Unfortunately, I have a number of people in my life who like to see things as if they are the innocent victims in any given situation, and everyone around them is to blame for everything that is wrong in their lives. I can appear to be like that too sometimes, but I do realize my part in certain situations and am willing to admit it and try to make changes where necessary. Just because I may be vocal in trying to discuss how others in my immediate family can and should behave and react to things differently doesn’t mean I think that everything is all their fault all the time. I am just doing my job as a parent (and spouse) to help them be the best person they can be, especially considering how many bad examples are all around them of how NOT to be a good person. It makes my job MUCH more difficult.
All too often I get blamed though for things that I shouldn’t, which is very frustrating. Trying to enforce a regular bedtime for my preteen, asking the kids to pick up their belongings that they leave around the house, and suggesting that they get some homework done before dinner so they are not leaving it all until later in the evening does not make me a “control freak.” It makes me a good parent because I am doing my job trying to teach them how to be responsible, take care of their bodies, and learn time management. That is NOT unreasonable. I am also not mean or a “horrible person” because I choose to sometimes give consequences for things like very inappropriate behavior. Again, I am doing my job as a parent. That’s all. But it is often not seen that way, even to other adults, including my spouse.
My concern though is also how many adults still operate as if they are never at fault for anything, can’t take ownership of their mistakes or their behavior and attitudes, and who don’t understand that they have the power to change how they do things, how they treat people, and/or the decisions they make. The saying, “If you always do what you have always done, then you will always get what you have always gotten” comes to mind. We all have the power to be kinder, more tolerant and patient, more understanding and open minded, more respectful and accountable, improve our communication skills, and so many other things. We can’t just be takers and never give back to the people who mean the most to us. We all have to pull our weight, which includes self-reflection to see what we do to contribute to any given problem and what we can do to be part of the solution.
Seeing ourselves as victims of everyone else’s negativity is the easiest way to interpret our surroundings. In some cases it is more applicable, but it seems to me that it is a whole lot less likely than most people would care to admit. While figuring out who might be to blame in certain circumstances does have some value, we can’t look to ONLY blame others for all the negativity in our lives and the world around us. We need to examine our own attitudes, behavior, decisions, prejudices, filters, previous experiences, anxieties, intolerances, and insecurities and figure out how they factor in as well and then figure out if there is anything we can do to help improve the situation.
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