Stren #37: The Blaming-in Response

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          Stren #37 explains the second of the eight choices available to our will power to transform information into action.  I have labeled this action choice “blaming-in.

          The blaming-in response, like the blaming-out response, is among the easiest to recognize and change.  Here is the formula to learn:


          (a) I did what I should not have done or didn’t do what I should have done, and therefore,
             (b)  I deserve punishment.

          Stren #36 identified the first of our eight alternative action choices, blaming-out.  Nature pre-wires each of us with the universal fight or flight survival instinct.  The fight portion of this innate action pathway biases us to engage in destructive confrontation.  When we have an unsatisfied need, our body creates energy to incite motion.  One label for this emotion is “frustration.”  Harmful confrontation is a common primitive natural reaction to whomever or whatever we perceive to be the source of our frustration.  We are trigger-ready to immediately satisfy our needs to relieve the frustration they create.   However, survival of any tribe is unlikely if its members attack one another.  As Abe Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Nurturers are required to teach individuals to control blaming-out energy when it is directed to members of their own tribe.  This is why we are assigned a flag, a religion, a political ideology, and related means to identify “our team,” while preserving the harmful blaming-out energy for “not our kind.”  The symbols of allegiance are often not sufficient to prevent the expression of instinct’s self-serving actions.  Our nurturers have devised other powerful means to control harmful aggression that is directed to one’s own kind. Switching blaming-out energy to blaming-in punishment is a favorite.  Blaming-in is simply blaming energy that is directed to our self.
          Blaming-in is the champion of what we call “guilt.”  Blaming-in includes various forms of self-blame, putdowns, and mentally or even physically attacking our self.  In the extreme, an individual will even murder him/herself, what we call suicideBlaming-in is a common way we create depression and make ourselves our own worst enemy.  Blaming-out and blaming-in both lead to damage and harmful outcomes.  By recognizing when we are “guilting” ourselves, we can switch blaming-in energy to a far more productive common sense problem-solving action pathway.  Switching from blaming to a common sense problem-solving pathway consistently leads to preferred outcomes while it simultaneously prevents the harmful aggression of blaming-out and blaming-inCommon sense problem-solving is described in stren #39.  We may empower ourselves to substitute common sense for the two blaming choices as we attain physical maturity and teach ourselves the skills of mental maturity.