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3 Common Scapegoats of Unhappiness: Events, Others, and Ourselves

unhappy man dealing with blame


Have you ever found yourself feeling unhappy and immediately pointing a finger at something or someone else?

It’s a common scenario we all face. At our core, we all yearn for a happy and fulfilling life. Yet, when we encounter unhappiness, it’s often easier to blame external events, other people, or even ourselves, rather than addressing the root causes.

In this article, we’ll delve into these three common scapegoats of unhappiness: events, others, and ourselves. Our aim is to foster self-awareness and empower you to take control of your happiness.

Blaming Events: Life’s Uncontrollable Circumstances

woman blaming external circumstances

Understanding External Blame

Life is unpredictable, and often, external events become convenient scapegoats for our unhappiness. For example, we blame the weather for ruining our mood or the economy for our financial woes. It’s like being a leaf in the wind, tossed about without any control.

The Illusion of Control

Believing that we can control these external events is an illusion. It’s akin to trying to stop the waves in the ocean. The truth is, we can’t control what happens around us, but we can control how we respond. By accepting this, we can shift from a mindset of helplessness to one of empowerment.

Strategies for Empowerment

To shift our focus from external events to personal responses, consider these steps:

  1. Embrace Uncertainty: Like a sailor who adapts to the changing winds, learn to navigate life’s unpredictability.
  2. Seek Growth Opportunities: Every adverse event holds a lesson. It’s about finding the silver lining even in the darkest clouds.

Common External Blame vs. Empowerment Strategies

External BlameEmpowerment Strategy
Bad weatherFind indoor activities
Economic downturnLearn new job skills
TrafficListen to audiobooks/podcasts

Blaming Others: The Misguided Attribution

woman blaming another person

The Blame Game in Relationships

Blaming others, be it family, friends, or colleagues, is a double-edged sword. It not only hinders our growth but also strains our relationships. It’s like a dance where we constantly step on each other’s toes.

Recognizing Shared Responsibility

Every relationship is a two-way street. By acknowledging shared responsibility, we open the door to healthier interactions. It’s about switching from a “blame” to a “claim” mindset – claiming our part in the dynamic.

Building Healthier Interactions

Here are some steps to build healthier interactions:

  1. Practice Effective Communication: Instead of pointing fingers, express how you feel and listen actively.
  2. Foster Empathy: Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. It’s like looking through their lens to understand their perspective.

Steps to Overcome Blaming Others

  • Acknowledge your role in conflicts
  • Express feelings without blame
  • Actively listen to others’ perspectives
  • Cultivate empathy and understanding

Blaming Ourselves: The Internal Critic

man dealing with self-blame

Self-Blame and its Impact

When we turn the blame inwards, it leads to a harmful cycle of negative self-talk and diminished self-esteem. It’s like being trapped in a room with a relentless critic.

Cultivating Self-Compassion

To combat self-blame, we need to cultivate self-compassion. It’s about treating ourselves with the same kindness and understanding that we would offer a good friend.

Moving Towards Self-Empowerment

Taking responsibility for our actions without descending into self-blame is crucial. It involves setting achievable goals and acknowledging our efforts and successes.

Self-Blame vs. Self-Compassion

Self-Blame BehaviorsSelf-Compassion Practices
Negative self-talkPositive affirmations
Dwelling on mistakesLearning from setbacks
Harsh self-judgmentUnderstanding and kindness
Confident man feeling empowered


In conclusion, overcoming the tendency to blame events, others, or ourselves is pivotal in our journey towards happiness and personal growth.

By recognizing these patterns and adopting strategies of empowerment, effective communication, and self-compassion, we can take control of our happiness.

Remember, the power to change our perspective and responses lies within us. Let’s embark on this journey with a commitment to self-awareness and personal development.


2 Responses

  1. Marceos,
    Its a great article that is helpful for seeing how our mood can be affected by many factors that are in our life.

    You did a great job making the Points easy to understand working towards what can involve happiness.

    Great Article with a lot of value.

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