I saw clients this morning, which meant that I had to leave the house early. I knew that my wife was still asleep on her day off, but wanted to kiss her goodbye. That’s what she does when I sleep longer – and I like it. So I went into the bedroom and kissed her.
Drowsily she asked me the time and I said: “It’s eight o’clock”. Much to my suprise she rose in an instant as if she just realised that she overslept and then immediately went at me in her most criminative tone: “Why didn’t you wake me up?”. I could not hide my surprise which turned – luckily – into a smile, because I found her reaction rather cute than blameful. In that moment.
A bit later I found myself stunned by thinking about how quickly my wife had accused me. Her reaction was a matter of less than a second I suppose. From a logical and emotional perspective I can’t find a reason why my wife would blame me for not waking her. First, it is not my responsibility, second, had it been a weekday I would of course have reminded her to get up in a timely manner. I don’t have a track record of mean ruthless behaviour.
On my way to work I decided to write this blog because my wife’s reaction reminded me strongly of Brene Brown’s take on blaming. Find the video below, in which she describes the fascinating mechanism of blaming. Within milliseconds we are able to find someone or something to hold accountable for bad or inconvenient things that happen to us. It seems like an automated reaction to unfortunate stimuli over which we don’t have control. Or shall we say, some of us have no control.
Blaming others does not have to be your default mind set. Out of my own experience I want to clarify that being the one blamed for often is a hurtful experience and can lead to resentments towards the blaming partner. In order to overcome your default automated reaction patterns you need to become more mindful of your actions and triggers. Cultivate your self-awareness and start by taking a step back. Relax! Breathe and change your reactions to more conscious responses.