Rebecca approached the door and put her hand out to grasp the door handle. Suddenly she saw someone run toward the door on the other side with his head down. There was no room to jump aside, and she barely had time to block the door so it wouldn’t smash her in the face. It could have been an ugly accident.
Terry was startled when he shoved the door and it bounced back at him, bringing him to an abrupt stop. When they both regained their composure and opened the door, Terry yelled at Rebecca for not looking through the window and getting out of the way, then ran off. Of course, it was Terry who charged through without looking; it was Rebecca who saw what was about to happen and stopped it. Terry blamed Rebecca for his shortcoming.
People are often fast to blame others for their misdeeds. “She made me do it.” “He did it, not me.” “You should have ….” It might make you feel better in the short run to deny you made a mistake, but it has a negative impact on your relationships.
When you blame others for your errors, you lose an opportunity to learn and grow. You deprive yourself.
You also create stress between yourself and the person you blame. You both know the truth, and you are the one in denial. This causes people to question your integrity and character. It also causes distrust; people are less likely to believe you moving forward.
Terry could have apologized and asked Rebecca if she was okay. Rebecca would most likely have shrugged it off; it was an accident, not intentional. This would have preserved the relationship and left both parties feeling better.
Before you blame someone, stop and think. If it truly was the other person’s fault, you can respectfully comment. If it was your fault, own it and be gracious about it.