“It’s MY fault,” my dad used to say with the emphasis on MY. “It’s MY fault,” he would repeat. That would be the end of the conversation.
And that’s what I have thought, too. If someone’s been mad, upset, or frustrated, I assumed it was somehow my fault.
Lately I’ve taken the opposite approach. That however someone else is, it has NOTHING to do with me. It’s NOT MY FAULT.
Having said that, I could argue the other side, that if I hit someone’s car and dent it, I was the cause of the dent. They may be upset or angry and I DID have something to do with it.
But they could also be happy. “Thank you,” they could say. “I told myself that if I got one more dent I was going to buy myself another car. You made my day.”
So while I did have something to do with it, I am not determining their emotional state.
There’s a woman at work who has been acting hostile to me. First I felt bad thinking it was MY fault somehow. Now I am saying “It’s NOT MY FAULT.”
Instead of being a victim like I normally would, I’ve taken the offense.
What I’ve seen is that it’s not creating any freedom either. It makes HER the problem and takes it off my back, but it’s still niggling in my mind with negative energy.
I’ve been looking at why it matters who’s fault something is. Why do we spend so much time trying to figure this out?
It seems, after thinking about this, that this is not productive. Where does it get you except to be right, cause shame, and distract us from something useful?
I know, when I’m being right, I want to talk about it so I can get agreement about how right I am. Where does this really get me?
What if we put our time into something else? Let’s have a conversation and see what we are both comitted to instead? How can we make this a win/win for everyone?
What if I could be a grown up and ask this person what I can do for her? Is there something I need to hear that could create affinity for her again? Do I have the balls to ask her or should I just keep making her wrong and keep the tension between us?
Good question. I will think about it. I’m a little scared of her I can see.
AND, I will be brave. Maybe on Tuesday.
Thanks for listening.
2 thoughts on “Does Anybody Really Know Who’s Fault It Is?”
Great observations. This is a familiar and perplexing territory for me as well. So many times I think the only other available option is the opposite – make him/her wrong or make me wrong; I’m not good enough or I am good enough; I love him/her or I don’t. And what I am slowly seeing is that the resolution to these either/or situations lies somewhere else entirely. It’s actually getting much clearer as I write this email! Like you said with your colleague – the answer isn’t in your head, it’s out in the world in the relationship. I hope your conversation goes well!
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Thank you. Yes, it’s an interesting landscape to navigate. I’ve been wondering about it for a couple of weeks and it’s getting clearer that there’s no cheese down that fault tunnel. I appreciate your comments.