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What to Do When Someone’s Blaming You

Have you ever been in a situation where you are blamed for an unwanted outcome? What do you tend to do? 

  1. Get defensive and lash out? 
  2. Accept the blame just to try and keep the peace? 
  3. Search your heart for how you may have contributed, and seek the opportunity to learn from it?
  4. Some combination of all of these, depending on the day?

Just so you know, there is no “right” response. There may be responses that are more effective than others depending on the situation. There may also be patterns that you notice in yourself that you’d like to change. However you tend to respond, I have a strategy that I believe you’ll find helpful.

When something has gone wrong and you are being blamed:

Ask yourself the following questions.

1. What’s mine? What can I take responsibility for here? In what ways can I own how this has turned out? What did I say or not say, do or not do, that had it go this way? (Hint: this is not about going down a self-blame spiral. Instead, it’s about practicing curiosity and radical honesty with ourselves.)

2. What’s yours? One place to begin is with the other person’s reaction. Whatever the facts are, the other person’s reaction is theirs to own. (Hint: this is not about turning the blame around on someone else. Instead, it’s a form of separating your own thoughts, words, and actions, from those of others.)

3. What’s ours? How did we co-create this outcome together? This step allows for you both to get back on the same team, and collaboratively move forward together, in partnership.

If you’d like some other suggestions on how to handle an unwanted outcome, here’s another article I wrote that you may find useful.

How do YOU handle blame? I’d love to hear! Drop a comment or send me a message!

p.s. I you’d like support around this or any other relationship or communication challenges, please reach out! I love coaching folks around this stuff!

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4/05/2021

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What to Do When Someone’s Blaming You

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