Huffpost Healthy Living
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. Headshot

Why Blaming Feels Good

Posted: Updated:

Ronald, the CEO of a large furniture manufacturing business, spent his days focused on making sure that everyone in his company was doing their job. From the time he got to work to the time he left, he never tuned into himself. He completely abandoned his feelings and needs while he was busy making money. He often didn't even take the time to eat, so that by the time he got home he was starving. After he ate, he would answer his emails, staying up late on his computer. His wife and children didn't see much of him.

By the time the weekends came around, Ronald felt deeply empty. Having taken no time at all tending to his own feelings and needs, he would feel overwhelmed by his sense of aloneness and emptiness. But rather than deal with the fact that he was creating his own emptiness with his self-abandonment, he preferred to focus on what his wife, Sally, wasn't doing right. Sally wasn't attentive enough to him. She wasn't interested enough in him. She wasn't turned on enough to him. Working himself up into blaming Sally, he finally went after her, blowing up at her for not caring enough about him.

As bad as the fights felt, they felt better to Ronald than the emptiness. In fact, compared to the emptiness, blaming felt good. Ronald had no intention of changing anything he was doing. His business was successful -- that's all that mattered. He was afraid if he opened to caring about his own feelings, he would become too soft and allow people to run over him. He believed he had to remain closed to be effective at work.

As long as Ronald was unwilling to shift his intent from controlling others to loving himself, he would continue to be addicted to blaming.

Rita

Rita grew up in a very abusive family, where she often felt helpless over her parents violently hurting her and her siblings. For Rita, the feeling of helplessness felt life threatening. Now, in her relationship with her husband, Matt, she found that blaming him when she felt helpless felt better than feeling the helplessness. Blaming made her feel like she had some power. For Rita, this extended to road rage. When someone was going too slow or cut her off, rather than feel the helplessness, which felt so threatening to her, she would yell at the driver, calling names and cursing. Even though the person who was going slow or had cut her off couldn't hear her, the blaming felt better to her than the helplessness.

John

John had been left in foster care when he was very young, and had deep feelings of abandonment. Having never learned how to take loving care of himself, whenever one of his girlfriends did not attend to him in the way he wanted, he would explode, viciously calling her names and threatening to end the relationship. For John, blaming felt better than having to feel the old scary abandonment feelings.

John started counseling with me because he was no longer happy with himself. Basically a kind person, he was mortified that he kept treating his girlfriends so badly. And, of course, he was not happy that they kept leaving him.

As John started to practice Inner Bonding and develop his spiritually-connected loving adult self, he was able to hold his scared inner little boy rather than continue to abandon him. He was quite surprised to discover how comforting it was to him to pick up a doll that looks like his little boy and hold him with love. John agreed not to call a woman whenever he was feeling alone and needy and instead do an Inner Bonding process. With time, John learned to let go of his blaming addiction. He discovered that attending to his own feelings felt much better than blaming.

Rather than judge ourselves for blaming -- which most of us do at times -- why not look at what the blaming is covering up and learn to lovingly manage the feelings that we are covering up and avoiding with blaming?

To begin learning how to love and connect with yourself so that you can connect with others, take advantage of our free Inner Bonding eCourse, receive Free Help, and take our 12-Week eCourse, "The Intimate Relationship Toolbox" -- the first two weeks are free!

Connect with Margaret on Facebook.

For more by Margaret Paul, Ph.D., click here.

For more on mindfulness, click here.

From Our Partners