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are you a blamer?!

Have you ever experienced a situation when you're sooooo cross, you just have to find someone to blame?

Any fans of Brené Brown will love the 3 minute cartoon about blame which made me both laugh out loud and cringe with embarrassment at the same time!!! As I pondered on Brené’s observations, a story came to mind which I would like to share with you (permission to share has been granted). I wonder if you can relate to any of the emotions highlighted in what follows:


A mum was on her way to collect her son from school, a little stressed, having left later than intended. Too much to do, too little time. Although probably unnecessarily worrying, she was concerned that her son would be anxious if she was late. She drove through the narrow street, slowing down from 20mph to a halt as she realised a van was speeding up towards her on the wrong side of the road past a row of parked cars. As it was her right of way, she expected that the driver would stop and reverse, but the van sped aggressively forward, slamming on brakes at the last minute, almost touching bumpers. She was a bit shocked and gestured that the driver should go back but thevan did nothing. Feeling intimidated, she reversed as far as she was able to, and stopped beside a space between the cars so that the van driver could pull in, which would allow her to pass. Again, the driver did nothing for what felt like hours, so she pointed at the space with undisguised irritation, and the van then screeched into it. By then the woman was so flustered that she pulled away, perhaps a little too quickly, not noticing that although there was plenty of space to pull in, the back end of the van was actually sticking out. As she drove past, she heard the awful sound of scraping metal on metal as she grazed the edge of the van with her car. She experienced a huge surge of annoyance and was absolutely furious with the van driver for causing the prang and a huge amount of hassle.

So the question is, who was to blame? Undoubtedly, the van driver's behaviour was somewhat provocative and aggressive, but the woman was entirely to blame for the damage to the vehicles. Whilst we may have sympathy for the woman in the story, the anger, stress, and worry were her responsibility. She felt the need to blame-shift in order to make herself feel better and justify her response. Only by acknowledging her own feelings and behaviour could she move on (after contacting the insurance company obviously!). There will always be negative consequences with blame-shifting... we need to have the courage to take responsibility for our own thoughts and behaviours as they are the only aspects in this type of interaction that are within our power to change.

What do you think?

Do you have a story to share?! If any of this resonates with you, and you would like to process blame-shifting in your life or your experiences of being blamed, please drop me a line.

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