WHEN IT COMES TO FINDING FAULT, ASSIGNING BLAME, AND BEING CRITICAL – I think it’s natural to want to look for the source of a problem – who/what is at fault. Or perhaps it’s not natural but it’s how we’re conditioned: society has us wanting to look for what is at fault for everything from our wrinkles to our weight to an accident to anything that has things going less-than-smoothly in our life.
But focusing more on the issue or outcome, itself – rather than pointing a finger at who was at fault for causing it – allows us to just get on with resolving the issue at hand and moving forward.
~ Assigning blame can create fear and defensiveness in the person being blamed – which often doesn’t inspire a willingness to contribute to the problem-solving piece.
I can think of a time at a job where I made a mistake or missed something (can’t even remember the specifics now, but I remember the feelings) – I’d been feeling bad and fearing repercussions, but then felt great relief at the response from my boss, something along the lines of: ‘We’re not trying to point a finger at anyone, let’s just figure out how to resolve the issue’ – which helped me get out of the ‘fear’ place and get on with finding the solution.
~ Punishing someone for a mistake creates negative energy, or bad feelings: now we’re not only upset about the mistake made and the outcome of it, but another person (likely already feeling guilty or mad at themselves) feels even worse for having made the error.
~ Being critical can spark fear of making a mistake again, and might prevent the person from taking a risk or trying something another time – for fear of making another mistake and the subsequent criticism it might bring.
Accepting that the mistake happened, as neutrally as possible, and looking at the situation at hand – as it is in the present moment – shifts the energy.
~ Maybe there is emotional or physical hurt. Instead of punishing (oneself or another person) – focusing on how those involved can be healed is more productive.
~ Maybe something tangible is broken. Instead of being critical (of oneself or another person) – seeking to determine how it can (or whether it even needs to be) repaired or replaced can be more helpful.
~ Maybe it was an error made due to ignorance – not knowing or remembering some information. Instead of berating (oneself or another person) – considering how can the information be shared and learned by the parties involved to help prevent it happening again in the future.
Perhaps the situations that fault/blame/criticism bring to mind for you might not be so easily dealt with using these approaches, and you feel some situations might still require figuring out who is at fault.
In any case, remembering that most folks don’t set out to make grave errors and are usually doing their best – might inspire you to remember to be kind, compassionate, and to offer constructive comments within any assignment of blame or criticism you feel you must give.
We are all works in progress. We are all learning to strike a balance for ourselves as to how best to react and respond to situations.
Wishing you a day of compassion and kindness in the face of errors you encounter today. ❤