Tuesday, November 06, 2012
The Psychopathology of Blame
I've learned that the impulse to blame comes from a certain part of the brain. It's called the "limbic system," the emotional part of the brain. Kids as young as 3 years old already have a fully developed limbic system. Having raised three kids, I've known their favorite defense- "He/she is the one who did it, Dad!"
The "solving problems" part of the brain come from the "neocortex," the thinking part of the brain. Interesting that it's a part of our brain development which is not fully developed till age 25. So when we seek to find solutions to problems, it puts us in the adult place of the brain (not the child place with the impulse to blame!).
Blame is always about the past whereas solutions must occur in the present and future. Blame puts you on a "punishment mode" (focus: faults, damage, injury, defects). Solving problems brings you to an "improving mode" (focus: solutions, creativity, responsibility, wisdom, improvements).
Which would you choose? Blaming someone else or solving problems? You cannot do both.