? Are you blaming yourself too much? Possibly even for something that no one else has given a second thought.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because of something that has been said to me by 2 different people in as many days. One of those people even asked me if I was ok? The implication being that she was worried I was depressed.

The reason they said it to me was because they were reading my blog. See, I’ve went a bit public with it. It’s no longer something where I feel anonymous. It’s not just to strangers on the internet. It’s to people who know me. People from my past, people from my present, people who have known me all my life.

The thing is they weren’t questioning my development. They weren’t questioning the progress I have made and will continue to make. They weren’t questioning the sense of vigour and drive that now propels me. They were questioning my view of past events. Basically my married life.

Both people thought I was being too hard on myself. They actually know me very well. I would confide, and still do, in one of them quite a lot. She knows almost every detail of my life story.

Both of them thought I was painting a bleaker picture of myself than I deserved. That I was painting myself in too harsh a light. That I was accepting too much of the blame in the breakdown of my marriage. That I was being too critical of myself.

It set me thinking. Gees what doesn’t. We always hear about not blaming others. How it’s the best way forward. Accept responsibility for your actions. Then move on.

But what if we take that too far. What if we don’t blame others but instead end up blaming ourselves too much. Isn’t that equally as damaging?

So that set me off on a quest of Googling blame. The essence of being too hard on yourself.

I’ve found information on why you shouldn’t blame yourself, why you shouldn’t blame others, why we blame society, why we blame victims, why we blame God or a higher power.

That set me thinking again. Why do we feel the need to blame at all? I can’t find anything about that. I even searched the direct term ‘why we feel the need to blame?’. There was one link with that specific line. Turns out it was about a specific thing. Not the need to blame in general.

So where do we draw the line? At what point can we say it’s not someone else’s fault. It’s not our fault. It’s no one’s fault. It’s just one of those things.

When do we stop being so critical of ourselves, of others? When can we learn to just let it go? Give ourselves some peace of mind. Let us fall asleep without running through all those unnecessary scenarios where we are overly critical about the things we have said or done. When do we stop beating ourselves up?

Is that a place we can reach? Or do we just end up blaming our own minds for everything instead?


p.s. If anyone has further clarity on this please let me know. Can we really be ‘blameless’? Have you felt the need to blame today?







35 thoughts on “When Your Worst Critic is You (The Blame Game)

  1. I think itโ€™s just natural to blame. Often, blame is my first thought. I then remind myself that itโ€™s not about blame. It doesnโ€™t matter why or who. What matters is the situation you are in and what you do with it.

    1. I think you are exactly right in your reasoning. It really makes me curious as to why that is our impulse.
      What matters is also as you have said…what we do with it.
      Thanks for your insight. It is very much appreciated.
      Best wishes to you.

  2. I think, as humans, we need a cause and effect explanation for everything. If something happens, something caused it. Yeah, there are times when we can go “Shit happens”, but we like our explanations too much.

    That being said, I do think we can become blameless and remove judgment from society, but to do so is near impossible. We would have to give up our expectations, because when we fall short, we failed and something needs to be blamed.

    Would we be happier without blaming something or someone? Probably. Is it ever going to happen on a mass scale? Doubtful.

    Love the post and how thought provoking it is. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I’m glad you found the post thought provoking ๐Ÿ™‚
      We people certainly are a curious bunch. As you say we like our explanations too much.
      And we all have expectations of one sort or other.
      Am so curious as to why we find it so difficult to just ‘be’. To not put blame on things.
      You are spot on with your outlook. Yes we’d probably be happier. But for all of us to become blameless? Probably impossible.
      Really enjoyed your view on this. Thank you.
      I hope you are keeping well and best wishes to you ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. It is a curious predicament we humans find ourselves in, and maybe one day we’ll figure it out.

        And you’re welcome. It was nice to actually put my brain to work. It’s been slacking of late. ๐Ÿ˜›

        You as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Good morning Chris; hope youโ€™re having a good day ๐Ÿ™‚
    You bet we all did it and doing it on daily basic and I believe this will never stop but should be controlled, really controlled whenever we feel weโ€™re striking and whipping ourselves or others, we should stop!
    Total waste of energy same as envy, jealousy and hate, all the negative feelings donโ€™t serve anyone
    Itโ€™s easier to blame same as itโ€™s easier to judge, but we must do our best, improve when we can, make efforts, and admit when weโ€™re wrong without blaming just to improve and be enlightened not more. The lines are hard to be drawn when someone hurts you directly, physically or mentally, itโ€™s almost impossible not to blame, but what do you get? Nothing! People only change if they want to, if they make efforts to, otherwise all the amount of blaming or hating cannot help..
    And the same words are applicable on us, when we whip ourselvesโ€ฆwhat for? Easy said than done but I guess itโ€™s a life time process, itโ€™s a life time work in progress
    Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Good morning to you too Huguette ๐Ÿ™‚ All good here thank you. Hope you’re having a good day also.
      Ha ha I love your directness. ‘You bet we all did it’. No messing. Straight to the point.
      You’re right. It is a total waste of energy. Blaming solves nothing.
      I can’t understand why we have that impulse. Is it just ingrained in all of us?
      It takes conscious thought to deal with it. Which we all should.
      It is something we have to deal with daily. A life time work in progress as you so correctly put.
      Here’s to hoping we can blame a bit less.
      Thanks for reading and commenting Huguette. Your thoughts are always valued and appreciated.
      Much love to you ๐Ÿ˜Š

      1. Well by now I’m sure you know how direct I am ๐Ÿ™‚ my day is good thank you so much ๐Ÿ˜Š I don’t know why, probably psychology will have an answer which I don’t really care because what’s matter is that blaming is useless, so let’s hope as you said that we can minimize it as much as we can!
        My pleasure always, appreciate your posts and the inspirations and lessons learned as well ๐Ÿ˜Š Much love to you

