Blame: to assign responsibility for a fault or wrong.
Although we may not like to admit it, we all do it.
How many times have you been in an argument where your ammunition has been fueled by blame?
We are quick to point fingers and assign a laundry list of “wrongs”: “Remember that time when you....” or “You always do that…” or “You never care…”
How would the picture change if the “you’s” were replaced with “I’s”? Have you ever stopped to think how you might contribute to the problem at hand?
Perhaps our arguments with others could be resolved much more peacefully with fewer grudges held if we stopped to consider how we can be part of the problem and, accordingly, part of the solution.
How we approach a disagreement can be half of the problem. If you are playing the “blame game” from a place of internal selfishness, it is rare that you will reach a peaceful solution.
If you are only seeing the other person as a problem or at-fault and failing to see or acknowledge the other person’s feelings toward you, this can lead to a one-sided and attack-style argument.
No one likes to sit down and be told a list of reasons why they are problematic and how they need to fix themselves.
It is important to acknowledge that, in an argument, the other person is often feeling certain ways toward you as well. They may have their own list of reasons for why they are frustrated with you and why they are feeling disconnected as well.
Being unwilling to hear his/her side of the story and only seeing the person as at-fault will only fuel his/her fire to feel angrier toward you.
Although it can be hard to take at first, we must be open to criticism and change, just as we are expecting the other person to be toward us. We often get “walled in” and see ourselves as the victim.
We fail to see how we can also contribute to a solution with the other person.
Additionally, we often do not pick an opportune time to approach our issue with another.
If we are keeping a laundry list of reasons why the other person is wrong hidden inside ourselves, we can often be triggered and explode when the person does just one small thing to set us off.
The other person may be surprised by our sudden string of emotion toward them and fail to see how one little event could have triggered such an emotional outburst.
When we have a problem with someone, we should not let our frustrations grow and cumulate.
It would be much more well-received and potentially resolve the problem quicker if we acknowledge our issue with another when it actually occurs, rather than at a later date.
If we already have a problem growing, letting the other person know that you’d like to discuss an issue with them at a time that is good for them may be a good solution to the problem.
In this way, you are both meeting at a good time with an expectation of what will occur, rather than a surprise outburst.
It is important to get out of our “walled-in” view and look into how we can contribute to a problem as well.
Understanding that the other person may have similar views toward us may be the first step in avoiding a confrontational encounter.
Choosing the right time, the right mindset and being open to criticism may help to make any difficult situation or conversation go better.
Alexis Nieszczur is a fifth-year student in the P3 PharmD program.