Day 2355: Blame

Who’s to blame for never writing a post titled “Blame” before, even though it’s one of the thirteen cognitive distortions discussed here?

I’m to blame for that and for repeating that description here:

We blame ourselves for every problem, or hold other people entirely responsible for a negative situation or feeling. When we focus on assigning blame and figuring out who is “at fault”, we are usually ignoring the complexity of a situation. Also, blaming can result in staying stuck in negative feelings, rather than moving towards action and solutions.

Does it help to blame?  What about this major news story?

1 million species are at risk of extinction.  Humans are to blame.

I’m very upset about that news story.  Can you blame me?

However, I don’t want to stay stuck in negative feelings. I’d rather move towards actions and solutions. But what actions and solutions are there?

I try not to blame myself for becoming overwhelmed, sometimes, by the immensity of problems.

I do think there is a difference between blaming and taking responsibility. Blaming keeps us stuck in the past and pointing fingers at each other.  Taking responsibility is more adult, focusing less on shame and more on the next achievable steps.

I take responsibility for all these photos and please don’t blame me if they don’t relate to today’s topic (because I took them all before I knew what I was going to write about this morning).

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Here‘s the witch from Stephen Sondheim’s  Into the Woods singing about the futility of blame:

I take responsibility for expressing my sincere gratitude at the end of every post.  Thanks to all for helping me create this blog and for reading it, here and now!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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22 thoughts on “Day 2355: Blame

  1. and we are responsible for our own choice of reading material )

  2. What a great song to share to go with this post. So much depth and truth in Meryl’s words.

  3. I can’t blame you for showing us Oscar and Harley as much as possible, Ann!

  4. The blame is relative to witnessing a cat’s plea for Michael’s creations

  5. I’ll accept the blame. Anything for free!

  6. I used to have a t-shirt that said “Don’t blame me–I voted for Bill ‘n’ Opus”. I wore it every election day.
    As I’ve grown older I’ve taken the message that was over my heart to heart–instead of blaming I try to understand why someone makes the choices they do. Although if they also voted for Bill ‘n’ Opus I know we understand each other.

    • Don’t blame me for trying to capture that heart-felt image and to share it here, Chris.

      Don’t blame me for many unsuccessful tries, Chris. Maybe it will show up in my next blog post.

  7. Who could blame the cats if they wanted some of that fish? Yum.

  8. I don’t play the blame game can’t see the point

  9. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between blaming myself and taking responsibility for something when the consequences are significant and I have deep regret. I start by taking responsibility but over time it can degenerate into blame. So far I have found no antidote. However, the supper that Michael made for you looks quite delicious.

  10. I blame myself for encouraging you to photograph your socks

  11. I can’t blame you for being upset…me, too! I suffer frequent “soul disturbances” these days. May I just thank you for what you offer here, dear Ann? You provide some shelter…your solidarity means so much! Knowing this, you cannot possibly blame me for gushing at you just a little bit. 🙂

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