Maybe it’s time to look at things differently rather than putting the blame on others.
Maybe it’s time to look at things differently rather than putting the blame on others. PHOTO Wavebreak Media

Playing the blame game

ACCORDING to renowned coach and speaker Tony Robbins, we all have six "human needs": Certainty, Uncertainty (Variety), Significance, Connection and Love, Growth, and Contribution.

One may be more important or it may vary at different times but however it is for you, there are days when we feel our need(s) are not being met and the tendency is to blame others for not meeting them.

Is that fair? Is it truly their fault? What drives our belief and behaviour at those times?

One reason could be that we are not consciously aware of our needs and therefore don't express them, or perhaps we are aware and don't know how to express them.

Either way, the person we hold responsible for fulfilling them, whether they are parent, sibling, friend, partner or work colleague, is generally blissfully unaware of what's happening.

Our needs remain unmet and we become dissatisfied. At that point it is likely that we are looking for someone to blame rather than seeking the answer within.

For example, our work colleague doesn't say hello to us and we feel insignificant as a result. Our partner leaves us on our own when we want them there and we feel disconnected and unloved.

Whether the experience is a one-off event or a series it's the impact on us that creates the problem; we assume the worst and it drives an emotional response.

That can lead to dwelling on what has happened and running the event over and over in our mind until it becomes our story.

Like every story, each time we recall it we are giving our personal, one-sided interpretation of what happened and the memory becomes distorted and embellished.

Each time we continue to blame someone else for making us unhappy and not meeting our needs and the other person often has no idea because we haven't told them.

So which of your human needs is not being met? Who might you be blaming? What was the original event that has caused you to blame them?

Now consider the event from the other person's perspective. How does the picture change? How does your perception change? Was it their fault? What were the circumstances? How did you contribute? How would the other person describe the event? How have you adapted the story to reinforce your belief that your need wasn't being met?

Maybe it's time to change your perspective and explore ways to recognise and communicate your needs effectively, remembering that all change starts with you. How can you start to take responsibility for meeting your own needs or communicating them differently?

Rowena Hardy is a facilitator, performance coach and partner of Minds Aligned: