Social Question

josie's avatar

If one's life is a mess, how much can they blame somebody else before people think they're crazy?

Asked by josie (30485points) 2 months ago

Most reasonable people take responsibility for their failures.

But I get the feeling that people think it’s OK to blame somebody else. And I also sense that others will listen to that excuse.

But only up to a point. Beyond that, people start to assume that their dealing with someone who is a little crazy.

What is the acceptable ratio?

Expressed as Me%-Them% (Reminder-Can’t total more than 100%)

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16 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

I feel like personal responsibility is everything. Your life sucks, then get up and change it. If you can’t due to health or a disability, then that’s different, but otherwise, it’s all you.

Of course people blame others because if they didn’t, they’d have to see the failure is the person in the mirror.

For me 95/5 is an acceptable split. 5% I can blame on bad luck, I suppose.

ucme's avatar

Blame is for God & small children…think Dustin Hoffman said that in Papillon.
Seriously though, this blame culture is pathetic & ultimately, self destructive.
Own your life & face It’s challenges head on, burying your head or shifting responsibilty buys you a lonely, tragic existence.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ucme I hate to say it, but I see this SO often with the American hippies and their adult children. Yes, I grew up with them, too, but I saw the reckless abandon, chaos, drugs/alcohol and did the exact opposite.

It’s so sad to see so many of them dying without a dime to their name, in poor health, and leaving their families in financial ruin. But hey, they got to be free and irresponsible.

ucme's avatar

@KNOWITALL I’m all for expressing yourself & being a free spirit, but good grief…take care of the bread & butter as a matter of course.
You’re right, those are wasted lives, very sad.

rebbel's avatar

Higher than ten and my prejudice* kicks in (and I lose interest).
*(Built on countless cases where people blamed everyone and their grandma’s for the suffering they endured).

I on the other hand, am not to blame one iota for my mess ~

hmmmmmm's avatar

It’s not that they’re crazy – it’s an ideology that has been thrust upon them. The right feel that they are victims of immigrants, taxes, “communists”, atheists, foreign governments, environmentalists, Muslims, etc. They didn’t just come up with this stuff on their own. There’s a specific narrative that has been pushed on them for decades. They’ve internalized this and honestly believe it. Their specific flavor of corporate media tells them that they are correct in their assessment and who they should blame today.

But this isn’t mental illness. You can’t blame them for falling for it – especially since there has been no dominant opposing ideology.

The goal isn’t to label the right “crazy” – it’s to show them the alternative to feeling like the perpetual victim. It’s to enable them in a tangible way and show them that there is an alternative.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@hmmmmmm Whoa, whoa… I don’t see whee you are getting that Perhaps the right wingers around you are somehow different but that is certainly not what is going on here. What you wrote is the narrative that left wingers tell each other about right wingers but it’s not really true. What did this question have to do with politics anyway. When it comes to personal responsibility it is the left that generally does not have this character trait. They want someone else to fix their problems. It’s the big corporations, the rich billionaires and evangelicals that are the source of their problems. It’s an ideology that has been thrust upon them…. See how that works, because that’s bullshit too. What is different in the blame game between the two parties is this: The right have no problem with personal risk and responsibility but they are very cautious when making changes on behalf of society. They are slow to change in this respect. The left have no problems taking huge risks on behalf of society but they are personally very risk adverse when it comes to themselves.

As far as this question goes, there are some people who always blame someone or some thing other than themselves. It is never their fault as their locus of control is completely external. Without the insight to see that they may be at fault they will be destined to remain in their unfortunate situations. Know people like that? I do and they tend to be highly ideological because they often believe the two narratives above if you want to keep connecting politics into this.

MrGrimm888's avatar

My failure, is pretty much ALL my fault. Especially when it comes to females. I’m a fucking idiot. I get lost in love…
I fall for the worst girls, and end up where I knew I would be…
I can’t believe that I make such decisions…

I’ve had floods, that took my belongs. But. The worst pain, was caused by my own misjudgment…

I’m like a moth, drawn to the flame….

I can’t resist, a pretty red head girl… They will be the death, of me…

SergeantQueen's avatar

There are things that make my life harder because I do/cause those things.

Then there are people who do shit to me that makes my life harder

I take responsibility for what I’ve done, and put the blame where it belongs. BUT I usually don’t sit and complain to people about things caused by others. Because then people think I don’t take responsibility when I do.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Good point @hmmmmmm. There are excuses that have been made available to people who don’t want to accept responsibility. They just need to pick ‘em off the shelf.

JLeslie's avatar

I think people get to complain at max 20% before others start to feel that person is constantly blaming others. Onlookers will feel the person brings on some of the bad situations themselves, or that they are very negative. Negative because we all have bad things happen in life, learning how to cope well and move forward is the trick. Staying stuck and blaming others looks too much like wanting to wallow in it. It also can indicate a victim mentality and low self esteem.

Of course, sometimes truly horrible people enter our lives and we are victims, and sometimes we are dealt horrible things like a grave illness, and then it’s reasonable to put the blame outside of yourself, but even then, if that is happening over and over again people have little patience for it. If you keep getting sick they will blame you, maybe you eat poorly or don’t exercise. If your last 3 SO’s were bad to you some people will think you must be picking bad ones.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

If one is crazy then nothing is ones fault.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 ‘Crazy’ seems to be very subjective. But a person still should to take responsibility and get medicated or get help.

Inspired_2write's avatar

“If one’s life is a mess, how much can they blame somebody else before people think they’re crazy?”

I just finished reading the book titled“Educated” by Tara Westover about surviving one’s family.
To answer your question in this case 98% blame the family upbringing.

It details the dysfunctional family that were survivalists in the mountains of Idaho,preparing

for the end of the world. No education, no hospitals, no medical doctors and an abusive

tyrannical religious fanatical dominant father ( who later was deemed mentally unhinged).

This true story depicts a tragic life of innocent children ‘brainwashed” and therefore unable to
discern the truth from mixed messages taught to them from birth.

I would then say that in regards to the above question that yes sometimes ,SOMEONE else

IS responsible for the mess in the first place.

Fortunately Tara broke free although years later and uneducated she turns the tide in her


Nuggetmunch's avatar

The other side of the coin is “is failure always our own fault?”
My failure was due to never having access to mental health care. I’m 26 and I still don’t have access to it. I have blamed myself much thinking it will motivate me to repair the damage, but in the end it is only another form of self hatred especially because long lasting trauma came from external sources. When people blame something or someone for their failure, there is a good chance it’s at least partially true. We don’t know where they’re coming from, what battles they’ve had to endure, and how damaged they came out of it. Years of abuse, for instance, can cripple one to the point of total nonfunctionality, and hence failure of reaching goals. Not everyone gets the help or support to repair.
This is why Charles Bukowski acknowledged the potential in a random cashier’s/grocery store employee’s existence in one of his poems, because he knew he must have been through a lot of obstacles that have prevented his growth, or is still early in the healing process.
It is in fact good to understand your triggers and where they come from.
Narcissists for instance will always deny that they ever abused someone, gas lighting them with the same statement “don’t blame others for your failures!” when they are the ones responsible for setting unlimited obstacles in your path. All humans have different strengths to endure the same experience, and not everyone comes out stronger. There is no reason to blame someone for their failure in such cases.
All in all, it’s very subjective and I personally wouldn’t judge someone whose shoes I haven’t walked in.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Nugget Check out NAMI online. National Assoc for Mentally Ill. Peer support and coping skills, all free.

You are correct in that untreated mental illness falls somewhere in the middle as our country still doesn’t support that aspect of healthcare.

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