Relationship Tip: Accountability Over Blame

Are you ready for another Relationship Tip: Accountability Over Blame?

Ah, blame! Every day I hear many different versions of blame –  the loud and obvious blame that makes you want to scream and fight back OR the more subtle one that makes you want to shut down and hide.

Inspirational thinker and researcher, Brené Brown, calls blame a toxic behavior that sabotages our relationships and moves us away from empathy.

In EFT language, I call blame an “action tendency” – a behavior or an action that we do in our cycle after we perceive something as negative, threatening, or attacking. Often, when one blames, the other one defends or attacks back, and round and round that goes.

Brené said it beautifully, “Blame is really the discharge of one’s pain and anger.” Blame has an adverse relationship with accountability.When pain and hurt gets discharged as blame, it can be corrosive in relationships, and it can prevent empathy from happening. Rarely can one empathize when being blamed.

Blame is so much easier than accountability. To be able to take accountability and responsibility over something that perhaps hurt or offended the other partner is not easy! In fact, it is very vulnerable ,and it can be even scary.

What can we do about all of this? We can practice vulnerability. We can practice mindful listening. We can practice being with and sitting in our own pain and discomfort and sharing from that place, instead of the blaming place. For beginners, a good place to start would be to name the blame and take ownership of it.

For those of you who do blame, I want to say this: “I see you, I see your pain and your anger! You are not alone. Let your partner see you in that too, so accountability wins over blame AND connection wins over disconnection.


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