Blaming Others for Our Bad Attitude

Our family recently went to see the movie, Peter Rabbit.

A comical and light movie, Peter Rabbit was superficially entertaining, yet it had a deeper lesson that wasn’t so obvious and I’d like to share it with you…

Peter Rabbit and his family create all kind of messes for the old and the new Mr. McGregor. The rabbits think they are allowed to take the vegetables from the garden, because it is part of nature and there should not be exclusion or walls to keep them from it. The McGregors don’t receive the mischief kindly, rather they retaliate and a war breaks out between the rabbits and the homeowner throughout the movie.

There is a part in the movie where the new Mr. McGregor says “YOU’VE TURNED ME INTO THIS,” referencing his evil ways and alleging the naughty rabbits’ behavior and implying their actions “made” him like this.

It’s a common pattern for humans to blame others for their actions when those actions are rude, vengeful, nasty or bitter. We’ll often use comments such as-

“You made me mad.”
“This situation has made me into someone I’m not.”
“You made me do this.”
“If you would have not x, then I would not have y.”

There is ONE critical problem with this and it is that:

  • People who do this are deflecting personal responsibility for their actions- It is very likely these people have a hard time accepting responsibility in all areas of their life and see themselves as the victims in situations they are involved with. They haven’t matured enough to take ownership for their actions and look for someone to blame, so they can be seen as the “good” people in the story.

It is important that as parents and leaders we ALWAYS take responsibility for the actions we have chosen… even when those actions are not actions we thought we were capable of. There is SOMETHING inside of us (a belief system, a thought, an emotion) that leads us to act the way we act and we must OWN our actions no matter what. Making excuses and references that deflect our negative behavior, because of external causes, simply makes us weaker, disempowered and more disintegrated.

Before training our children to take responsibility, we must take a look at ourselves and identify if we are deflecting responsibility to our spouse, employer, vendors, family, etc.. If we in any way think that person xyz has “made” us “this” way… think again. Your way of being is all you. If that surprises you, then maybe you are not who you think you are or you are way out of character in your actions and you need help in aligning your actions to your way of being.

Sometimes the greatest lessons in life come from indirect situations and people can fail to see them. They can get lost in the blame again and could miss the bigger picture and the gift of responsibility.