“Get beyond the hassle and bad feelings by admitting fault. Remind yourself how it’s in your own best interest to admit fault and move on. We might think that admitting fault is weak or that it lets the other person off the hook for his or her faults. But actually, it takes a strong person to admit fault, and it puts us in a stronger position with others.” – Rick Hanson
Read more at: http://www.rickhanson.net/just-one-thing/admit-fault-and-move-on
I actually don’t like the word fault, because I have been programmed to connect fault with blame, as in “it is all your fault!”. But that is a minor quibble with the wonderful wisdom Rick has to share.
I personally have found enormous relief and peace by taking a breath and being accountable for my actions. Being accountable isn’t difficult, but fearing blame, being blamed, and blaming are all very painful. Because of that, we habitually avoid being blamed which keeps us from accountability. In “Don’t be Nice, Be Real” Kelly Bryson explains that blame is actually a painful reaction to an unmet need in the blamer, which is mostly unacknowledged.
Two things we are invited to pay attention to:
1. Notice when you are blaming someone or something and stop for a moment and ask what it is you really need? This is not a natural step for most of us, so give yourself some space to be with the question. Remember your need is about you , not the other person or thing, so I NEED YOU to be different does not help the process. Sometimes naming the need is enough, but if you are feeling really brave, you can express the need. Then if you are really REALLY brave you can allow yourself to receive what it is you are wanting OR you can notice that you can really be okay if the need is not fulfilled. Either way, you have gained enormous ground in becoming conscious and authentic without blaming or holding anyone else hostage to your unmet need.
2. When we are being blamed by another, remember that what they are expressing, in a not very clear way, is a need. That awareness can prevent us from becoming a number one contestant in the blame game. Although we are clearly playing a part in their projected reality, we may be accountable for something that triggered their feeling. A simple statement of accountability can melt the iceberg before the relationship sinks like the Titanic. No need for us to take responsibility for their feelings, to fix, beg, grovel or defend our innocence or rights. Simply acknowledge. When we enter the blame free zone, the door will open to asking what it is they really need. If we can stay aware, and acknowledge an unmet need, things may really shift in a very fulfilling and satisfying way. This is the stuff of intimate authentic connections!
This takes practice of course, so let yourself get messy and make mistakes. Enjoy your partners quizzical looks as you throw a very excellent monkey wrench into the hamster wheel of the blame cycle.
Good luck with your practice and if you want support, I am happy to help. PM me or give me a call!