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tinyfaery's avatar

How much can you blame your problems on other people?

Asked by tinyfaery (36135 points ) July 26th, 2008

Where is the line between personal responsibility and the impact of others on our lives? Is it all in our reaction to life/people, or do life/people create our problems?

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26 Answers

poofandmook's avatar

It’s hard to say. I know people who’ve had the same sort of things happen in their lives and one thrives and the other falls. I think it’s the coping mechanisms you’re wired with when you’re born that decides which one you are… sure you can learn along the way but it really is ultimately what you’re born with.

What I can’t stand is when people have problems in their lives, and then someone completely uninvolved with them in any way happens to do or say something that just throws one tiny spark out and sets the whole thing ablaze, and then that person is blamed. Nobody ever knows how any one thing will affect someone. You can’t please everyone all of the time.

trumi's avatar

Shit happens, you have to deal with it. When something goes wrong it could be entirely somebody elses fault, but blaming them won’t fix it. Blaming others will never solve anything.

Of course, blaming yourself won’t help either.

There isn’t really an answer to your question, however. Nobody lives in a vacuum, and everything around you impacts you.

You just have to do your best to live, love, and be loved.

wildflower's avatar

It depends on how much you’ve entrusted to those other people. And even then, that’s your doing, so, I suppose I don’t feel anyone has the power over me to influence me unless I let them. I do let them though, because the alternative is worse than being upset, hurt or disappointed.

loser's avatar

It’s easy for me to blame my problems on other people. Now, whether or not that’s accurate, is something else entirely…

Dog's avatar

Who is at fault or responsible be it the world, other people of yourself does not in any way change the fact that a problem exists
Expecting the world or others to FIX the problem won’t work thus it is a waste of energy playing the blame game.

The most successful people have learned
To concentrate their energy on solving the problems and preventing them from
happening again.

PupnTaco's avatar

Excepting cases of violence, crime, or natural disaster, I think we’re all ultimately responsible for the paths our lives take.

augustlan's avatar

People with power over children, who don’t use it wisely, can and do cause problems for those children, even into adulthood. As an adult, it then becomes your own responsibility to deal with those problems, but you certainly didn’t cause them yourself.

nikipedia's avatar

I don’t know. This is a cop-out answer, but I feel like—why bother? You can’t change other people and you can’t change the past. Maybe if you try hard enough you can change yourself. (Maybe not.) But blame doesn’t seem to accomplish a whole lot of anything.

And if you do try to blame someone else—then you get into this vicious cycle of, well, was that person responsible for his/her actions or were they a consequence of society, circumstance, etc? Ultimately, we’re all in this together—and a little compassion goes a long way. Blame not so much.

cage's avatar

okay, well I feel to a certain extent I’m inspiration to this question ;) (tinyfaery knows why)
I was in counseling for 6 months, and I blamed quite a lot of things on those around me. In the end I decided that that was fair enough for me to do that, I had a right to dislike what people did and said to me, thats fine, and if you don’t like what someone says, then I think you are allowed to blame it on someone. However, the real problem is discovering how to not publicly blame things on people.
I found out that I should just deal with things in a completely different way, those people aren’t going to change, so I let them get on with it, and I can do my thing. That’s not to say I don’t have the occasional shout and stuff, it’s good to get stuff out, it’s healthy, just the way you do it is more important.

I believe as long as you don’t go into a fantasy word blaming things on those around you, and you start loosing people, then you’re okay.

marinelife's avatar

We can’t ever control anyone else. We can only control our reactions to other people and our reactions to events. In the end, we must take responsibility for our own lives and actions.

syz's avatar

While what others do affects me, in the larger context, I am ultimately responsible for getting myself into and (more importantly) out of situations.

There are a few things in my life that have been completely out of my control, and a few people that I am bitterly resentful towards. But mostly, I don’t tend to blame people for things that happen to me.

augustlan's avatar

@syz That bitterness towards those who’ve caused you harm…I identifiy with that. However, it does more harm to you to hold on to that. I was in therapy, too, trying to forgive people in the past…not really able to, but I have been able to remove those people from my life and move on. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but what a relief!

tinyfaery's avatar

@ cage Actually it wasn’t you, it was some one else; but it works for you too.

boffin's avatar

Bottom line….
We are responsible for our own actions, choices and that includes our problems.
What ever they might be…

gailcalled's avatar

Agree with Boffin: but I would add, with a good therapist you can vent the rage and guilt and other ugly feelings in a safe environment. Then you (changing the pronoun now to “I”) I was able to make some big changes in order to get myself out of the rut. The therapist validated my feelings but enabled me to understand that I was in charge of what came next. Worth every penny.

btko's avatar

I think most things happen based on our state of mind (not factoring conditions you are born into)

gooch's avatar

I think the problem with society today is nobody tales responsobility for their actions they ALWAYS look to blame someone else

btko's avatar

I agree gooch, but I still blame Fluther for taking over my life!

gailcalled's avatar

@btko, you are treating Fluther as an anthropomorphic entity (but I totally agree with you :-))

nina's avatar

The amount of blame you can put on other people for your problems is inversely proportionate to how much you want those problems resolved.

Poser's avatar

Shit happens. You deal with it and become a better person, or you blame others, and become a bitter person.

Zen's avatar

What I’ve come to like about this place is that when I find a great question like this one, I am almost certain to find excellent answers and posts to it, as opposed to just crap, one-liner pseudo-intellectual crap or just banter between friends.

This question makes you think, and the 20 or so people above me either tried to answer it intelligently, intellectually or personally. This is great, imho.

You asked: Where is the line between personal responsibility and the impact of others on our lives? Is it all in our reaction to life/people, or do life/people create our problems?

Life, as the great John Lennon wrote, is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. Once you understand this, everything makes sense and you begin to “blame” others less, blame yourself less, and in general, just swim a little more efficiently in the sea of life.

JLeslie's avatar

I think you only get to blame others for a certain amount of time…and then you have to move forward. Moving forward can come in many different forms. It can be finally talking directly to the person who is hurting you and if they are a willing and loving participant you may be able to create a ew dynamic in the relationship. It may be removing the person from your life who is harming you. I think everyone needs time to process bad things in their life…to grieve or work through things, but then there comes a time when you have to take control, overcome, and make your happiness. If it is an adult harming a child or causing significant problems in a childs life than this is very different than adult relationships, because the child is powerless and actually developing their sense of self…harder to overcome these interactions.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I used to blame a certain person in my life for the way I turned out. But, it’s my decisions that will change that and therefore my responsibility.

filmbuff80's avatar

Some people go to the trouble of literally creating these delusions that they’re always right in these circumstances, often depicting themselves as a hero or victim, despite them being the bad guy. It’s a fine line between personal responsibility and environmental upbringing. I know someone who has spent his life blaming everyone and everything else for his problems. He has been divorced for a while now (his fault because he left his often cuckolded wife for another woman who left him) and that divorce has practically bankrupted him because of child support. He currently says that life has been hard on him and his mental health is fragile, which explains why he says such mean things to people and he expects us to act like this has been a recent thing, except he’s done it for the past 10 years I’ve known him. He somehow doesn’t understand (or refuses to) that his friendships and his relationships don’t last because his insecurities turn him into a self loathing bully who feels the need to feel better by putting others down.

Hibernate's avatar

It’s easy to blame others when something goes wrong. It’s much easier to throw the blame on the same person if that person did something wrong for us or toward us. But it’s pretty lame to keep blaming others for your problems. You either man up and take responsibility or you just blame the ones around you all your life. So basically you can blame everything on others but it won’t help you change yourself or things around you if you keep blaming others.

[I hope I got this one right]

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