Stop the lame Blame game. There are better ways to play.
If you want to change the behaviours and habits in your relationship when it comes to conflict, you must step out of the “you said, I said” trap. It just becomes a circular argument. One of the things you have to do is stop the blame game. It’s probably the number one thing you have to do.
You must stop blaming the other person and recognise when you are actually laying blame. Because what happens when you stop blaming is that you must take responsibility. You can’t take responsibility for the other person but you can take responsibility for your own actions. What a relief!
People who are not taking responsibility for their own actions and what they’re doing, will, in an argument, say: “Hey, you parked the car on the street and I asked you to park it in the garage and by the way, you didn’t do the laundry… and you didn’t pack up the business things in the living room… and they start to bring in everything.
They want to bring it all to the party and pile everything in because it’s a defence. We do that to protect ourselves – if I can one –up you, I’m going to be able to protect myself. It’s actually got very little to do with your character, though it looks like it.
It’s more a case of ‘if I can bring you down, I’m OK.’
It’s a pattern many people fall into and while it looks narcissistic on the surface there are often childhood wounds behind this.
And even those who’ve had wonderful upbringings with caring parents can have some aspects where something didn’t fit perfectly. There can be learned behaviours – when people criticise you all the time, for example, you might criticise other people.
So my theory, and this is backed up by research, is that behind the arguing when we want to defend ourselves is often a case of the core hurts behind who we are that drives the anger because we don’t want to believe those things are true – but we think they are.
So there’s a fixed belief about ourselves that deep down might be that we are unworthy or inadequate.
You need to have agreements in place.
Going back to the car on the street scenario, you might say, ‘let’s park the car in the shed on Tuesdays and can we also make sure that all the business items are put away at the end of the day, and that the laundry gets done when the basket is full’. So we have an understanding of what has to happen. Then you can say, hey honey we had an agreement, why didn’t that happen. It’s a question, not an attack… so when you do that you hand the responsibility back to the other person but also the opportunity to explain.
If you are still feeling frustrated about the car being on the street a few weeks later then it’s time to ask yourself why it’s so important to you… and there might be some more discussions to have.
But the main thing to remember is: STOP BLAMING. You can’t have helpful discussions – the kind that move your forward – when you’re playing the blame game.