The Blame Game

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How much time do we waste over the course of our lives blaming ourselves for past events? We all play the blame game, but what’s really interesting is that depending on our own individual psychological makeups we might take on too much or too little of that blame, and maybe that’s why we never find closure, because we know at the deeper level that we’re assigning the bulk of the blame to the wrong party and therefore can’t move on.

From the psychoanalytic point of view, if we tend to take on too much of the blame then it’s likely that masochism dominates our worldviews and relationships. If we’re masochistic our entire way of being is to merge and fully identify with some larger entity, to take on the traits and values of the entity, to believe we’re one and the same thing as this entity. We glory in the triumphs and wallow in the defeats of something or someone outside of us without even realizing that’s what we’re doing. The emotional payoff of ceding our individuality is feeling like we’re a part of something big, strong, powerful, successful, actually fooling ourselves into believing we are one and the same thing as this entity, be it a person, idea, organization, or whatever.

With this masochistic psychology in place we feel compelled to blame ourselves when things go awry. After all, when things are going well we congratulate ourselves for the state of affairs even though we have little to do with the situation other than having psychologically and emotionally latched onto it.

Maybe at the deeper level then that sense of self-blame that hangs around for months or even years after the event has less to do with the concrete event itself and more to do with the largely unconscious insight that by choosing masochism as a life solution we’re ceding the most fundamental human freedom, to be and become who and what we really are, to be the responsible beings in charge or our own self-actualization. That decision to cede psychological and emotional control, to merge with something outside of ourselves and lose ourselves in the process, actually is blameworthy from the existential point of view. The way to stop playing the blame game in these cases, when our psychological makeup is dominated by the masochistic world orientation, is to actively choose to shed our dependence upon some larger entity for our sense of Self and instead start unfolding our own inner potentialities, to start thinking and feeling based upon our own ethics and values, to start walking our own unique paths.