The Blame and Shame Game

Sometimes when going through transitions, our negative emotions can get the best of us. The most common emotions we feel are blame and shame.

When an unexpected change is thrust upon us, it is natural to want someone to blame. Sure, there is usually a person who delivers the “change” message. But as the saying goes, “Don’t kill the messenger.” Putting the blame on another person may make you feel better temporarily. But it will take you longer to move through the change process.

Some people react to change with shame. Maybe you didn’t get the promotion. Maybe the business failed. Or maybe the new relationship wasn’t right for you, after all. But in this case, you’re internalizing and blaming yourself for the loss.

Shame is a debilitating emotion, and usually serves no purpose. It’s not a healthy way to respond to failure. Instead, tell yourself you did the best you could under the circumstances. Learn from the experience. 

Replace the chatter in your head, whether is blame or shame, with positive language. Your negative emotions do not have to get the best of you. Instead, ask yourself what lessons have you learned? What gifts have you received from this? And what will you do differently the next time?