This is the opposite of personalization. Instead of seeing everything as your fault, all blame is put on someone or something else.
It is also the most harmful ANT and it happens when you blame someone else for your own problems. People who suffer from this negative thought are prone to deflecting personal responsibility for their actions on others. To them, their problems are neverthe results of their own actions (or inaction). There is always someone who tends to gain from their misfortune. They are powerless, always at the mercy of someone or something and can never take control of their lives.
If you have this automatic negative thought playing on repeat in your brain, it could sound like:
To most people, blame is a defense mechanism to preserve a sense of self-esteem. Blame is also a tool that we use to hurt other people. It is often just easier to blame someone or something else than to accept responsibility.
A good way to understand how blame works is that such people have "cause-and-effect radar" that only works one way. The only things that register are how something affects them and their feelings -- which they use to justify their actions. What isn't picked up is how their behaviors or words affect others -- or how they are coming across to others.
What should I do?
Robert Leahy has suggested a number of techniques to challenge blaming:
a. Do you think that blaming others will motivate them to try harder?
b. Does blaming them protect you in some way?
c. Do you thin blaming others is "realistic"?
d. What thoughts, feelings and behaviour change if you blamed others less?
This post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered therapy.This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental Health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.
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