We’ve all been there. Someone says or does something to upset us and before we know it, we’ve written an entire case proving their guilt and condemning them (at least in our head). When we feel wronged, it’s easy to follow the quasi-logical path towards blame. It seems to make sense… If I’m hurt, then they must be wrong. And if they are wrong, then I must be right. It’s their fault.
There’s no doubt, people hurt each other in big and small ways. Sometimes intentional, more often unintentional, but mistakes are made nonetheless. It’s not that we aren’t allowed to recognize when someone hurts or transgresses us, but the more we cling to blaming them, the harder it is to understand their perspective and the harder it is to move on from the experience.
It’s been said that we judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions. It’s true that we often dismiss our own mistakes because we recognize that it wasn’t part of our original plan… I didn’t mean to. At the same time, it’s so easy to blame others for their actions without ever understanding their intentions. Does understanding someone’s intention change the outcome of their actions? Unfortunately, no, but if the goal is to participate in a healthy, positive relationship where there is room for understanding, flexibility, tolerance and forgiveness, then it is essential that we are willing to understand rather than to criticize, to empathize rather than to attack, and to consider rather than to condemn.
Having a healthy connection with someone is never a passive experience. We are all responsible for the state of our relationships. And yes, sometimes people make choices that hurt or offend us. Instead of getting stuck in the blame game, we need to be willing to challenge our perspective and ask ourselves if, in some way, we are contributing to the problem. And furthermore, are we willing to move from a state of blaming to one of consideration and compassion… because that is where change begins.
Also offering services as a life and relationship coach, she works with people outside of the therapy setting to increase positive communication, set goals, make decisions and solve problems.
Additionally, she supports those clients who are considering, experiencing or recovering from divorce.
Jennifer has a B.A. from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and an M.S. from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.