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Families: Nebraska's Future

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Avoid the Blame Trap

Keeping Your Family First


It's natural to look for someone or something to blame when things are not going well. In the long run blaming doesn't help solve problems. It often stands in the way of appropriate action. If blame goes on for a long time families miss the opportunity to help each other through what may already be a painful situation.

The act of blaming may stem from a need to understand a difficult situation. We think that if we can find out who's to blame, we may have some control.

There are ways to escape from the misery of self-blame or the hurt feelings of being blamed by others. Begin by trying the following:

1. Let people in the family know that you are blaming yourself or feeling hurt because others are blaming you. Your willingness to talk with others is the way to move forward.

2. If you are the relative of a person who is feeling guilt or sadness, let the person know that you may be angry but don't blame them. Sometimes during difficult times, silence by family members can be interpreted as blame.

3. Remind yourself and others about factors beyond personal control that have helped create the difficulty or crisis.

4. Talk with others in similar situations. When you visit with a respected friend you may see things in a different way.

5. Remember, "to err is human."






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