Blame vs. Responsibility.

Why taking responsibility for your problems works better.

I am a big fan of personal responsibility. To me, responsibility is one of the pillars of the Humanist philosophy, along with critical thinking and compassion. There is a reason for that and that is because being responsible makes life easier.

There is a great article at Forbes about how blaming others for your problems makes your stress worse and why it is better to own up and take responsibility for your actions and your problems, whether you caused them or not.

One of the first reasons why the blame game is bad is because blame is rooted in fear and instead of assuaging your fears by blaming others, all that does is create more fear, not less. There is a reason for this.

When you blame others, you place the solution to your problems on others.  And that’s a problem because you can’t control others. You can only control yourself.  So, instead of helping you to regain control over a situation that is out of control, when you blame others, you are giving control over what happens to you to others. And that’s pretty scary.

A better response when something goes wrong, is to focus on responsibly solving the problem. What went wrong, how are we going to fix it and who is responsible for making sure it is fixed?  This is a much better approach to problem solving than – who is to blame and can we throw them under a bus in a panicked attempt to solve our problem without actually doing anything proactive to solve it?

The question I always ask people is do you actually want to solve your problem?  Or do you want to pretend to solve your problem?  Most people default to pretending to solve their problems not realizing how many additional problems that causes.

Don’t get caught in this trap. Take responsibility. Reduce your fears and start working proactively to solve your problems. You will be less stressed and less fearful if you do.

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