Blame: claiming an obligation to “correct” something

Hundreds gathered at the Alberta Legislature g...

Hundreds gathered at the Alberta Legislature grounds in Edmonton to protest against victim blaming. After several speakers make some pretty powerful, and passionate pleas to the crowd, they took it to the streets, and marched to City Hall, despite some liability issues the city has about the march. Hats off to the organizers: Kristi Coleman Kasia Gawlak Anna Joy Glover Angela Ostafichuk …and to all the that participated in the protest. Slutwalk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

she: “why aren’t you interested in doing the thing that I want you to do?”

he: “For the same reason that I am not interested in the history of Brazil.”
 
she: “What? Why are you changing the subject? And would you be interested in the history of Brazil?”
he: “Exactly!”
People are already interested in whatever they are interested in, and nothing else (so far). Similarly, if they have never heard of something (such as Brazil), and then I ask “why have you never heard of Brazil” (when they still may not even know what it is), they may not have any explanation, right?
Asking for explanations sometimes can be like asking for an excuse, a justification, a defense. There may be the basic presumption of an obligation, or at least an expectation.
 
People should already be interested in only in what they are already interested in. People should not already be interested in anything that they are not already interested in. So, it can be useful to know what people are already interested in.
 
Hundreds gathered at the Alberta Legislature g...

Hundreds gathered at the Alberta Legislature grounds in Edmonton to protest against victim blaming. After several speakers make some pretty powerful, and passionate pleas to the crowd, they took it to the streets, and marched to City Hall, despite some liability issues the city has about the march. Hats off to the organizers: Kristi Coleman Kasia Gawlak Anna Joy Glover Angela Ostafichuk …and to all the that participated in the protest. Slutwalk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

she: “You are being distant! I am frustrated about that. Stop it! Instead, be more interested in the things that interest me. Then I will value you.”
he: “Well, sometimes when you push me, you may notice that certain actions produce the outcome of greater distance between us.”
 
she: “No! Why do you always say that it is me who… wait, okay. You are saying that I have alternative behaviors which produce different outcomes.”
he: “yep.”
The above conversations are variations (“historical fiction“) based on an actual dialogue that I had yesterday. I was the “he” in the dialogue. Here is a similar example from the day before:
he: “You are not responding how I would like and it is because your past blocks you.”
she: “Okay, this reminds me of why I don’t like talking to you!”
 
he: “You have a problem communicating with me. You see, that is why the results that I have been getting in our communication are because you are too ___ and not ____ enough.”
she: “Go to hell. Bye!”
Again, that is only historical fiction. One thing that interests me is communication, so if you are also interested in communication (and the capacity of communication to influence the results produces in everyday life), then I wrote this for you.
Blame Rehearsals, RHUL

Blame Rehearsals, RHUL (Photo credit: S.Tore)

Blaming others means identifying them as the source of an undesirable outcome. Blame is totally functional and useful and natural, but not always effective.
Blame is used to attempt to get someone to do something, like if I blame someone for not taking out the garbage and tell them about it, that communication is a method to direct them to take out the garbage. That is about prodding them as in threatening them with punishment. That can lead to saying things like “If you do not take out the garbage right now, then I am going to ____” punish them or at least withdraw a reward or privilege.
In a lawsuit, if someone is determined to be liable for a certain amount of money, they are ruled as responsible as in the one to blame. If I blame someone for breaking a window, then they (or their insurance coverage) may agree to pay for replacing the window.
 
Blaming just means claiming that someone already has some obligation. They may agree to that on their own. They may disagree, but then a court may rule that they have an obligation. (Also, even if their obligation is established, that is a distinct issue for having the ability to fulfill the obligation.)
Of course, claiming that someone else has an obligation may not work. It might, but if I am not getting the results that I value and the only method that I have been using is to directly or indirectly claim that someone else has an obligation to me, then another alternative is to create a new agreement with the same person, as well as to interact with a different person.
 
Shift + Blame

Shift + Blame (Photo credit: Cyberslayer)

 
Blame can work to produce compliance in others, but may not. Blame can be asserted without any invitation or request, but using them as well can be more effective. They can also be used without blame.
Invitations are for creating the perception of a desirable outcome and associating that outcome with a possible method for producing it. Requests are similar: for creating the perception of a desirable outcome (or the avoiding of an undesirable outcome) and presenting a specific action (like within a specific time) as the future.

 

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2 Responses to “Blame: claiming an obligation to “correct” something”

  1. Pat Cegan Says:

    Thank you for linking to Source of Inspiration. Interesting article on blaming…never thought about it before. hugs, pat

  2. danijela Says:

    Interesting dialogs.

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