Some of us avoid responsibility for our problems by placing too much blame on others: our friends, our families, the world.
Some of us may blame others, or the world for our problem. We assume they are at fault and that they are the cause of our problems. We may say, "My child has bad behavior because of the school system." Or "I can't stop smoking (drinking, feeling depressed, etc.) because my mate is so non-supportive and does not understand me."
What we are doing when we think this way is to avoid the problem by saying to ourselves, "Well, there is nothing I can do about this because it is not my fault. The only way this problem can be solved is when my mate (employer, children, friend, etc.) changes their ways."
To the extent that we think this way, blaming our problems on others, is an indication of our poor mental health and our lack of success with friends, family, and in job situations. While we all have this tendency to some extent, if this thinking is routine in your life and interferes with successful interaction with others, it is called a character disorder.
When we have this character disorder we place too much responsibility for our problems on others. We assume that the world is at fault and not ourselves. When we think this way we can not easily find solutions to real problems because we tell ourselves that the problem is not our fault. If it is not our fault, there is little we can do.
We find that most children and adolescents share this characteristic until they develop maturity in their thinking. Children will often not admit their responsibility or admit that they are the cause of the problem. The will blame their siblings or their friends, or say that the parents, or the teacher, are the cause of the problems.
Children learn to develop their problem solving thinking by using parents and other adults as models to the correct way of problem solving, that is, neither assuming too much fault on others or on the other hand, not assuming that they themselves are always to blame. Over time children learn to distinguish what is the real cause of any problem and how to solve the problem at hand in a reasonable rational manner without resorting to procrastination or denial of the problem itself.
To learn the second way that we avoid problem solving go to: Neurotic Behavior
To continue with the subject go to: Successful Living (continued)
More Mark Werling Essays - Addiction and the Integrated Life