WE OFTEN LOOK FOR THE SOURCE OF A PROBLEM – who or what is at fault.
Maybe it’s how we’ve been 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 itself, rather than pointing a finger at who was at fault for causing it, allows us to just get on with resolving the issue (in whatever way possible) in order to move forward.
~ Assigning blame can create fear and defensiveness in the person being blamed. This doesn’t tend to inspire a willingness to contribute to the problem-solving piece. I can remember a time when I made a mistake, and I’d been feeling so awful about it and fearing repercussions. But I felt great relief at the response from my boss: ‘We’re not trying to point a finger at anyone here, let’s just figure out how to resolve the issue’ – which helped me get out of the ‘fear’ place and get on with contributing in earnest to finding a 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 the person responsible for it – likely already feeling guilty and 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 next time. They might fear of making another mistake and the subsequent criticism it might bring.
ACCEPTING THAT THE MISTAKE HAS HAPPENED, as neutrally as possible, and looking at the situation at hand to focus on the solution shifts the energy.
~ Maybe there is emotional or physical hurt as a result.
Instead of punishing oneself or another person, can we redirect our focus to how those involved can be healed?
~ Maybe something tangible is broken.
Instead of being critical (of oneself or another person) – can we seek to determine how it can (or whether it even needs to be) repaired or replaced?
~ Maybe it was an error made due to ignorance – someone not knowing or remembering some information.
Instead of berating anyone, can we consider how the correct information could be shared to help prevent it happening again in the future?
Perhaps you feel that some situations cannot be so easily dealt with using these approaches – that sometimes it’s still necessary to figure out who is at fault. In any case, remembering that most folks don’t set out to make errors and are usually doing their best might inspire you to be kind and compassionate, and to offer constructive comments within any 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 – yours or someone else’s. ❤