Written by Aziza founder, Laila Ghattas
On a recent private Couple’s Workshop, and on many other events I’ve facilitated that focused on relationship patterns and dynamics, the subject of blame came up.
After listening carefully to each person make their own case for the problems, the underlying message is often a strong belief the other person is to blame. This is true between spouses, family members, friends and co-workers. The subtext is : “If that person would only change, or do this, or stop doing that, everything would be fine. It’s all his/her fault. Or at least mostly.”
My response to hearing this unspoken sentiment is this statement of fact. As long as you blame the other for the trouble in the relationship any amount of therapy or money thrown at the relationship won’t help.
You have to address your belief that the other has to do the changing. You have to come to terms with your attitude, your judgement and be prepared to inform it of what’s really going on including your personal accountability in the situation. Otherwise NOTHING is going to change. The destructive patterns will repeat, the suffering will continue and lives will be short changed of joy. What a waste.
The good news is you are in control of your beliefs and can address them. Through awareness of what you deeply hold as true, you can reflect and evaluate if in the light of day your attitude is actually correct. Fair. Loving. Respectful. All the things you hope and wish for to receive yourself from those around you.
The good news is there’s a simple exercise that can go a long way to helping you break out of what is usually a tenacious pattern of blaming someone else for your troubles.
The important thing is to do the first part completely before even reading the instructions for the second part. By following the instructions and rhythm laid out for this exercise you will benefit the most. So try to be patient and trusting, and do the first part first before proceeding to the second. Do it that way for you, because you’re worth it!
This is kind of fun. Fold a piece of lined paper down the middle. On one side privately list all the things you can’t stand about the person you’re not getting along with right now. All the stuff that you wish they’d change. The big trigger stuff that makes you seethe, grind your teeth, curse and cuss silently or out loud. Go ahead, knock your self out with your list. Be as honest as possible. No one will see this list. Make sure of that.
When you’re done, identify the ones at the top of your complaints, the ones you’d give anything for that person to change, and put a star or check beside it.
If you have completed all of Part One, please proceed with the following. If you’re simply reading through out of curiosity, please go back and do part one. Don’t rob yourself of something as helpful as this exercise please.
ready for Part Two. Click