They tell you that you neglected them in a specific situation, that you are a bad partner or bad friend because you don’t care enough.
The typical way of expressing it would be:
“You were not there for me when I needed you”
How do you respond to that?
What’s a masterful response to “blame”?
Here are some options:
- IGNORE – Delete the message
- LISTEN – “What?”, “You seem offended”, “Tell me more”
- APOLOGIZE – “Sorry about that”, “I will try to do better next time”
- JUSTIFY – “I am not perfect”, “I am human”, “Sometimes I make mistakes”
- FIGHT BACK – “You did that to me too”
- BE COLD – “I don’t care”
- STOP THEM – “Stop!”, “Don’t do that!”,”Sorry, no time for that!”, “I am not playing the blame game with you”,
- EXPLAIN – “When that happened, I was in the middle of a situation with a friend and…”
- CHECK IN – “What a strange message”, “You ok?”
- AGREE – “True!”, “Guilty!”, “Yes, you nailed it!”
- GRATEFUL – “Thanks for bringing that up!”, “Thanks for letting me know”
- MAKE FUN – “Na na na na na!”
- ATTACK – “Fuck you!”
- PATRONIZE – “Oh poor little thing”, “Oh… Feeling abandoned again?”
- GIVE LOVE – “Can I give you a hug?”, “I love you”, “You are the best”
- GO DEEP – “The spirit guided me in this choice”, “I felt it would not be beneficial for me to take action”
- ACKNOWLEDGE – “Yes you are right”, “Yes, that’s the way it happened, I totally remember”
- UNDERSTAND – “Yes, I can totally imagine you feel that way”, “I would feel like that too if that happened to me”
- LIE – “I did that?”, “I don’t remember”
- DOUBT – “Are you sure?”
- REFRAME – “What I remember is that… Not that…”
- SELF BLAME – “Yes, I know”, “I always do that”, “I am not proud of myself”, “Feeling guilty about that”, “I am really bad at this”
- REACT – “Are you serious?!!!” (Emotionally loaded)
- THREATEN – “If you ever say that again!!! I will…”
- PROJECT – “I will do better next time”
- DENY – “That’s not true!”
- DEBATE – “Here is what I remember…”, “Looks like our memory of the events don’t match”, You say this… But that’s not what I recall”, “But I did help you by…”
- COMPLAIN – “You only reach out when you need me”, “You only want to use me”
- QUESTION – “Why would I help you?”
- SURPRISE – “Ha! Good question!”, “I never thought of that”
- CURIOUS – “I don’t really know”, “What do you think?”
- OPEN – “Always willing to change my ways if I know of something that doesn’t work for us”
- PROACTIVE – “I will take action straight away to change that pattern”
- RECEPTIVE – “What would you like?”, “What do you suggest I do about it?”
- CARING – “Are you ok?”, “What’s really going on?”
- AGGRESSIVE – “Yeah! I don’t really care about you!”, “Get lost!”
- RESENTFUL – “Here we go again!”, “We were having such a relaxing time!”, “Why do you need to sabotage everything?”
- ENTHUSIASTIC – “Great! Let’s have a good fight!”, “Always happy to engage”
- SARCASTIC – “Yes! Good idea! Let’s spend the afternoon going in endless non sense delusional loops from a lover who seems to have lost her mind”
- HELPLESS – “I don’t know what to say”, “I am lost here”
- SELFISH – “I owe you nothing my friend!”
- INTRIGUED – “I always wonder what gets people to start blaming like that”, “It is interesting isn’t it?”
The suggestions above are some of what spontaneously comes to mind.
Some of them might be immature or not really valid but are frequently used in human interactions.
For instance ignoring and deleting the message might not be a long term viable solution but offers for sure temporarily relief from the blame pressure.
It’s a battle plan that many people use all the time.
It’s a bit like a flight response.
It is a clear non engagement response that often works really well.
If the person has a point and the blame is justified, here are my best replies or the ones that I feel would be the most effective at creating peace and harmony:
- Oups! Offended you on that one – I understand how you feel – I would feel the same if I was in your position – Sorry about that – I am human – I am not perfected – Sometimes I make mistakes – I will do my best to do better next time – I guess I was fighting my own battles at that time and didn’t have the energy to respond to your needs – Sorry again
- LISTEN – UNDERSTAND – ACKNOWLEDGE – APOLOGIZE – JUSTIFY – PROJECT – EXPLAIN – APOLOGIZE
- “Sorry about that! I was busy on another project on that day”
Blame is along the line of judgement, criticism or accusations.
Sometimes, the person who blames you will have a point!
For instance if they say:
“You spent all our money! Now we are broke!”
There might be some truth to that!
Is the blame justified or unjustified?
Do they have a point or not?
Is this an opportunity for you to grow or not?
Are they pointing out an old pattern of your that could be evolving.
Right ow, you are the target of blame and that’s the first thing to check!
Justified or unjustified!
If it’s justified, do you want to change or do something about it in the future?
“Yes, you are right, I will be more careful with the way I spend cash in the future”
What if it’s justified and it’s a shadow of yours?
Here is an example:
“Yes, I went drinking with my friends and I like it! I am not going to stop!”
They might have a point but even though you see the self destructive impact of that behavior for yourself or your relationship, you decide not to do anything about it.
This means that you defend your right to make your own decisions.
If you are in a relationship and you are not willing to make changes, that might sometimes be a deal breaker or an ongoing source of tension.
That happens all the time, right?
In that case, you must be like a ninja and you have overall a few possible tactics!
I already covered quite a few earlier in the communication patterns examples.
Here are some possible responses:
- FIGHT BACK
- MAKE FUN
That’s emotional kungfu!
The real battle happens in the mind, emotional and energy bodies!
Deviating a blame attack with no effort and no negative impact is a skillful art!
Imagine that each time someone blame attacks you, you skillfully play with the energy of your opponent and find elegant ways to turn these attacks into bliss, energy, power or harmony.
There is an energetic art behind the expression and mastery of these blame shadows.
Ok, let’s go one step further!
When someone blames you or find reasons to blame you, what are they really saying?
- I am not happy
- I am dissatisfied
- I feel like a victim
- I want attention
- I need energy
- I want to be loved
- I want to be cared for
- I want to be seen
- I want to be listened to
make a shift in your actions or attitude.
What if you are the one blaming?
That’s another set of dynamics!
I’ll take a break now but will come back to that question soon.