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Understanding & Dealing With Compulsive Blaming
  By Charles Shahar Posted: 08.06.2006

Part of the “victim mentality” of the neurotic includes compulsive blaming.

The blaming functions to reinforce the belief that they can do nothing wrong or bad, and others are responsible for their difficulties. More deeply, it is a way for the person to avoid taking responsibility for their life. They will blame others for poor decisions, but if they make the right choice, they will take full credit for the happy results. What they fail to admit to themselves is that whether life takes a turn for the better or worse, it was always their decision to pursue a certain course of action in the first place.

Most neurotic blamers will take the advice of others, and even actively solicit it, as an unconscious way to avoid taking blame for failures. They protect their ego by always putting their fate in the hands of others. They thus completely set up the victim/blaming situation.

Blamers are prepared to fault anyone for their problems. It is too anxiety-provoking to conclude that they were mistaken. However, in an ironic (or neurotic) twist they will blame themselves for having listened to the poor advice of others. They often say they will not consider the suggestions of anyone again, and will follow their own instincts next time, but of course, they rarely do.

The blaming gives them a false sense of assurance that if they had followed their own feelings, they wouldn't have made the same mistakes. They may refer to themselves as being too trusting of others, although their blaming seems to suggest the opposite. First of all, they don't really trust themselves. They are often attracted to people who give them bad advice or who steer them in the wrong direction, and hence their disappointments become self-fulfilling.

Perhaps the most insidious aspect of their victimization is that they will take advice from people even though they intuitively know that it is bad, so that they can engage in recriminations later. In this way they set up the other person for criticism or put-downs. It is a type of control maneuver: "You already ruined this aspect of my life, so this time, we will do it my way".

Most victims have a litany of people they blame for major failures in life: getting married to the wrong person; buying the wrong house; making the wrong financial investment; and so on. Their "goats" can range from their parents, to an investment broker, to their neighbor. It is usually their spouse who takes the brunt of the blame for their miserable life. Victims also engage in blaming to boost their standing in the eyes of others. Blaming and complaining about someone can create false impressions among family members and acquaintances, and is meant to get them on side, and elicit support.

Dealing with a blamer: Always point out that they had freedom of choice when they took a course of action. No one put a gun to their head. They will say the person was pushy and persuasive. Tell them to be less gullible next time, and to take control of their lives. If they blame you for a decision they made, don't ever give them advice again. And make sure that when they ask for it, you mention that they have a tendency to blame others, and that you will not fall into that trap again.

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