Lately, I found myself repeating an old pattern in my life. It’s the one where I suddenly don’t feel good enough or I feel shame about something or an unpleasant memory pops up and I blame someone else for the problem.
I recognize in those moments, I have chosen to become a victim and end up dumping my emotional garbage on my unsuspecting husband. He gets to take the garbage out!
In a moment, my own personal trash is transferred to him and for a few seconds “I feel better.”
But, the “rush” does not last long and soon those sick emotions return. I realize now why many of us like to blame others. It provides a temporary rush that numbs our senses and makes us feel better.
But like all addictions, drugs, alcohol or gambling, the problem is not solved. It returns with a vengeance and we need to dump our frustration, anger and unchecked feelings again and again.
Blaming someone else becomes our temporary fix. We become addicted to it because of the “feel good” it gives us.
I have been on a quest to end this addiction. And at the root of my “blame” problem is the good old “victim mentality.” It’s someone else’s fault for why I feel like a failure some days, so I shift the blame to my husband, my parents, or even my kids.
Taking responsibility for the way you feel in those moments is the only way to deal with this problem.
Many counselors say we should not push the feelings away, but allow ourselves to feel them (without judgement) and contain them without dumping them on anyone else.
We need to take the time to understand ourselves in these moments. Why am I feeling this way? What triggered this? This is how we take responsibility for emotions.
Often, the problem is that I have not communicated clearly and expressed what I wanted or needed and then blamed others for not reading my mind.
Blaming someone else is the ultimate cop-out and a distraction from dealing with the real issue — us.
Relationship experts, Katie and Gay Hendricks say;
“The need to blame escalates and starts to overtake our thinking. We look for reasons to blame whenever we can. It’s a cocaine in relationships because according to research blame creates a spike in adrenaline and works faster then cocaine, because in less than a second, your body is infused from the inside.”
When our body gets fired up (triggered), the adrenaline kicks in and numbs our emotional pain. It feels good. Pointing the finger numbs you from facing the real issue. It’s like eating chocolate cake, gambling or taking a narcotic.
These feelings are often difficult to address and require taking responsibility for them instead of shoving them away.
Author Geri Scezzaro writes:
“Blame comforts us, at least for a while, with the illusion that we are in control. However, it actually accomplishes the opposite, stripping us of our God-given personal power and keeping us helplessly stuck in immaturity.”
Blamers are typically angry and pre-occupied with what others (parents, church, government) should be doing. This gives them a sense of moral superiority and a feeling that they are in control because they have been dealt a “bad hand” in life.
Comments like, “The church is not meeting my needs. My boss makes my life miserable. I wish I could work somewhere else.”
This ‘victim mentality’ creates an illusion of helplessness. We want God to fix the other person but ultimately we must take responsibility for our own lives. We are the one that needs fixing.
We must take responsibility for our feelings and create new patterns of thinking that will keep us out of the “victim mentality.”
“Confess your faults one to another, and a pray for one another so that you may be healed. ” (James 5:16)