The blame game


I doubt whether there will be a single person in the world, who has either not blamed anyone or has never been blamed in her lifetime. For most of us, blame comes easily. Anytime, things go off the track of our plans, we find someone to blame, at times even ourselves. I also feel that blame per se does not give any solution, but we feel satisfied for the time being, and then only we start looking for a solution.


Why blame has become such an important part of our lives across the world? The blame usually comes in the picture, when something as planned by us, gets into the possibility of not being fulfilled due to someone else’s specific actions. This leads to a sense of loss in and self-worth to the person, who initiates the blame. The person feels that her reliability and credibility will go down if the promises made by her are not fulfilled in time. This sense of loss of SELF, the person wants to safeguard. However, due to a sense of loss in the mind, the amygdala takes over the person and the panic starts. The fight or flight or freeze jumps in. The frontal cortex gets sealed up and hence, no sensible action comes to the mind at that time. The only action possible at that time is blaming the person, who in the eyes of the blamer, has brought the things to that state.


Now, the person getting the blame also feels the same loss of self-worth and gets into her defensive mode due to her thinking also being taken over by the amygdala. This interaction of the amygdala of two persons never allows any worthwhile discussion except the blame and the defense on the blame. It is the human psychology on the show.

In the rare scenario, when we do not allow the amygdala to take over the control of the situation, the frontal cortex remains active, and rather the blaming, we tend to look for a solution to complete the job as planned. This becomes possible also due to a third person’s intervention.


This individual blame game has a very dangerous impact on the culture of the business house resulting in reduced productivity. Business owners fail to appreciate the fact that each blame consumes productive time and hence results in a direct loss in profit due to underutilization of the employees’ time.


It is normally felt that the action leading to inefficiency is due to casualness, lack of knowledge, or deliberate intention, at times and hence the blame is justified. The person getting blamed knows that this is not true, most of the time. This does not bring trust between these two persons. The teamwork gets a beating.


The people blaming and people getting blamed fail to understand that each individual interprets the same input to their brain in different ways. The reasons for this will be explained in my future blog on the “Coloured Brain” theory.


For sharing or learning more about different aspects of business culture, write to me at contact@rajeevaranjan.com.


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