Resisting the blame game is important for healthy relationships. So, mastering the resistance of blame is crucial for interactions with others. Yet, it can take a lot of practice. The result, however, is freedom and joy that comes from your internal ability to control yourself, which is far more rewarding than the blame that leaves a host of toxic neurochemicals in its wake.
Interacting with others is where resisting blame becomes most difficult. Why? Because reactions to criticisms are often immediately felt in our gut, chest and back, creating physical manifestations that are hard to ignore. But if you lash out, you will only be hurting yourself. Instead, use the following techniques to control your reactions to criticism:
- Consider the comment – does it hold merit? If so, consider what you could do with that comment, then apply if appropriate
- Collect your thoughts – an immediate response is not always necessary. Explain that you’ll need to think about that comment and respond later; time and distance can often quell a heightened emotional response
- Say thank you – view the feedback as a gift and respond positively to the criticism
- Move on – once a person hands you a criticism, given with malice or not, you are the one that is responsible for picking it up and carrying it forward in your life.
Some criticisms are better left lying by the side of the road. If you pick them up, you’ll often find more of the same, because you begin looking for other things that reinforce the first criticism.
Much joy comes from being the steward of your internal landscape. If are having difficulty handling criticism and are more apt to join the blame game, contact me in Austin to learn more about how therapy can help.