Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Anatomy Of Presidential Blame

How many times have you heard politicians who said something that is mean, vindictive and hurtful -- or committed a  destructive act  -- justify it by saying the recipient had it coming or they were hindering, interfering or blocking what I wanted or needed to get done. We have heard President Obama say this a lot.

Unfortunately, blame is like anger in that it dulls one sense of empathy. It allows a person to act in a hurtful way to another human being. It isn't the act itself, but it often clears the road. This is a small, but important point. Ordinary humans have inhibitions that serve as a buffer against what we know is bad behavior. Blame is not the act itself, but it either erodes or outright removes these inhibitions, often both . It develops a thought pattern that allows the person's emotions to override his/her self-control in order to achieve an often selfish end -- including sustaining dysfunctional patterns.

Why do people blame others
Some people start to blame everyone around them as soon as anything bad happens. While the habit of blaming others is very common still there is no one common reason behind it, but instead there are many different reasons that could make a person blame others.
Understanding these reasons is one of the things that will help you deal with people who blame others. By drawing their attention to the real reasons behind their behavior most of them will realize they were wrong and will stop throwing the blame on others. Here is why people blame others.

The reasons behind the habit of blaming others:

  • Loss of control: Some people panic when they lose control and so they try to restore the sense of being in control by blaming others. So behind the act of blaming others fear exists. The Presidential actions taken on immigration by Obama were his effort to regain control.  Obama set himself and the American public up for another two years of crisis and division. An avoidable mistake of monumental proportions. Even the most ardent of Obama supporters agree immigration can only be fixed by Congressional legislative action. 
  • Controlling you: Some people try to control others by blaming them and making them feel that they are bad. If someone desperately wants you to do something he might blame you to change your behavior. Labeling others as "obstructionist" is one of the methods for controlling others using blame. Telling people to change their behavior by not watching the Fox Network is a real effort to control others. The implied request is don't watch a network that disagrees with a network that agrees with me is just flat out insanity. 
  • They learned it from their parents: Some parents have failed to teach their children how to take responsibility for their actions and so they grew up as adults who blame others whenever something bad happens. 
  • Refusing to admit that they are responsible: Some people can’t admit failures and mistakes so they blame others for them in order to escape from the responsibility. One common example is saying "I was late because the streets were crowded" instead of admitting that you should have taken the traffic jam into account. When it comes to Presidents the traffic jam is the opposition party, you know they are there, you know they will oppose your plans and it is up to the President to find a way to work with them, not just to blame them. After all Presidents are representing all the people not just their own party. Finding middle ground to be on time and get things done is the measure of true presidential success. 
  • Unable to accept what happened: People blame others when they fail to accept something that happened. Had those people learned how to properly accept events they would have never blamed others. Anyone want to say....Presidential Action on Immigration after the election shellacking.
  • Ego/Emotional Protection:  realize the kind of mindset that so quickly adopts blame as a defensive posture for emotional/ego protection is exactly the same one that will put you in front of, otherwise avoidable, physical danger.
What Obama or any chronic blamer should do
Basically if things keep going wrong in your life, if you keep on finding yourself in chaotic situations, if there is always some kind of crisis going on or if things "just keep on happening to you" -- you need to do a radar check.

This often entails asking people for an outside perspective -- and then listening to them. But the old adage of "birds of a feather flock together" also holds true.The President needs to ask people outside his circle of close advisers, friends and family. The reason people are your friends is that you all tend to think alike. People are likely to tell the boss what he wants to hear. You need to get an outside, objective opinion. It is best to ask professional counselors, but stable, successful, mature people that don't have a vested interest also are good sources of information.

Unfortunately, when they do this, many people hear things that they don't want to hear -- that is why they don't normally ask. Odds are, what you are going to be told is NOT what you want to do. It is not going to be comfortable. It is not going to give you benediction for your actions and emotions. This is, however, a critical perspective to have because it shows you how other people think and how they perceive you. Taking this important step is an act of a mature and wise mind. Staying in your cocoon of comfort and not taking any clever action destines one to a life of insanity.... doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

And that is going to determine how people will treat you.
Even if you don't agree with what they are saying, ask yourself "what was the reasoning behind that statement?" Often other people see things that we don't see -- or, more importantly, don't want to see. If you ask 10 people and eight of them say the same thing, then there is obviously something that you are missing.

Now while some people will steadfastly maintain that they have considered all possibilities, by definition a blind spot is not only an area you can't see, but one that you don't know you can't see. When eight out of 10 people tell you something is wrong, something is wrong. If you feel an incredible surge of internal resistance about what is being said or toward continuing to ask mature and responsible people for an outside perspective, that too tells you something. (If you don't know any stable and reliable people to ask that should really tell you something). If you are only asking clones of yourself, well, why bother!

Pandora's Box Syndrome
If you encounter this resistance you must approach the issue from a different angle. The question then becomes: What would I lose if I did allow myself to see what I don't want to see? And that is a Pandora's Box question if there ever was one. Had the President attempted to build a consensus with the new lawmakers were sworn in he may have avoided another crisis. But it is clear that he and his inner circle are thinking together and afraid to step out of their comfort zone. On the other hand the American public boldly said............we want change, we want things done differently and Obama failed to listen. 

There is no doubt that Obama is a very intelligent man, he would never have achieved such success with that intelligence. Once you achieve that success you have to do something useful with it. Unfortunately President Obama has gone down the blame road instead of the more useful road of great ideas. Small men speak of others and assess blame while large men and minds speaks of ideas and the future.


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