Blame is something the stops us from getting where we want to go. If a person can continually shift responsibility off themselves and onto something, or someone else, they don't need to change because they are not at fault.
If a relationship in at a 50/50 mindset I can blame my partner for not providing enough input, the wrong input or for causing my feelings and reactions. If I believe I am as responsible for what my partner feels as they are and that they are as responsible for how I feel as I am, a foundation is being set for blame. If my thinking looks like the following I may have a blaming mindset and I should work on developing new responsible tools.
"If only they would have done _______________ I would have responded differently."
"If they wouldn't have done ___________ this wouldn't have happened."
"You made me angry!"
Instead of this blaming mindset, move to a responsible mindset.
A 100% mindset.
The 100% Rule
This was designed for the Men Advocating Non-violence (MAN) Program. It goes something like this:
I am 100% responsible for everything I think, feel, say and do.
My partner is 100% responsible for everything they think, feel, say and do.
Therefore, only I decide what I think, feel, say and do.
This is a way of thinking that gives a person control and responsibility for their own actions. If I believe that I am always responsible for not only my actions but also the thoughts and feelings behind those actions, I am going to take more time and examine why I feel the way I do. I will think about why I am thinking the way I am. Ultimately, I am going to be able to look at what is causing my initial reaction,with that knowledge in hand I am better able to respond.
Responding appropriately is the goal. If I hold myself accountable for my actions then I am more careful with what actions I take. So moving forward arguments become less about blame and more about finding reasonable compromises and solutions with my partner. It's not that we are never going to argue, it's that when we do we do so fairly, we are responsible for our actions and we don't do or say things that destroy our relationship.