When things go wrong it’s natural to want to identify the cause. It’s also natural to cast blame. Sadly, blaming people often becomes the go-to remedy for a bad situation. Finding fault in someone else for things going wrong and blaming is a game that doesn’t have any winners. Over time, people can get into the blame game habit which creates defensiveness and divide people. Blaming doesn’t resolve conflict and it doesn’t leave much room for negotiations.

People who blame often have a hard time accepting responsibility for their own actions. They are quick to point their index finger at someone else but forget there are three other fingers pointing back at them. So, why do people suffer the blame game so often? Here’s why . . .

Three reasons people suffer the blame game habit.

Reason #1. They lack empathy– People who blame tend to see the world in black and white with very little grey in between. They see right and wrong without considering a bigger picture. Instead of investigating why something happens they look at the outcome and assign blame. Jumping to conclusions and casting blame leaves no room for empathy.

A lack of empathy for others limits your reaction when things go wrong. Instead of being open to multiple possibilities, blame gamers tend to cast blame and shame which can lead to defensiveness.

Reason #2. They lack self-control – People who blame tend to lack self-control. They often fueled by their emotions and react quickly when frustrated or disappointed. They express their displeasure and cast blame quickly to help ease their own anxieties.

The inability to hold their thoughts a while and examine all the angles can lead to blaming rather than resolving conflict. In the same way lacking empathy can cause shame, lacking self-control can create knee-jerk reactions that alienate people in difficult times.

Reason #3. They lack experience – A lot of people who play the blame game were blamed a lot themselves. Whether blame was a routine part of their childhood or they experienced being blamed and suffered greatly, they may have internalized finding and casting blame as the best way to identify who is at fault and deflect any responsibility.

Growing up without a model for healthy conflict resolution can lead to a blaming mentality. If you’ve witnessed blaming and saw it successful, casting blame may feel normal. After all, it feels good to have a culprit or someone to take all the ownership of a difficult situation. It takes much more work to find common ground, own your role in something, or accept that there are some situations that can’t be pinned on one person or one situation.

Fault-finding is one of the key moves in the blame game. It won’t solve problems and it alienates people. No one wants to be on the receiving end of blame, even when it’s warranted. Finding better ways to solve conflict is a more mature and effective way to resolve conflict.