We erect a barrier called blame that keeps us from communicating with others, and we fortify it with our concepts of who’s right and who’s wrong. We do that with the people who are closest to us. It is a very common, well-perfected device for making us feel better. Blame others. Blaming is a way to protect your heart, trying to protect what is soft and open and tender in yourself.
Pema Chodron, In the Gap Between Right and Wrong.
When things go wrong we have a natural tendency to protect ourselves, even when it is our own fault. One way to do this is to look to blame. Sometimes we blame ourselves; more often we blame others. However, whenever I blame others I notice that it tends to harden my heart and makes me focus on myself. Remaining in that frame of mind tends to lock me in a state of victimhood, making me almost dependent on the perpetrator. It too easily simplifies the complexity which marks relationships in this world. In other words, it does not allow that things in this world can simply go wrong and that it does not always have to be someone’s fault.
Real relationships challenge us to stay open to the soft centre of the heart. How often do we form an opinion of another only to meet them and realise that our opinion was based on defending ourselves rather than what the person was really feeling. Fear makes us close down. At the end of the day it costs us precious energy. I find increasingly I ask myself: “Am I willing to waste my energy further on this matter?” and that helps me to move on.
All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him or her, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming them, but you won’t succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy.