Ask yourself – when is the last time I looked at my actions and accepted responsibility for any negative situations I’ve been blaming others for?
If we all stopped blaming others for any of our issues and owned up to our choices, beliefs, behaviors and alter-egos the world would surely improve. Most definitely personal relationships would improve.
One great exercise: take a situation where you felt you were wronged, where the other person totally stepped out of line and violated you, abused you, disrespected or insulted you THEN re-frame your lens so that 100% of everything that went wrong was YOUR fault. Really dig into that until you start to believe it…spend some time on it, 10 minutes at least if not 30-1 hour or more. Now regarding the other person, have your thoughts and feelings changed? Do you feel more empathy? Do you feel more responsibility, ownership or control? Perhaps some of the negative feelings you had for that other have been removed and now other deeper feelings for them can surface.
This exercise is very extreme and quite wild. Very few of your friends would ever encourage you to do this. Most likely after a negative situation with someone else you’ll go to your friends, family, etc. and tell them the story how you are feeling it and they’ll of course take your side and tell you what they think you want to hear. This may not be a good thing. Love those friends of yours…but are they really helping you to RESOLVE the issue in a peaceful and loving way with the other?
I don’t recommend doing this exercise to beat yourself up or to make quick decisions immediately afterward but as a learning experience it is useful. Find people who will tell you the truth and not just what you want to hear (or what they think you want to hear). Find people to advise you and ask them “what are some options for how I could handle this situation?” instead of just letting them stir up your already emotional state and push you further down whatever destructive road you are on.
It is my belief that it is not the higher road to be silent, faux-peaceful. These things are actually avoidant and do not honor or respect yourself and the other. Deal with life.