“I didn’t do it”. “It wasn’t my fault”. “He should have known better”. “They started it”. “She touched me first”. “They did it…not me”. “I was just doing as I was told”. “I was just following orders”. “I didn’t know that was going to happen”.
Interestingly, Blame Someone Else Day is celebrated on the first Friday 13th of the year—traditionally a day filled with bad luck. It is also the day that we can lay the blame for all of our problems and mistakes on everyone else around us. We could blame everything on our parents, our brothers, our sisters, our teachers, our friends, our enemies, our boss, our co-workers, our neighbours, our government, our doctors, the police, the weatherman, the guy working at the grocery store, our computer, even our alarm clock…. We are not at fault. We are not responsible. We are not to blame.
Beverly’s Hot Tips and Facts for Celebrating Blame Someone Else Day:
- Blaming or truth management is a real skill.
- It has to have some element of truth to be believable.
- We observe children honing their skills as they learn to blame someone else for taking the cookies out of the cupboard or for breaking the window.
- Blame shifting takes years to master and at first blame is laid on those closest to us including our parents, siblings and even the dog.
- As we get good at blaming others, we see blame being placed further out. The trickle down theory sees that blame rolls down hill in many organizations.
- The one who is quickest to blame has the best opportunity to be believed. So blame fast.
- Also it is harder to disprove if you blame a whole group of people rather than just one. So blame another department, another organization, another political group, another ethnic group, or an entire country. Surely someone is to blame.
Imagine how continually blaming others would decrease the stress that we feel and experience in our lives? Or would it? We know some people celebrate this day every day and it doesn’t seem to be helping them much.
Other downfalls … Blaming mistakes on others is socially contagious, according to several studies out of the University of Southern California. (See LiveScience.com) Just watching someone pawn their failures off on another can make you do the same to protect your self-image.
In organizations where blame is the norm, group members are likely to be less creative and perform poorly. It’s important for leaders, who are trying to shape their organizational cultures in a way to improve performance and creativity don’t blame other people publicly. Leaders should take responsibility for their own mistakes in public in order to be a model of positive behavior. Some companies who know the pitfalls of a blaming culture, throw ‘failure parties’ in which people talk about their mistakes and learn from others in a positive and risk-free atmosphere.
And finally, if taking responsibility doesn’t turn out so well..just blame…well whoever you can.
Top Ten Things People Do And Blame Someone/Something Else For:
- Showing up late for work
- Eating the last of the ice cream
- Stinking up the bathroom
- Emptying the coffee pot
- Putting the empty milk jug back in the fridge
- Letting the dog out
- Tracking mud into the house
- Leaving the car on empty
- An error on their tax form
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!