Blame, Responsibility and Solutions. These are not necessarily connected, so don’t get them mixed up.

When something goes wrong it’s a knee-jerk reaction to look for who is at fault.

When something goes wrong, there’s a natural reaction to avoid accepting responsibility.

These two are interrelated in that people often conflate blame and responsibility. They are sometimes related, maybe (and if that’s important to you), but you can be responsible without being the cause of a problem.

You can also accept responsibility for something without being the creator of a problem (many people have it forced on them), and therefore you are not responsible for it. That’s because carelessly thinking people and systems seem to need to find fault above all else.


Then there are solutions, and you don’t need find fault with anyone or anything – nor to know the cause of something – to offer a solution.

The need to Blame

The need to blame is powerful but, as far as I can see, the costs outweigh the slight feeling of satisfaction we get when we accuse someone or something. If your default position is to condemn, it may stop you looking further and absolve you (in your mind) from any responsibility to help correct a problem. 

Thinking about it now, I think there is a link between blame and responsibility, but not in the crooked way some people do it. By blaming, I could be deflecting responsibility from myself.

See also:

Recognizing the Distinction Between Blame and Responsibility

Time to Blame Your Inner Critic

I’m a psychologist, coach, and therapist. All my work is aimed at enabling people to improve personal aspects of their lives and work.


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