SHAME & BLAME are common, online and off. In work environments and at home. In too many places, in too many ways, they are the name of the game. This ensures everyone loses out. Nothing can grow when shame and blame fill the air. Together they choke the life out of every good idea. Every new venture. And every budding relationship. Shame and blame simply cannot co-exist with good-will, grace, risk, faith, and love. They are their antitheses, bent on their destruction. It’s the weeds vs. the flowers. The darkness vs. the light.
For this reason, shame and blame are deal-breakers when it comes to doing business together, ministering as an effective team, or working closely with anyone who tends to react with looks, words and comments weighed down with shame and blame.
Shame and blame make us double-guess the double-speak, cloud and confuse our thinking. This robs us of precious energy. Upends creativity.
When this is the case, relationships, personal or professional, suffer. After all, it’s hard to believe someone will follow through when shame and blame are part of their emotional vocabulary; shame and blame, by definition, negate the value of personal responsibility; so, why would they follow through on their responsibilities?
In this atmosphere, of simply trying to read the signs and survive, trust doesn’t stand a chance. Therefore what venture, what risk, what deep conversation can succeed? A. none. Shame and blame hold people back and so, are deal-breakers. Rightfully so.
The opposite scenario, of course, is when good things happen in an atmosphere where everyone is free to voice their thoughts, share ideas, suggest improvements, etc., without fear of being ridiculed or shut-down or thrown under the bus if/when things backfire or conflict comes up. This means everyone involved needs to be free of (or at least aware of and dealing with) shame and blame. Everyone involved needs to own their stuff and be willing to show up in an honest way. THIS IS WHAT IT TAKES for good things to grow between us; whether at work, in service, or at home.
People who work well together have each other’s back. They can be trusted. Mistakes are welcome, because it means someone is trying, pushing the limits, willing to risk. My brother, who loves to water-ski, says, “If you’re not falling, you’re not trying hard enough.” Love that! But that’s hard to pull off when shame and blame are lurking close-by, on the look-out for the first sign of weakness, failure or foolishness.
Probably, no one is immune to the effect of feeling the sting of shame or the false burden of blame, although some people are clearly more free of it than others; more at home with who they are and how they function, and therefore, more likely to applaud the same in others.
The ideal is that everyone would do the math: shame and blame are negatives. Praise and affirmation, acceptance and backing each other up are positives. If we want to come out on top, the choice is easy, although I’m the first to admit the emotional and spiritual work behind it is hard.
So, it’s important to find people you can be yourself with. Who value your voice and input, your ideas and inspirations. Who know that it takes guts to put yourself ‘out there’ – to share who you are and who allow you to function, fully, as you are made to do. This is key to working, living, and serving together.
Don’t let shame and blame take the place of better possibilities between you (or within you!). Instead, defend, promote, and affirm the best you see in yourself, and in others. It’s a much firmer, stronger foundation to build on.
The other stuff; the pettiness and passed-on pain that is shame and blame is a deal-breaker. Let it be so. The clearer we can be on this stuff, the better.
Thanks for reading!
FOR MORE ON WHO YOU ARE AND HOW YOU FUNCTION, check out my NEW BOOK “5 Navigators, aligning with your God-given spiritual gift.” Available on Amazon or through my Bookstall page – www.daynamazzuca.com
FYI – THIS POST FIRST APPEARED AS AN ARTICLE ON MY LINKEDIN PROFILE.