      2. Oh yes I do Huguette. That’s why I look forward to what you write ๐Ÿ˜Š
        Hope you’ve had a great, relatively blameless day ๐Ÿ™‚
        Much love as always ๐Ÿ˜Š

  4. Great article man. I think Blame is a word we toss around to much. How about responsibility. Blame is a pain in the ass because it equates someone screwing up. Where as when I take responsibility for my actions that means I become aware of them. I am no longer admittedly ignorant of my own wrong doing. The sickness I believe comes in trying to figure out where other people are responsible for my failures. The thing is no one is responsible for me but me. Coming to that conclusion I only need to work on becoming more aware of my short comings and work to improve them if I want to be happier. It is human nature to judge and blame others. Why? Because there is less work involved for me when say, Johnny has to fix his life and not me. But the reality is if we could get over the idea of blame and come to the idea of responsibility we could all have a much happier existence. Now I cant worry about other people understanding this I have to focus on my responsibilities Haha. Great stuff.

    1. Ha ha I proper laughed at the end there.
      Glad you liked the post. Thank you.
      You’re right about responsibility. Blame has such negative connotations. Whereas responsibility is taking ownership. Taking that negative and turning it into something else.
      You’re totally right about no one being responsible for ourselves but ourselves. I guess it’s knowing where to draw the line is the challenge. Finding out who’s responsibility it is. Like in my failed marriage. I’ve taken all the responsibility of it not working out. But a relationship is a two way thing. So can I really be 100% accountable? The line isn’t clearly defined.
      I agree that if we could get over the idea of blame we could have a happier existence. We’re all so quick to point the finger. Easier when it’s someone else’s problem not ours.
      Anyways, I really appreciate your thoughtful comment. I’ve spent more time thinking on it than I do with some posts! Thanks for that. Best wishes to you.

      1. I blamed my ex for everything in our failed marriage for a long time. Then while getting sober and working a program of recovery i was asked to take an honest appraisal of my part in things and so i did. I saw all the ways I had been responsible along with all the ways she was. But as it were I can only live my life and change this one. So, I focused on doing that and making amends to her for my part. If you haven’t yet getting intentional and writing both sides of the story is something that really helped me. Just a suggestion ofcourse. But its something that helped me grow.

      2. Thank you very much for saying that Matthew. I think that is something I should do. If it helped you it’s worth a try.
        My problem is that I’ve taken all the blame on myself. I know I was smoking way too much pot. It was like it was my main purpose. All I ever really thought about. I find it hard to see past the things I am responsible for. Always questioning if I could have sorted myself out sooner would things have been different. Always carrying some guilt.
        I’ve understood that I can only change myself and have been working my ass off to do that. Thankfully it’s going great. Makes me feel that I’m finally living. I guess it’s just unfortunate that it took my marriage falling apart for that to happen.
        I appreciate your thoughts on this and hope things are going well with your sobriety. Best wishes to you good Sir.

    1. We do. And it’s pointless. What’s done is done. Moving on is the only way. Life is too short.
      I appreciate you taking the time to share your view. Hope you are keeping well and best wishes to you ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I havenโ€™t felt the need to blame today, but I have recently learned of a trigger from my childhood. I will immediately take the blame if someone โ€œgets in troubleโ€ at work. Even if I wasnโ€™t the cause of the issue- itโ€™s just an automatic thing (as youโ€™ve mentioned). Reading this article (and the identification of the trigger) allows me to change my approach. The issue is not who was right or wrong, but how do we fix the issue (if even). Thanks for the thought provoking read ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. I am glad you enjoyed the message and found it thought provoking ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’m very glad you haven’t felt the need to blame today. Sounds like a great day then.
      It is hard when you take blame on yourself especially when it isn’t your fault. At least you’ve recognised your trigger and know how to approach things. That’s great!
      Thank you for taking the time to comment and share your experience. It is very much appreciated.
      Best wishes to you and I hope you have a great weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Good evening, indeed happened to me many times before, no things are different, i like to take my time before i do something what i may regret few seconds after, i think is important, that you are going public with who you are and how you feel, i never understood, why someone would hide themselves under 20 blankets, i think is no point on blaming yourself, you can’t change the paste, is waste of time, on blaming someone else as well, you look beautiful soul, as much as i know you so far, those days i couldn’t read a lot of your posts, or talk to you, but you are single father, you already deserved the nomination, every single parents should be called from biggest later P ever๐Ÿ‘ฑโ€โ™€๏ธ

    1. Hi Ilona. Hope you’ve been enjoying your weekend ๐Ÿ™‚
      Taking time before you do something is the right way to go. Saves us from making regretful mistakes.
      You’re right. No point hiding from the truth.
      And we can’t change the past. Just got to deal with it the best we can. Not blaming ourselves can be a hard thing to do. I guess it’s knowing when it is our fault or not.
      Thank you for your kind words and insight. Very much appreciated. Hope you are keeping well ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. tough questions, have been on both sides of the fence at one point or the other, maybe blame has to come before forgiveness can happen? recognising a hurt leads to reconciliation, but don’t dwell on it and repeat the accusation is what would be me. sometimes i don’t even know i hurt someone until i am told, so i’d like to know if someone blames me, makes sense?

    1. Yes. It makes sense. I suppose it’s hard to know when the blame lies with us or the other party. Another commenter mentioned replacing blame with responsibility. Take the negativity out of it. I liked that idea.
      We do need to recognise the hurt before we can reconcile. I agree with you on that.
      Appreciate your view as always Gina. Much love to you and your family ๐Ÿ˜Š

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