- Simplify the problem and/or perceived solution
- Divert attention away from more complex or serious underlying issues/pain.
- Avoid culpability and associated feelings (shame/embarrassment)
- Preserve our self-esteem or self-image
- Difficulty learning from mistakes
- Increased feelings of guilt and lower self-esteem
- Lower achievement levels
- Are liked less by peers
- Blaming is contagious
Once having completed the survey, ask yourself/your class:
- Think about a time that someone blamed you for something, when it was really their responsibility. How did that feel?
- Think about a time when you blamed someone else for your mistake. How do you feel about that now?
- Think about a time when you have taken responsibility for your mistake. How did that feel before and after taking responsibility?
- Next time you feel like blaming someone, what could you do instead?
- If I take more personal responsibility and blame others less, I think it will make me feel ____________.
Barack Obama quote:
“Don’t make excuses. Take responsibility not just for your successes; take responsibility where you fall short as well.
Now, the truth is, no matter how hard you work, you’re not going to ace every class. But you’re not going to ace every class. You’re not going to succeed the first time you try something. There are going to be times when you screw up. There will be times where you hurt people you love. There will be times where you make a mistake and you stray from the values that you hold most deeply.
And when that happens, it’s the easiest thing in the world to start looking around for somebody else to blame. Your professor was too hard; your boss was a jerk; the coaches — was playing favorites; your friend just didn’t understand.
No, but this is an easy habit to get into. You see it every day in Washington — every day — folks calling each other names, making all sorts of accusations on television. Everybody is always pointing a finger at somebody else. You notice that?”